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Falwell legal "ministry" has a 50-state agenda

I saw a little news brief, earlier today — “Conservatives Drop Gay Marriage Suit.” It was a story about a group of wingnuts that apparently felt they couldn’t follow through on a challenge to keep a lesbian couple from fighting for the right to marry in Florida. Liberty Counsel, was involved in this lawsuit. I didn’t know of this outfit and the article didn’t have any details. I did a little surfing and found out it is an arm of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Its motto is “Restoring the Culture One Case at a Time by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life and the Traditional Family.” And they have plans to stay true to that motto by filing lawsuits across the country.

Here’s a snippet of the article on the suit that was dropped in Florida. (365Gay.com):

A lawsuit by a group of Christian conservatives against a lesbian couple seeking to marry in Lee County, Florida has been dropped. The group, made up of a county clerk in Florida’s Panhandle, more than a dozen notaries public, wedding chapels and churches, are still battling same-sex couples in other parts of the state.

The were represented by Liberty Counsel, a Christian law firm that is fighting gay marriage throughout the country. Liberty Counsel has filed notice that it is abandoning the Lee County case.

The other suits may also be abandoned, legal experts say, in light of a ruling last month in federal court where a judge dismissed a Liberty Counsel lawsuit seeking a legal ruling that upholds the state’s defense of marriage act banning same-sex unions. All of the suits were meant to challenge cases brought by same-sex couples in the state seeking the right to marry.

In the Lee County case, Liberty Counsel named Margaret Kelley and Cindy Koenig who are challenging the Florida’s ban on gay marriage.

Background on Liberty Counsel — according to its web site, it is “a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. Established in 1989, Liberty Counsel is a national organization headquartered in Orlando, Florida, with branch offices in Virginia and hundreds of affiliate attorneys in all 50 states.”

Center for Constitutional Litigation and Policy’s saviour of marriage Mathew D. Staver, president, general counsel, and lackey for Rev. Tinkywinky. Staver is also the author of “Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk.”

The Center for Constitutional Litigation and Policy operates as one component of Liberty Counsel’s training, education and public policy program. The Center is headquartered on the campus of Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Center trains attorneys, law students, policy-makers, legislators, clergy and world leaders in constitutional principles and government policies.
Also of note on their site is that they are listed as a non-profit “ministry.” Here is their donation form. And listen to Rev. Tinkywinky:

“Dr. Jerry Falwell, Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Chancellor of Liberty University, remarked, ‘We want to infiltrate the culture with men and women of God who are skilled in the legal profession. . . . We’ll be as far to the right as Harvard is to the left.’ Every law school has a perspective from which they educate. The difference between Liberty and many other law schools is that we will tell you up front we intend to draw upon the best of the Western Legal Tradition while others will hide their perspective and claim they are objective. We make no apology that the Liberty is a Christian school and that we will draw from the well of the greatest thinkers who shaped our Western Legal Tradition.”

The agenda of this organization is comprehensive. Apparently not concerned with judicial activism anywhere in the 50 states, they plan to use their own brand of legal activism, guided by divine intervention, to reach their social engineering goals.

Religious Freedom

  • California: a school district must allow a Christian group to meet in public schools at no charge, so that the first after-school Good News Club can share the gospel and teach character and morals to elementary students in the nation’s second largest school district
  • Florida: court ruled that Christian church could locate in the heart of Cassadaga, Florida, thus becoming the first Christian church to operate in the all-spiritualist community since 1894
  • Florida: settled prior to trial, requiring that a community college revise its literature distribution policy, after students were threatened with arrest for distributing religious literature on campus
  • Iowa: settled prior to trial, requiring school to repeal policy and adopt a new one which allows students to pass out religious literature
  • Kentucky: Ten Commandments set among historical documents regarding the development of American law and government is constitutional
  • Massachusetts: students must be allowed to pass out scripture verses; case resulted in best published legal opinion on the rights of students to distribute religious literature in public school
  • Michigan: settled before trial, requiring government housing authority to pay damages for attempting to evict woman for placing a religious sign in her window
  • Michigan: settled before trial, requiring school to adopt a new policy allowing students to distribute religious literature, including Campus Crusade For Christ “Survival Kits”
  • Ohio: settled prior to trial, causing city to drop criminal charge against owner of facility for allowing church to meet there, and causing city to adopt ordinance favorable to churches
  • Pennsylvania: court ruled that banning religious meeting in community center is unconstitutional
  • Texas: required county to repeal policy banning use of community room for religious meetings
  • Virginia: part of the state constitution found unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution, so that churches can incorporate and own unlimited amount of property for first time since 1777
  • Wisconsin: ruled that a city and state law banning literature distribution to occupants of vehicles or placing literature on cars are unconstitutional

Sanctity of Human Life

  • Florida: court ruled against pro-abortion groups seeking to block “Choose Life” license plates
  • Florida: argued in favor of state law requiring informed consent for women considering abortion
  • Florida: successfully argued before U.S. Supreme Court, regarding rights of sidewalk counselors
  • Tennessee: settled before trial, requiring city to repeal law used to stop pro-life picketers

Traditional Family Values

  • Florida: Took over case on appeal where judge ruled that sex and gender are in the mind, granting child custody to a transsexual
  • Georgia: first case ever to declare a Vermont civil union is not equivalent to marriage, and a state and federal Defense of Marriage Act permits a state to ban same sex unions

Falwell and his bumper crop of legal eagles that he will ship out of his law school to push the Right’s social agenda have a clear plan. What are we going to do to counter these tactics?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding