United Families International Newsletter
A proposed constitutional amendment to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., introduced the Federal Marriage Amendment on this year’s final day of voting in the Senate. Senators Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., are co-sponsors. U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., introduced an identical version of the legislation in the House in May.
With birth rates at rock bottom levels in Italy, one mayor is offering money to couples for every newborn baby. Scores of towns in southern Italy are dying out. In a bid to reverse the low birth rates, the mayor of Laviano, Rocco Falivena, is digging deep into town coffers and offering couples 10,000 euros ($11,900) for every newborn child. “It’s a lot of money, but this is our top priority,” said Falivena. “We are talking about the very survival of our town.”
In a powerful statement which was to be read at all masses in the state of Massachusetts last Sunday, the state’s Catholic bishops said that the ruling of the “Supreme Judicial Court which radically redefines marriage is a national tragedy.” The bishops warned further that, “The misguided decision has also served to promote divisions in society by villainizing as bigotry the legitimate defense of thousands of years of tradition.” In the letter, the Bishops advocate a constitutional amendment which reaffirms marriage as the union between one man and one woman, urging Catholics to contact legislators to support such initiatives.
Gary Hardgrave, Australia’s Multicultural Affairs Minister, has urged people in his country to celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas during this festive season. “Many kindergartens, schools and businesses have decided they have to ban things because they might offend others,” Hardgrave said in a statement this week. “While well motivated, these people have it completely wrong. I thought it was important to be on the front foot [this year] and say, for heaven’s sake, get out there, remember what Christmas is all about. Put the Christ into Christmas, nativity scenes, the whole lot. Don’t be afraid to express the central tenets of your own faith, because no other faith is going to be offended by it.”
One in three girls and one in six boys are victims of sexual abuse, according to a study. The statistics are based on studies of childhood sexual abuse in the U.S. and Canada over the past 20 years, as reported to The Montreal Gazette by professor of psychology Marc Tourigny of the University of Sherbrooke. Also, when surveyed about knowledge and perceptions of incest and sexual abuse of children, 982 Quebecers polled on the subject estimated the incidence of abuse to be approximately 40 percent.
In a stunning admission, a Seattle AIDS organization published a manifesto that asks gay men to take responsibility for the spread of the disease. Although the document concludes that condom use is the ultimate answer to preventing the spread of AIDS, statements like “men must act against the behaviors . . . responsible for the increased spread of (the) disease” signals an awareness of the dangers of the lifestyle. Welch added that his report is the first honest look within the homosexual community at the causes of the disease. It has even prompted an examination of so-called “safe sex.”
As the Supreme Judicial Court decision allowing same-sex marriage was being hailed as a huge victory for homosexual couples, largely lost in the celebration was recognition of an equally powerful benefit that flows from the ruling: the right to divorce. If same-sex couples are permitted to marry, they would be subject to the same Massachusetts divorce laws that oversee the legal breakups of heterosexual couples. “Gay divorce, if this law goes through, will look like anybody else’s divorce,” said Nancy Van Tine, head of the domestic relations department at the Boston law firm Burns & Levinson.
The Parents’ Television Council (PTC) has completed its fourth annual study of ads for R-rated movies and M-rated (for “mature”) video games, and results show that kids are still being targeted. The PTC surveyed six national television networks, finding Fox to be the worst offender, promoting adult content during shows favored by children as young as 2. But the results for all networks, except ABC, were disappointing, according to the PTC’s Melissa Caldwell. Networks that advertised R-rated movies last year during the family hour advertised even more R-rated movies this year during the family hour.
Planned Parenthood is again selling the “Choice on Earth” Christmas cards that sparked a national outrage last year. The outside of the card features the Planned Parenthood logo and numerous political phrases such as “human rights,” “equality,” and “women’s health.” Sandwiched in the center between the slogans is the phrase “Choice on Earth” — a takeoff on the Biblical passage in the Gospel of Luke depicting angels rejoicing over the birth of Jesus Christ saying “peace on earth.” Pro-life advocates say “choice” is no more than a euphemism for abortion and it is exploitive to use a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus to commemorate the death of millions of unborn children.
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which has earned a terrifying reputation for its brutality against the people of northern Uganda, has abducted an estimated 20,000 children over the years. Children are most vulnerable to abduction at night, when rebels raid villages, looting them for food and supplies. Older female captives are forced to become the “wives” of senior commanders and are subjected to rape, unwanted pregnancies and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and AIDS. The younger girls are forced into grueling domestic work. New male captives are forced to participate in atrocities, such as killing, maiming and intimidating the local population by burning down their homes.