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Showing posts with label American Family Association of Michigan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Family Association of Michigan. Show all posts

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Michigan Becomes Key Battleground in Defense of Marriage

American Family Association of Michigan President Gary Glenn debated a liberal attorney Thursday night who filed a lawsuit asking a single federal judge to overturn the Marriage Protection Amendment (which Gary coauthored) that was overwhelmingly approved by 2.7 million Michigan voters on the ballot in 2004.

Fox 2 News Headlines

A federal judge will hear the lawsuit next week in Michigan's Oakland County.

Homosexual activists have also announced a petition drive to put repeal of Michigan's Marriage Protection Amendment on the ballot in November 2014, and they say they'll raise $10 million to pass the repeal. (Grand Rapids Press, Jan. 31, 2013)

AFA-Michigan is on the front line in defending Christian culture in the United States and their success is important to us all. Please stand with AFA-Michigan today to support and defend marriage.

Please send you tax-deductible contribution today to:

AFA-Michigan, PO Box 1904, Midland, Michigan 48641

Or by credit card online at:

Monday, June 9, 2008

Graduate Changes Speech, But Fellow Valedictorian Adds Bible Verses to His

While at the request of school officials one West Ottawa (MI) High School valedictorian removed Bible verses from his graduation speech, another slipped some in.

“If they weren’t going to let Jed speak, I figured I could,” West Ottawa class of 2008 President Andrew Webster said of his fellow valedictorian Jed Grooters.

“What I said is what I truly felt and saying anything else would not have been true to who I am,” Webster said. “I wasn’t expressing the views of the school, I was expressing my own views. ... I was told to write an essay about a life
lesson and I did that.”

Each of the nine valedictorians was asked to prepare a two-minute speech to read at Sunday’s commencement ceremony. The speeches had to be pre-approved by school officials. School officials had asked Grooters to remove an extended Bible quotation from his speech and rewrite it in his own words. If he refused, Grooters would not have been allowed to speak at his graduation.

Grooters’ speech was first rejected because it consisted almost entirely of one long quote, West Ottawa Superintendent Patricia Koeze said earlier this week. The school’s legal counsel advised officials that quoting Scripture at the graduation ceremony was a violation of the “no establishment of religion” clause in the First Amendment, she said.

“You may have heard I will no longer be giving the speech I was going to because it is inappropriate for a graduation setting,” Grooters said Sunday afternoon, eliciting a boo or two from audience members.

He did not read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 as he had planned. Instead, Grooters put together a few words, ending with: “Jesus loves you and that is the most important life lesson of all.”

He introduced the next valedictorian who had to wait for the standing ovation to die down.

Webster’s original, pre-approved speech was along the lines of “life is a game and we spend too much time spinning around and not focusing on important things,” he said.

Without telling officials, Webster changed his speech to include John 16:33, Ecclesiastes 3:10-14, 4:4, 4:7-8, 5:18-20 and 5:10 — “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” — and 5:15 — “Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.”Webster said Grooters had inspired him to be true to himself.

School officials did not approach him after the ceremony and will not reprimand him, they said.

“What I’ll say about that is one of our speeches went longer than what was planned, but overall the kids did a great job,” Principal Kent Henson said after the ceremony.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Holland, Michigan School District Violates Christian Student's Free Speech Rights

Family Group: Holland schools violate Constitution by censoring Christian valedictorian's "life lesson"

Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals: "The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between ch
urch and state."

HOLLAND, Mich. -- West Ottawa Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Koeze's censorship of a Christian high school senior's valedictory address -- planned for graduation ceremonies Sunday -- is a "clear, outrageous, and unconstitutional violation of the student's First Amendment free speech rights," a statewide family values group said Saturday.

The American Family Association of Michigan blasted Koeze's censorship of planned remarks by West Ottawa High School valedictorian Jed Grooters, who included quotations from the New Testament book of Corinthians. AFA-Michigan President Gary Glenn, Midland, said Koeze's action "is a clear case of unconstitutional discrimination based on the content of the student's speech, propped up by some obviously very poor legal advice from the school district's attorneys."

"Since the U.S. Supreme Court long ago prohibited school officials from unconstitutionally forcing students to surrender their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse door," Glenn said, "Supt. Koeze's heavy-handed intolerance and discrimination toward this student's expression of his Christian worldview is an engraved invitation for a First Amendment free speech lawsuit against the school system for which local taxpayers would have to foot the bill for attorneys fees and damages."

The Grand Rapids Press Saturday reported that Grooters -- a 4.0 GPA student and eight-time varsity athlete who won the sportsmanship award in three different varsity sports this year -- was asked by school officials to give a valedictory address Sunday talking about a "life lesson" he wished to share with fellow students.

But upon submitting a draft of his speech to school officials, Grooters was told he would not be allowed to speak unless he removed his speech's references to the Bible. The student refused, and the matter was referred to Koeze.

According to the Press, Koeze labeled Grooters' comments "a religious speech" and insisted that allowing him to present it during the school's graduation ceremonies would violate the so-called "separation of church and state."

Glenn said the federal Appeals Court which acts on all federal court decisions originating in Michigan has ruled exactly opposite of Koeze's faulty interpretation of the First Amendment.

He cited a April 2006 case in which the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals -- by a vote of 19 to 5 -- upheld a three-judge panel of the court's earlier rejection of the American Civil Liberties Union's claim that a Kentucky courthouse violated the First Amendment by displaying a copy of the Ten Commandments found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

In its ruling, the Sixth Circuit went beyond the specifics of the Kentucky case, issuing a broad statement of the Constitution's original intent, dramatically declaring that religious speech is protected by, not at odds with, the First Amendment.

"The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state," the three-judge panel had unanimously ruled in December 2005 in an opinion authored by Senior Judge Richard Suhrheinrich of Williamston, a graduate of Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law and a full-time faculty member at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing.

The Suhrheinrich-authored decision further characterized the American Civil Liberties Union's repeated references to the so-called "separation of church and state" as "extra-constitutional" and "tiresome."

See page 13 of the Court of Appeals panel's December 2005 decision:

"To quote the same Appeals Court that will eventually rule on any free speech lawsuit that results if Supt. Koeze continues to censor Jed Grooters' quotation of the Bible, the superintendent's false claim that the First Amendment requires her to do so is both 'extra-constitutional' and 'tiresome,'" Glenn said. "In fact, the First Amendment requires school officials to both respect and allow Jed to fully practice his First Amendment free speech rights."

Glenn said if the school district refuses to back off its unconstitutional censorship of Grooters' speech Sunday, "Christian legal defense foundations across the country will be waiting in line to provide free legal representation to this courageous, principled young man and his family."

"The question Supt. Koeze and West Ottawa school board members should ponder is how school district taxpayers are likely to feel about being forced to pay attorneys fees and damages when the federal courts reject her blatant violation of Jeb Grooters' First Amendment free speech rights," he said.

The American Family Association of Michigan's mission is to promote and defend traditional Judeo-Christian family values, Glenn said.


The American Family Association of Michigan is asking supporters to contact West Ottawa Schools Superintendent Patricia Koeze to voice their objection to the district's censorship and persecution of Christians:
Supt. Patricia Koeze
Phone: 616-738-5700

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Michigan Homosexual Lobby Backs Jail, Lawsuits For Refusal to Recognize Homosexual "Marriage"

Gary Glenn
President of AFA-Michigan

Homosexual activist says business owners should be jailed, newspapers sued and "slapped publicly"

LOS ANGELES -- Michigan's largest homosexual activist group says once marriage is legally redefined to include homosexual couples, business owners and even news media outlets who refuse to recognize such marriages should be jailed or sued and "publicly slapped," a Jewish and openly bisexual columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News reported Monday.

Statements attributed in the column to homosexual lobbyist Sean Kosofsky, director of policy for the Detroit-based Triangle Foundation, were denounced Wednesday by American Family Association of Michigan President Gary Glenn, co-author of the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by voters in 2004 to constitutionally reaffirm the legal definition of marriage in Michigan as only between one man and one woman.

"The Triangle Foundation openly admits homosexual activists' intentions, once they gain sufficient political power, to impose their radical social agenda on America by brute force, trampling cherished American values such as religious freedom, freedom of speech, academic freedom, and even freedom of the press if it stands in their way," Glenn said.

Glenn pointed to comments by Kosofsky reported Monday by David Benkof, author of Gay Essentials: Facts for Your Queer Brain and founder of the Q Syndicate, a "gay"-press syndicate that provides columns and other material to a hundred homosexual newspapers.

Benkof, who strays from "gay" political orthodoxy by opposing the redefinition of marriage, wrote in a column published Monday by the Los Angeles Daily News that he had interviewed homosexual activists nationally about the legal implications of a California Supreme Court ruling last week declaring a constitutional "right" to so-called homosexual "marriage."

Benkof wrote: "What happens if a traditionally religious business owner wants to extend his 'marriage discount' only to couples married in his eyes? Sean Kosofsky of Michigan's largest gay-rights group, the Triangle Foundation, says, 'If you are a public accommodation and you are open to anyone on Main Street, that means you must be open to everyone on Main Street. If they don't do it, that's contempt and they will go to jail.' "

Benkof continued: "Michael Taylor-Judd, the president of the Legal Marriage Alliance of Washington state, said if a newspaper writes that a given same-sex marriage wasn't really a marriage, 'it is certainly in the realm of possibility for someone to bring a (libel) suit, and quite possibly to be successful.' Kosofsky agreed: 'I would be sympathetic to some damages. They need to be slapped publicly.' "

(See link to Benkof column below)

Glenn said the Triangle Foundation routinely justifies its hostility toward individuals and organizations who disagree with homosexual activists' political agenda, as well as Triangle's admitted plans to suppress their opponents' free speech rights, by demonizing those who support traditional one-man, one-woman marriage as promoters of "hate" and violence.

* The Triangle Foundation's web site currently features a news release charging that support for Michigan's Marriage Protection Amendment by Glenn and Catholic Cardinal Adam Maida of the Archdiocese of Detroit was a motivating factor in the alleged beating death of a homosexual senior citizen last year in Detroit. "It is appalling hypocrisy," the statement reads, "for (Glenn and Maida) to pretend that their venomous words and organizing have no connection to the plague of hate violence against gay people, including the murder of Mr. Anthos."

Triangle's claims were proven false when police reported they found no evidence of assault and
the Wayne County medical examiner's office concluded the man had died from natural causes after a fall resulting from arthritic paralysis.,2933,262308,00.html

* Kosofsky has for years publicly accused Glenn's organization of supporting murder, though only one news media outlet has ever published the allegation. "We personally believe that the AFA may support the murder of gay, lesbian and bisexual people," Kosofsky said, as reported in 2001 by State News, the student newspaper at Michigan State University.
And Kosofsky in a published column in 2005 called Cardinal Maida "recklessly wicked," accused him of "arrogance, bigotry and hypocrisy," and said the Catholic church's position in support of one-man, one-woman marriage "should be tossed in the trash."
Glenn also noted that when Kosofsky said news media outlets should be sued and "slapped publicly" if they report material to which homosexual activists object, one example may have been fresh on his mind. Last month, Kosofsky attacked WNEM-TV Channel 5, Saginaw, for its coverage of a pro-homosexual student protest in public schools. "WNEM has run one of the worst stories I have seen in recent years on Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender issues by using insensitive and inflammatory terms," Kosofsky wrote on his blog, Blog O' Queer.
Violations of religious freedom, free speech rights, academic freedom, and freedom of the press have become routine in countries and states that have already adopted so-called homosexual "marriage" or "hate crime" laws based on homosexual behavior, Glenn said.

* Swedish Pastor Ake Green in 2004 was sentenced to 30 days in jail for preaching a sermon in which he defined homosexual behavior as sinful and harmful to society.

* Baptist Press reported in 2005: "A Catholic bishop in Canada is under investigation by a government agency for condemning 'gay marriage'... The bishop, Fred Henry of Calgary, is being investigated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission for comments he made about homosexuality in both a letter to parishioners and a Calgary Sun newspaper column. Two homosexuals filed the complaints."

* The Irish Times reported in 2003: "Clergy and bishops who distribute the Vatican's latest publication describing homosexual activity as 'evil' could face prosecution under incitement to hatred legislation. ...Those convicted under the Act can face jail terms of up to six months."
* The London Daily Telegraph reported in 2006: "New Government proposals on equality could require clergy to bless homosexual 'weddings' or face prosecution, the Church of England said yesterday. It said the proposed regulations could undermine official teaching and require Christians to act against their religious convictions."

* Catholic Charities in Boston was forced by a state "sexual orientation" law to either process the adoption of children to homosexual couples, a direct violation of Vatican policy, or abandon their century-old adoption referral services altogether. They chose the latter.

* The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix newspaper was ordered by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal to pay three homosexual men $1,500 each after the newspaper agreed to run an ad that featured Bible verses critical of homosexual behavior. "As the Star-Phoenix lawyer said in his closing statement (before the Tribunal), 'A Human Rights ruling against the Star-Phoenix and Mr. Owens could limit freedom of speech in the media, in churches and in classrooms.'"

* A British couple were questioned by police on possible "hate crime" charges after they wrote a letter-to-the-editor of their local newspaper criticizing city officials for distributing brochures at city hall promoting homosexual behavior.

* The London Daily Telegraph reported last month: "A Christian couple who have taken in 28 children have been forced to give up being foster parents after they refused to promote homosexuality. Vincent Matherick, 65, and his 61-year-old wife Pauline were told by social services that they had to comply with legislation requiring them to treat homosexuality as equal to heterosexuality."

* A British Anglican bishop in February was fined for refusing to hire an openly homosexual man as a church youth minister.

* The London Daily Telegraph reported in 2003: "A bishop who angered homosexuals by suggesting they seek a psychiatric cure is to be investigated by police to see if his outspoken views amount to a criminal offence, it emerged yesterday."
* Eleven Christians in Philadelphia -- including two grandmothers in their 70's, one white and one African-American -- were arrested and charged with "ethnic intimidation" under Pennsylvania's "hate crimes" law when they tried to read Bible verses out loud during a homosexual street festival. They faced a cumulative 47 years in prison had they been convicted.

* A New Mexico Christian photographer was fined $6,600 for refusing on religious grounds to photograph a homosexual marriage-like "commitment" ceremony.
* Catholic bishops in Belgium and Spain were sued in 2004 by homosexual activist groups for making public statements in opposition to homosexual behavior and homosexual "marriage."
* Boston public school teachers were threatened with termination if they failed to portray so-called homosexual "marriage" in a positive light.

The full text of Benkof's column in the Los Angeles Daily News is here.