FEDERAL COURT UPHOLDS WISCONSIN’S UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT

FEDERAL COURT UPHOLDS WISCONSIN’S UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals says lawsuit against the act is moot

MADISON—  Late yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the lawsuit brought against Wisconsin’s long-standing Unborn Child Protection Act is moot because the plaintiff moved out of state, making her case null and void.

Wisconsin’s Unborn Child Protection Act became law in 1997 and allows certain state officials and law enforcement agents to help pregnant women who are struggling with substance abuse, which of course helps both the mother and her unborn baby.

“As Wisconsin, like so many other states, faces this opiod crisis and as the number of babies born with drug dependencies increases, to be able to enforce our Unborn Child Protection Act is more important than ever. We are glad for the outcome of this legal challenge and are grateful for Attorney General Brad Schimel’s aggressive defense of this law throughout the legal proceedings.  Making sure women and their unborn babies get the help they need is especially critical when dealing with addiction,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.


Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization actively strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

Take Action for LIFE: Tell President Trump to redirect Title X funds away from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood

President Trump has indicated he is willing to redirect Title X “family planning” funds away from organizations that counsel in favor of, refer for or perform abortions—organizations like Planned Parenthood. The money would be redirected to federally qualified medical centers that do not counsel in favor of, refer for or perform abortions. In Wisconsin these medical centers vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin facilities and are located in urban, suburban and rural areas, while Planned Parenthood has just 20 facilities, with most of them being in the southeastern part of the state and in more urban areas.  Since Title X first became available in the 1970s, in The Badger State only Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has received those funds.

The Department of Health and Human Services is taking comments from the public on these proposed rule changes.  Citizens have until July 31, 2018, to comment. Information on posting a comment is below. We urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to promote life and to promote these encouraging rule changes.

The link to the Federal Register is here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=HHS-OS-2018-0008-0001

Please note this is a 60-day comment period, with comments due by July 31, 2018.

Written comments may be submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Population Affairs, as specified below. Any comment that is submitted will also be made available to the public.

Warning: Please do not include any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publicly disclosed. All comments may be posted on the internet and can be retrieved by most internet search engines. No deletions, modifications, or redactions will be made to the comments received. Comments may be submitted anonymously.

Comments, identified by “Family Planning” may be submitted by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.  Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Mail or Hand Delivery: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Population Affairs, Attention: Family Planning, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 716G, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201.

Comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM WINS IN US SUPREME COURT

MADISON—  Earlier today the United States Supreme Court released its opinion in one of the major cases of this term, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case originating in Colorado,  involving owner Jack Phillips who declined to design a cake for a same-sex wedding. The high court ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack and his Masterpiece Cakeshop, overturning the State of Colorado’s decision, which had punished Jack for declining to participate in a wedding that violated his religious beliefs.

Following is a statement from Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling. Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) joined with other like-minded organizations from around the country in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in this case. That brief is available here.

“Today is a victory for the Constitution and for all Americans.  We are reminded we still have a justice system in which the First Amendment actually means something significant. This historic decision will no doubt be part of efforts to protect religious freedom in our country for generations to come. In essence, the decision sends a clear message that it is unconstitutional to show hostility towards people of faith in the marketplace because of their religious convictions.

“As Jack said in his statement, ‘[t]oday’s decision makes clear that tolerance is a two-way street. If we want to have freedom for ourselves, we have to extend it to others with whom we disagree,’ especially on important issues such as the meaning of marriage. The government’s hostility directly impacted the shop Jack and his family relied on for their livelihood, including receiving death threats and harassment.

“Since June 26, 2015, when the US Supreme Court forced a redefinition of marriage on Wisconsin and the entire country, we have known such a showdown was coming. Today’s decision is encouraging and we trust precedent setting moving forward.”

More About the Decision 

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, served all customers including his LGBT neighbors. Jack was before the U.S. Supreme Court simply because he did not want to create a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding.

The US Supreme Court found that the Colorado Human Rights Commission treated Jack with incredible hostility. As Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion:

“[The] Commission’s treatment of Phillips’ case…showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection. As the record shows, some of the commissioners at the Commission’s formal, public hearings endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, disparaged Phillips’ faith as despicable and characterized it as merely rhetorical, and compared his invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust.”

Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court found this hostility unconstitutional. While the decision was made on narrow grounds, it sets the tone for future cases on this issue. The decision also shows the Court is still open to considering whether cake artistry is protected speech.

Certainly this is not the final word in protecting religious freedom. Wisconsin Family Action will continue its work to ensure that Christians and all people of faith are not discriminated against because of their sincerely held religious beliefs.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization actively strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

Pro-Family, Pro-Life Champion André Jacque Wins First Senate District Special Election

Madison, WI – Yesterday, State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere) won the GOP primary for the Special Election in Senate District 1.

Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) endorsed only Jacque in this race.

“André’s bona fide pro-family, pro-life credentials were difference-makers in this hard-fought primary,” said WFA PAC director Julaine Appling.  “Voters have come to know and trust André to do what he says he will do, to stand up for what he believes and to work hard to champion laws that strengthen, preserve and promote marriage, family, life and religious freedom in our state. He’s obviously the kind of senator the people in that senate district want.

“We are proud to have endorsed André and will continue to work hard to ensure he is again victorious in the general election on Tuesday, June 12.”

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

 

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Endorses André Jacque

Statewide group issues sole endorsement in First Senate District special election

Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) has endorsed State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere) for the 1st Senate District in the May 15th Special Election Primary.

Following is a statement from WFA PAC director, Julaine Appling:

“It’s no secret that Rep. Jacque is one of Wisconsin’s most significant pro-life, pro-family champions. That’s why Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (PAC) has endorsed only André Jacque in this special election.

“André Jacque has great passion for his pro-life work. During his time in the Assembly, he has consistently championed the rights of the unborn, as well as stood up for the freedom for all Wisconsin citizens, especially for Wisconsin’s best resource, her families. We are confident that André Jacque as a senator will, in both policy and practice, continue to work to ensure that our families become or remain independent of government and will strengthen and preserve the core values of marriage, family, life and liberty.

“We are proud to endorse André and thank him for running for the 1st Senate District seat. We encourage people in the First Senate District to vote for him in the May 15th Special Election Primary.”

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action Poll: André Jacque Leading Alex Renard 81% to 19% Head-to-Head

MADISON— On March 29, 2018, Governor Scott Walker called for a special elections to fill Senator Frank Lasee’s seat (SD 1) after Lasee resigned to take a position in Walker’s administration.

Candidates must be registered by April 17, 2018. According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the only two candidates currently registered are Republicans André Jacque and Alex Renard.

From April 3rd to April 5th, Wisconsin Family Action conducted a poll of 770 voters in the May 15th Republican Primary for State Senate District 1. Among those who say they are very likely to vote in the next election, State Rep. André Jacque leads 81% to 19% over businessman Alex Renard. Counting undecideds, Jacque is the choice of 32%, compared to 7% for Renard, with 61% undecided. Even with the large number of undecideds, Renard would have to win over 70% of all undecideds, whereas Jacque would need just 30% of undecideds to break his way.

Among all GOP voters that have decided on a candidate in the May 15th special Republican primary, State Rep. André Jacque leads businessman Alex Renard 80% to 20%. Counting undecideds, Jacque has 27% of the vote, to 7% for Renard, with 67% undecided. Even with the large number of undecideds, Renard would have to win 65.4% of all undecideds, whereas Jacque would need just 34.9% of undecideds to break his way.

Looking ahead to the August Primary for US Senate, Republican voters in the 1st Senate District are starting to pick sides. Kevin Nicholson is in the lead among very likely voters with 29%, followed by Eric Hovde with 26%, followed by Leah Vukmir with 6%. 39% of voters are undecided.

Among all Republican voters, Eric Hovde takes the lead over Nicholson. Eric Hovde, who in 2012 won 5 of the 6 counties in the 1st Senate District with approximately 38% of the vote, has a greater pull with those less likely to vote, bringing him to 29.9%. Kevin Nicholson is in second place with 24%, followed by Leah Vukmir with 5%. 41% of all Republican voters in this senate district are still undecided in the US Senate race.

The poll had a 4% margin of error at a 95% confidence rate.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization actively strengthening,
preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy Available online here.

Governor Walker Signs Pro-Life Bill

Governor Walker Signs Pro-Life Bill
New law prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions of state employees

MADISON— “We’re always happy when public funding of abortion is halted,” said Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling, responding to Governor Walker signing Assembly Bill 128 into law yesterday.  Wisconsin Family Action actively supported the bill.

Appling joined other supporters of the legislation, along with legislative authors Sen. Dave Craig (R-Big Bend) and Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere), in the Governor’s office for the signing ceremony.

Assembly Bill 128 prohibits the state from purchasing employee health-insurance plans that cover elective abortions, thereby stopping taxpayers from paying for such this life-taking procedure. (more…)

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Endorses Candidates in US Senate Race

Strong candidates given pro-family group’s “seal of approval” to take on Tammy Baldwin

Madison, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) announced its endorsements for the 2018 US Senate race. In keeping with its policy of each candidate seeking WFA PAC endorsement being evaluated strictly on his/her own merits and positions on its core issues, WFA PAC has endorsed two candidates in this race: Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson.  WFA PAC director Julaine Appling issued the following statement:

“We are very encouraged that we have strong and committed candidates running for a high-level office. That doesn’t happen often. Leah Vukmir as a long-serving state legislator has been solid on our issues. Kevin Nicholson gives strong evidence for being willing to stand strong for marriage, family, life and religious freedom.

“Tammy Baldwin has for years, from the time she was in the state legislature until now as a US Senator, acted consistently with her liberal, progressive beliefs. She’s pushed for redefining marriage, promoted abortion, and believes religious freedom isn’t for individuals, only for religious institutions.  We have a great opportunity to replace Senator Baldwin with a true conservative who will champion our values.

“Sometimes in the course of governing, elected officials are asked to take tough votes. The pro-life issue is a great example. Both Kevin and Leah believe life begins at conception and deserves protection from then until natural death, without exception. However, from time to time a bill that is overall pro-life gets put forward with exceptions for rape, incest and/or life of the mother. When it becomes obvious the bill won’t pass without exceptions, even strong pro-life legislators will vote for the bill because on the whole the proposal will save babies and advance the pro-life cause.

“WFA PAC is pleased we have fine candidates willing to take on such tough votes and Tammy Baldwin. Wisconsin will be well served by either Leah Vukmir or Kevin Nicholson. We need the best we have to ensure that Tammy Baldwin and her liberal, destructive ideas are finished in Washington.”

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action Federal PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  C000506089 Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

ALERT: Vote on Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in U.S. Senate is TODAY

Today the U.S. Senate Will Vote on S. 2311, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Call Senator Ron Johnson at 202-224-5323 and Senator Tammy Baldwin at 202-224-5653 to ask them to support S. 2311. We must protect unborn babies from painful, late-term abortions.

This bill will protect the lives of the unborn, especially when substantial medical evidence indicates that the child is capable of feeling pain during an abortion procedure. By 20 weeks gestation, an unborn child has pain receptors all over his or her body.

As Congressman Chris Smith said, “Abortionists all over America decapitate, dismember, and chemically poison babies each and every day.” He called this bill a “modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old.”

CALL NOW! Vote is said to be scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. CST.

Pro-Family Group Applauds Governor Walker’s Child Tax Credit

Giving back to Wisconsin’s families is a good idea

MADISON— “Helping Wisconsin’s families by giving some of their hard-earned money back to them in the form of this credit is a great idea. It’s responsible leadership. The legislature needs to get behind this and get it done yet this session,” said Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling.

In yesterday’s State-of-the-State speech, Governor Scott Walker announced that he plans to give parents a $100 per child, per year tax credit, an initiative that this year would cost $122 million. This year the credit would be available to parents via a rebate and in subsequent years would be part of their annual income tax filing. Funds to pay for this years credit would be from the revenue surplus, which recently was projected to be more than the Department of Revenue had originally forecasted.

Governor Walker says he wants this year’s credit to reach parents before the beginning of school this fall. For this year, parents with children who were under 18 as of December 31, 2017, qualify for the credit. There is no income restriction.

Appling, noted, “Families with children are the backbone of our state. When dads and moms can get real cash in their pocket to help offset expenses related to child-rearing, that is directly helping to strengthen our best natural resource. Whether parents use this credit for school supplies or clothing or to help pay for music lessons or playing a sport or whatever the need or want may be, this is a good use of surplus revenue. Families can do much more with $100 per child than the state can. No contest there, for sure,” Appling noted.

“We would note, however, that even better than a tax credit would be for the state to do better budgeting. What we ultimately need is to let families keep more of their money in the first place. Let’s get Wisconsin out of being a high-taxed state. I’m pretty sure that would give families a lot more than $100 per child.

“Governor Walker is working hard to help Wisconsin families, and we applaud this pro-family proposal. Further, we urge the state legislature to make it a priority in the closing weeks of the session. If there’s anything elected officials should be able to agree on, it’s helping families help their children.” concluded Appling.

The current legislative session will be over no later than mid-March and could be done sooner.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization actively strengthening,
preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

Breaking: Efforts to Advance Ethical Research Thwarted by Senate Leaders

Though cosponsored by nearly a third of the Wisconsin Legislature, the Heal Without Harm Initiative – a set of bills that would ensure fetal tissue research in Wisconsin continues without controversy – lingers in committee without action.  The Fetal Remains Respect Act (SB 423/AB 549) and the Unborn Child Disposition and Anatomical Gift Act (SB 424/AB 550), authored by Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc), would ban the sale and use of body parts from aborted babies and inform parents about the ability to donate their miscarried or stillborn child’s tissue.

Initial introduction of the Senate bills was delayed by legislative leaders for months.  Even though the bills received a hearing before the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety in early November, Committee Chair Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) has yet to hold a vote on the bills.  Senator Wanggaard’s office has indicated that the Chair will not schedule a committee vote until a majority of Senators consent to vote for the bill on the Senate floor. (more…)

Action Alert: State Senators Fitzgerald and Wanggaard

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) need to hear from you immediately!

The Heal Without Harm (HWH) Legislative Initiative – SB 423/AB 549 and SB 424/AB 550 (Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, and Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc) – would ban the sale and use of the body parts of aborted babies and instead encourage the donation of tissue for research from children who are stillborn or miscarried.

Currently, SB 423 and SB 424 have received public hearings, but Senate Judiciary and Public Safety committee Chair Senator Van Wanggaard has indicated he will not advance the bills out of committee unless Senators make their support for these bills known.  However, Chair Wanggaard has advanced numerous bills through his committee with fewer Senate co-sponsors and with far less Senator support at the public hearing.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald supports this highly unusual delay in getting these bills out of committee. However, there are no Senate rules requiring bills to have sufficient floor votes in order to be voted out of committee; and many bills advance out of committee without prior knowledge of who will vote in favor of or against them on the floor.

The public has a right to know what committee members think about the Heal Without Harm Initiative.

Please:

  1. Call Senator Fitzgerald at 608-266-5660 and urge that a committee vote on SB 423 and SB 424 be held ASAP.   
  2. Call Senator Wanggaard at 608-266-1832 and urge him to hold a committee vote on SB 423 and SB 424 ASAP.

The Senate will convene on January 23 for one of the last times this session. Tell Senators Fitzgerald and Wanggaard to support the democratic process and hold an executive session on these bills now!   Committee action now means the Senate could vote on these bills on January 23!

Questions?  Take some time to visit the HWH Q&A to learn more about this critical issue.
Thank you for standing with us for life!

Take Action: Responsibility for education lies with parents

The Senate Education Committee recently held a public hearing on two bills regarding federal- and state-mandated standardized tests in public, charter, opportunity and choice schools. Senate Bill 222 requires school districts to consolidate and publicize information about each test, including grades administered in, reason for the test, and what the district will do with the results. Senate Bill 234 makes it clear that no matter the grade-level where a state or federal standardized test is given, parents can opt their children out of these tests.

Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) and Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) are the lead authors on the bills. They believe parents are responsible for the education of their children and that schools should take reasonable actions to help them in making wise educational decisions. Both of these common-sense, parent-focused bills have already passed in the state assembly; they just need a senate vote.

Call your state senator today and ask them to support Senate Bills 222 and 234.
Find your legislator HERE. (Simply enter your address into the search box in the upper right-hand corner.)

Pro-Family, Pro-Liberty Organizations Share Christmas Message in State Capitol “Merry Christmas” sign and nativity sets greet visitors this season

MADISON—Each year for the past 22 years, Wisconsin Family Council (WFC), the educational arm of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), has displayed a Merry Christmas sign in the State Capitol Rotunda. The sign not only wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, but reminds viewers of the real reason for the season—Jesus Christ, mankind’s Savior.

Today Wisconsin Family Council once again put up the sign in the capitol while Wisconsin Family Action placed an accompanying nativity display.

“Celebrating Christ’s birth is a Christian celebration, an American holiday and a Wisconsin tradition,” said Julaine Appling, president of WFA and WFC.  “The Germans who played such an important role in settling our state brought this great tradition with them.”

The First Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits government from interfering with religion and guarantees citizens the right to exercise their religion, including celebrating Christmas, both in the privacy of their homes and in the public square.

Appling continued, “Thousands of visitors come to our beautiful state capitol during the holiday season to enjoy the gorgeous state Christmas tree with all the handmade ornaments. We are honored to be able to exercise our religious freedom and have our display in the rotunda as a silent but powerful witness to the truth of Christmas and to offer hope to all those who see it.”

The sign and the nativity will be on display on the First Floor Rotunda from today through December 31, 2017.

Merry Christmas to all!

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization actively strengthening,
preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

Call TODAY: Move the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative Forward

Your legislators need to hear from you!

The Heal Without Harm (HWH) Legislative Initiative – SB 423/AB 549 and SB 424/AB 550 (Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls and Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc) – would ban the sale and use of aborted fetal body parts and instead encourage the donation of tissue from children who are stillborn or miscarried for use in research.

Currently, SB 423 and SB 424 have received public hearings, but Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Chair Van Wanggaard has indicated he will not advance the bills out of committee unless Senators make their support for these bills known. AB 550 has received a public hearing and will be voted out of committee thanks to the quick action of Assembly Health Committee Chair Joe Sanfelipppo. AB 549 has been separated from AB 550 and was sent to the Assembly Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee chaired by Representative John Spiros and has yet to receive a public hearing.

Please call your State Senator ASAP and urge him/her to do the following:
Support SB 423 and SB 424 and make that support known by contacting Sen. Van Wanggaard.
Ask Sen. Waggaard to hold an executive session on SB 423 and SB 424 and vote to advance these bills out of committee ASAP.

Please call your State Representative ASAP and urge him/her to do the following:
Ask Rep. John Spiros to hold a public hearing and executive session on AB 549 ASAP.

Don’t know your State Senator and State Representative?  Go to legis.wisconsin.gov and type in your home address under “Find My Legislators” or call the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-362-9472.  After you call your Senator, contact the HWH Coalition with any feedback you received.

Questions?  Take some time to visit our HWH Q&A to learn more about this critical issue.

City of De Pere – Contact Info for Mayor & Aldermen

Mayor Michael Walsh
Phone 920-339-4040
Email [email protected]

Alderman Larry Lueck (First District)
Phone 920-339-8339
Email [email protected]

Alderman James Boyd (First District)
Phone920-336-0305
Email [email protected]

Alderman Jonathon Hansen (Second District)
Phone 920-425-4265
Email [email protected]

Alderman Dan Raasch (Third District)
Phone 920-217-3648
Email [email protected]

Alderman Scott Crevier (Third District)
Phone 920-940-8683
Email [email protected]

Alderman Casey Nelson (Fourth District)
Phone 920-277-3296
Email [email protected]

Alderman Dan Carpenter (Fourth District)
Phone 920-609-2640
Email [email protected]

 

 

 

 

De Pere, you have a problem – and it’s up to you to TAKE ACTION

WHAT: De Pere Common Council Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: City Hall, Council Chambers, 335 S. Broadway, De Pere, WI
HERE’S THE “WHY”: Your De Pere Common Council will be voting on Tuesday, November 7, on an ordinance they declare is “anti-discriminatory” in nature. The ordinance prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and places of public accommodation against some 20-odd groups of protected classes of citizens. Included among those classes is “gender identity/gender expression.”

Do you think private businesses in De Pere should be forced to allow men in the women’s restrooms or changing rooms? Should churches or religious organizations that encourage the public to attend their services be forced to allow men in the women’s restrooms or changing rooms or vice versa?
The City of De Pere proposed ordinance was recently introduced by Alderperson Casey Nelson, who just this past April was elected to the Common Council. The earliest reference we can find to this policy is in the minutes from the September 12, 2017 Finance/Personnel Committee meeting.
The Board of Health passed the proposed ordinance on Monday, October 23. Alderman Nelson and Alderman Ryan Jennings are on the Board of Health. Now the full Common Council will consider the ordinance for a vote on Tuesday, November 7.  The public will be given an opportunity to express their opinion on this proposed policy/ordinance. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) Call your common council member, the mayor and all of the members of the council expressing your concern and opinion. Click HERE to access contact information for the De Pere mayor and Common Council members.
2) Share this information with other residents of De Pere. Encourage them to contact their council member and also attend the meeting on Tuesday, November 7.
3) Make sure your pastor and ministry leaders know about the meeting on Tuesday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall in the Council Chambers, 335 S. Broadway, De Pere.
4) Pray! Pray that God will change hearts and minds of the decision makers the good people of De Pere have elected to the Common Council.

For more information on how this ordinance could impact local businesses, religious ministries, etc., click HERE.

Wisconsin Heal Without Harm ACTION ALERT

Your help is needed NOW! Efforts are underway to end the trafficking and use of aborted unborn children in Wisconsin. The Heal Without Harm (HWH) Legislative Initiative – Senate Bill 423 and Senate Bill 424, both authored by Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), would ban the trade and use of aborted fetal body parts and instead encourage the ethical donation of tissue from children who are stillborn or miscarried.

Neither bill has received a public hearing, and time is running short. If the bills do not receive a public hearing and pass out of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee before November 3rd, they will not become law this session. (more…)

ACTION ALERT: Moving Pro-Life Bills Promptly in Wisconsin

Seven months after two bills were given to State Senate President Republican Roger Roth, they are now finally formally introduced. Senate rules stipulate that the Senate President is to “promptly” introduce bills given to him from senate authors. Introduction includes getting a bill number and a committee assignment, the first major steps in the legislative process. (more…)

Citizen Activist Groups Launch Statewide Campaign To Stop Largest Expansion of Gambling in Wisconsin’s History

Last week, Rep. Tyler Vorpagel (R-Plymouth) circulated a co-sponsorship memo for LRB 2122, a bill proposing to “legalize” and “regulate” Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games.  The bill would legalize online gambling and represents the largest expansion of gambling in Wisconsin’s history.

In response, Wisconsin Family Action and Citizens Against Expanded Gambling have launched a statewide campaign to oppose this massive expansion of gambling.  Combined, these two groups represent over 22,000 Wisconsin citizens who oppose any expansion of gambling. These citizens are being encouraged to contact their legislators and hold them accountable.

Additionally, a digital awareness campaign, statewide robo calls to citizens who oppose online gambling, a statewide tele-townhall briefing and legislative office visits are underway.  “We’ve  jointly  held statewide information forums on this issue to educate citizens about the dangers of expanded gambling with an emphasis on legalizing DFS.  To date, we’ve held 14 events with over 550 attending. We have 8 more scheduled for this fall.  When the people find out the truth about this issue, they are appalled and  committed to doing what they can to stop it,” says Lorri Pickens, Executive Director of Citizens Against Expanded Gambling.

The proposed “Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) bill” allows the state to force internet gambling into nearly every home, every dorm room and onto every smart phone in the state, a far greater expansion of commercialized gambling than constituents, legislators and state media have been led to believe.

“The point of this DFS bill is to give the appearance of regulation and create the impression this is being done on behalf of consumers. However, no consumer protection groups are advocating for DFS. Only the industry itself is advocating for ‘legalizing’ and ‘regulating’—a situation which should give any lawmaker pause,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action. “What industry has ever sought to regulate itself?”

Gambling expansion in Wisconsin is currently occurring in multiple ways:

  1. The Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature approved $143 million in expansion for four of the tribe’s six gaming facilities.
  2. The proposed 2017-2018 Wisconsin State Budget calls for a $1 million increase in lottery advertising to increase the number of tickets sold annually.
  3. Proposed off-reservation casinos in Beloit and Shullsburg are pending approval from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

As is well documented, gambling is addictive; and opening up online gambling, such as DFS, will result in more problem gamblers, more gambler indebtedness, and more broken families. Online gambling does not put money back into the economy; but rather makes it more difficult for problem gamblers in particular to be productive, contributing citizens, helping to enrich the local and state economy.

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Copy available online here.

Breaking: Wisconsin Family Council Joins Friend-of-the-Court Brief in Masterpiece Cakeshop Case

Madison, WIWisconsin Family Council President Julaine Appling released the following statement regarding the organization‘s participation in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Jack Philips and Masterpiece Cakeshop.

“As part of its mission to defend free speech and religious liberty, Wisconsin Family Council joined 32 other pro-family policy organizations in filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court last week in support of a small business owner’s religious freedom rights.  CLICK HERE to read the brief.

The ‘friend-of-the-court’ brief was filed last Thursday in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case that will be going before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. The question before the court is whether Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, can be forced by the government to convey a message that goes against his religious beliefs.

In July 2012, two men asked Jack to bake a cake for their wedding ceremony. Jack explained that he would gladly serve them any other baked-good they wanted, but that he could not design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.

Drafted by National Review Institute’s David French, the brief celebrates the long standing American tradition of allowing individuals and business owners to live their lives in accordance with their conscience, free from government retribution. It cites historical Supreme Court cases and current stories of people refusing to communicate a message that would violate their conscience.

‘This brief will relate stories of artists who refused to reproduce Bible verses they found objectionable, design clothing for politicians they dislike, or to recreate flags of American enemies,’ the brief says. ‘But it will also go beyond, illustrating how corporations now view the decision to do business itself as a political act, granting or withholding economic opportunity on the basis of the rights of conscience of their leaders, employees, and shareholders.’

The bottom line is that diversity of opinion in a pluralistic society is one of America’s strengths. From students and athletes declining to rise for the pledge of allegiance, to Walmart refusing to sell Confederate paraphernalia, to fashion designers refusing to make dresses for Melania Trump because they disagree with her husband’s politics, Americans understand that no one should be forced to participate in an event or communicate a message with which they disagree.”

Free Speech Victory in Dane County Court: Judge To Issue Order Recognizing Right of Artistic Expression of Madison Photographer/Blogger

MADISON, WI – “This is a huge win for free speech in Wisconsin,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.  “As our good friends at Alliance Defending Freedom keep reminding everyone, no one should be threated with punishment for having views that the government doesn’t favor.”

Earlier this year Amy Lawson, a professional photographer and blogger who works out of her Madison home, filed what is known as a “pre-enforcement challenge” lawsuit against the City of Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, alleging that the city’s public accommodations ordinance and the state’s public accommodations law prohibit her from conducting her business, Amy Lynn Photography Studio, according to the dictates of her conscience and beliefs. Lawson argued the ordinance and law even force her to use her creative expression in support of activities she doesn’t agree with, including same-sex marriage and abortion.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Neiss determined in yesterday’s court hearing in the case Amy Lynn Photography Studio v. City of Madison  that he would resolve the matter by issuing an order that declares Amy Lawson and her home-based business are not subject to the city’s public accommodations ordinance or the state’s public accomodations law. Both the state and the city agreed to this resolution.

Appling commented, “What this decision means is that creative professionals in Wisconsin and in Madison, those who like Amy don’t have storefronts, have the freedom to determine what ideas they will promote using their artistic talents. In other words, the City of Madison and the State of Wisconsin can’t punish these professionals for exercising their freedom of speech artistically, even if the city or state disagrees with what they are saying.”

Amy Lawson and her photography studio were represented by attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom.

The court has not yet issued the order but that is expected to happen in the near future.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

WFA to register in favor of AB 206/attend hearing today – stops UW from performing abortions

July 17, 2017 – Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling will attend the Assembly Committee on Science and Technology tomorrow at the state capitol and register favor of Assembly Bill 206 (companion bill SB 154) which prohibits both the UW System and Clinics Authority employees from performing abortions during the scope of their employment. The bills were introduced by State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere) and State Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) respectively. (more…)

Wisconsin Family Action Commends Legislators for Reining in Lottery “Advertising” Budget

MADISON, WI – “Finally, a bill that addresses the unconstitutional advertising of the state lottery and saves taxpayers money,” says Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.

Earlier this week State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) and Assembly Representative Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) announced they have authored a bill that will cap the amount of spending for “informational advertising” for the Wisconsin lottery at $5 million annually. Currently, the cap is $7.5 million.  Governor Walker has proposed an additional $6 million be added to the  lottery’s “informational advertising” budget in an effort to increase lottery ticket sales. Research shows that more advertising does not directly increase ticket sales.

In 1986, Wisconsin voters approved the lottery in a statewide referendum which included the provision that no “promotional” advertising of the lottery could be done using public funds or monies created through the lottery operation. The lottery commission has deemed their advertising as “product information.” They believe as long as the odds are given in an advertisement, then it isn’t advertising but rather “product information.”

The bill also requires that the information regarding odds be readily decipherable by the average viewer or listener by requiring that a human voice speak the information at a normal rate of speed.

Appling commented, “Thanks to Senator Risser and Representative Hutton at least with this bill the so-called ‘product information’ will be more than a blur on a tv or a voice speaking four times faster than normal. It’s time we stop being disingenuous on this ‘product information’ for the lottery. Let the good citizens of this state know that their odds of winning are ridiculously low.”

The lottery was originally approved with the idea of giving property owners a property tax credit. Over the last 10 years, the average lottery-generated property tax credit has been $93.[1]

“Capping the questionable advertising expenditures will make more funds available to property tax owners rather than hope that additional ‘product information’ results in additional ticket sales,” said Appling. “That’s a responsible position for the government.”

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.          

[1]https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lfb/informational_papers/january_2017/0021_state_property_tax_credits_informational_paper_21.pdf Accessed 6/29/17

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action Commends Joint Finance Committee for Eliminating Statewide Same-Sex Only Domestic Partnership Registry

MADISON, WI – Yesterday, the state legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC)  approved on a party-line vote a budget motion that puts an end to the state’s statewide same-sex-only domestic partnership registry.

This registry became law as a part of Democrat Governor Jim Doyle’s 2009-2011 budget and was an effort to undermine Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment passed in 2006 by more than 59% of the voters. The registry in essential ways mimics marriage and gives numerous benefis to unmarried same-sex couples as if they are married.

The budget proposal would go into effect six months after the bill is enacted and grandfathers in existing domestic partnerships.

Two years ago this month, the United States Supreme Court decided in Obergefall v. Hodges that Wisconsin’s voters have no right to determine what marriage will be in this state and foisted marriage for same-sex couples on the entire country.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said, “Since this registry was enacted, we have been working to repeal it. Not only does it undermine marriage, but it promotes discriminatory co-habitation. Now that the US Supreme Court has waved its magic wand and overridden the will of the people on marriage, there is no reason for this registry. Same-sex couples can get government-offered benefits of marriage by marrying. The state is rightly dismantling this unfair and detrimental registry.”

During the JFC discussion yesterday, Democrat Representative Katrina Shankland (Stevens Point) argued that rather than do away with the registry that it should be expanded to include heterosexual couples. The majority of JFC members rightly determined promoting marriage was a better approach than encouraging government-sponsored co-habitation.

“We are grateful for Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt initiating this proposal and for Representatives John Nygren and Dale Kooyenga for making the official motion as JFC members. The twelve members of JFC who supported the motion got it exactly right. It’s time for this discriminatory registry to go and to stop pretending this registry is good or fair. It came in through the budget; it needs to be rescinded the same way,” noted Appling.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Online copy available here.

Wisconsin Family Action Responds to President Trump’s Executive Order on Religious Freedom

MADISON, WI – The following is a statement from Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling on President Trump’s religious freedom Executive Order, signed earlier today.

“Religious freedom and rights of conscience have been severely undermined in America in recent years. The Executive Order signed today by President Donald Trump represents a good first step towards restoring needed protection for those precious rights and the beginning of fulfillment of his campaign promises to protect the religious freedoms of Americans. But it is only a step.

“The previous administration created a climate of hostility towards religion and the right of Americans to live out their faith freely. Across the country employers, faith-based schools and charities have been forced to choose between their faith and continuing to operate for the good of our economy and society.

“While we welcome the signing of today’s Executive Order, on behalf of the thousands of citizens our organization represents and in concert with the 39 state family policy councils with whom we  are in alliance, we call on President Trump and his administration to work towards completely fulfilling his pledge to protect religious freedom. As President Trump said in the Rose Garden this morning, ‘For too long the Federal government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith, bullying and even punishing Americans for following their religious beliefs.’

“Today’s Executive Order represents a start towards reversing this unwarranted government discrimination. Wisconsin Family Action will continue to work for a Wisconsin and an America where religious freedom flourishes and families thrive.”

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

ALERT: TONIGHT Sun Prairie transgender ordinance “wrong and dangerous.” City Council meeting May 2 at 7 p.m.

Leaders in Sun Prairie are considering two ordinances that would protect people based on their gender identity or gender expression.

The city would be one of only a handful in Wisconsin to have an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.

Read a media account HERE.
Proposed ordinances are available HERE. (Go to pp. 21-29. They are in the report from the Diversity Ad Hoc Committee)

WFA president, Julaine Appling, weighs in, “This idea is wrong and dangerous. Local government has no right to force private businesses to allow men to use the women’s restrooms and changing rooms and vice versa. This is also a gross violation of the privacy rights of all citizens. Sun Prairie citizens concerned about this proposed ordinance need to show up at the May 2 city council meeting.”

Note: The meeting will take place in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall at 300 E. Main St. in Downtown Sun Prairie at 7 p.m.

Candidate Information – State Superintendent of Public Instruction

WISCONSIN SPRING GENERAL ELECTION
TUESDAY, APRIL 4, 2017

The only statewide competitive race on the ballot is for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Incumbent Tony Evers is being challenged by Lowell Holtz. Here are two candidate comparison charts for that race:

WISCONSIN FAMILY COUNCIL EDUCATIONAL INFO ON EVERS & HOLTZ (suitable for churches)

GENERAL INFORMATION COMPARISON ON EVERS & HOLTZ (not suitable for churches)

Wisconsin Family Action PAC-Endorsed Candidate Moves on to General Election

Holtz garners second-most votes in Primary for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Madison, WI – Dr. Lowell Holtz, candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, took the second highest vote total in yesterday’s statewide primary election. Incumbent Tony Evers placed first, with John Humphries placing a distant third. Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) endorsed Dr. Holtz earlier this month.  Evers and Holtz move on to the general election on Tuesday, April 4.

WFA PAC director Julaine Appling said, “We congratulate Dr. Holtz on yesterday’s election. Primary elections are never easy—and spring nonpartisan elections are notoriously difficult. All things considered he put in a solid performance.

“We believe Dr. Holtz is well positioned to go head to head with Tony Evers in the general election.  He provides a stark contrast with Dr. Evers on many issues, including school choice and Common Core. Wisconsin voters who are concerned about these issues as well as wanting to hold public schools accountable while ensuring they are doing an excellent job of educating children should vote for Dr. Holtz in April.

“WFA PAC believes it is time for a real change at the Department of Public Instruction and that Dr. Holtz, with his experience, expertise, and beliefs, is the change we need. We wish Dr. Holtz the very best as he campaigns over the next six weeks and urge Wisconsin voters to plan now to go to polls and vote for him on April 4.”

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Endorses Dr. Lowell Holtz for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Madison, WI – Today Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) announced it has endorsed Dr. Lowell Holtz, candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Julaine Appling, WFA PAC director, made the following statement:

“We are honored to endorse a candidate of the caliber of Dr. Lowell Holtz for this important office. Dr. Holtz’s personal educational preparation and attainment, coupled with his hands-on experience are extremely well suited for this position. But more important to us is his character and his positions on the critical issues surrounding education today.

“Dr. Holtz understands that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Public Instruction don’t need to be adversarial to school choice. He rightly believes parents, not the state, are ultimately responsible for the education of their children; and he is therefore rightly supportive of giving parents more options for fulfilling that responsibility. We’ve not had a State Superintendent of Public Instruction with that mindset for decades. This is the election where that needs to change.
Read more here.

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