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ACTION ALERT: CALL state sen/state rep NOW about proposed STAY AT HOME RULE

Following the Supreme Court of Wisconsin’s ruling striking down Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order, Gov. Tony Evers today approved a statement of scope (DHS 145) developed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)

READ THE “SCOPE STATEMENT” HERE.

EMAIL OR CALL all members of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) COMMITTEE regarding your thoughts on the Governor’s new proposed “safer at home” order and how it affects your family and/or business and ask him/her to push back against the order.

***If you are a constituent of any member of JCRAR, please list “CONSTITUENT” in the subject line of your email. This is VERY important, as constituent emails mean more. If you are not sure if you are a constituent of any of the members of JCRAR, you can find this information HERE – Enter your address at the top right to find out who your Senator/Representative is.

PLEASE EMAIL AND/OR CALL ALL SENATORS/REPRESENTATIVES the following (copy/paste):
Senator or Representative
Representative Ballweg (Co-Chair) (R) (608) 266-8077
Senator Nass (Co-Chair) (R) (608) 266-2635
Representative Neylon (Vice-Chair) (R) (608) 266-5120
Senator Stroebel (Vice-Chair) (R) (608) 266-7513
Senator Craig(R) (608) 266-5400
Senator Larson(D) (608) 266-7505
Senator Wirch(D) (608) 267-8979
Representative Quinn (R) (608) 266-2519
Representative Hebl (D) (608) 266-7678
Representative Subeck (D) (608) 266-7521

Email addresses to easily copy/paste:
Rep.Ballweg@legis.wisconsin.gov;
Sen.Nass@legis.wisconsin.gov;
Rep.Neylon@legis.wisconsin.gov;
Sen.Stroebel@legis.wisconsin.gov;
Sen.Craig@legis.wisconsin.gov;
Sen.Larson@legis.wisconsin.gov;
Sen.Wirch@legis.wisconsin.gov;
Rep.Quinn@legis.wisconsin.gov;
Rep.Hebl@legis.wisconsin.gov;
Rep.Subeck@legis.wisconsin.gov;

BREAKING: Wisconsin citizens call on Governor Evers to open Wisconsin

WISCONSIN CITIZENS CALL ON GOVERNOR EVERS TO OPEN WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Family Action leads petition to reverse extended stay-at-home order

MADISON, WI Today, Wisconsin Family Action launched a statewide online petition calling on Governor Evers to stop extending the time Wisconsin is shut down and instead begin taking positive steps to open the state for business, including allowing some church services again.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said, “We are grateful the efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state have worked and our numbers have stayed quite low. In fact, as of today, seven counties have not reported even one case of the virus. We’ve flattened the curve; so it’s time to begin opening Wisconsin for business again. However, and very disappointingly, Governor Evers is prolonging the time we have to keep our places of commerce, education, and religion shuttered. We believe Governor Evers needs to hear loudly from the people of Wisconsin that we think his new emergency order is misguided and will hurt our state and its families more than help.”

The individual signed petitions will be printed and mailed to the governor on a regular basis.

“Forty-five of our 72 counties are reporting 10 or fewer positive cases of the virus. Let’s keep exercising common sense, responsible distancing, and good hygiene to make sure we keep this illness contained. But it’s counterproductive to keep the entire state closed, causing untold harm to so many individuals and families. That’s the message we want Governor Evers to hear and heed,” noted Appling.

The petition is available HERE.

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CALL GOV EVERS TODAY: Non-essential surgeries are canceled across Wisconsin, BUT ABORTIONS CONTINUE

NON-ESSENTIAL SURGERIES ARE CANCELED ACROSS THE STATE, BUT ABORTIONS CONTINUE.

YOU HEARD US RIGHT.

Yesterday Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued Emergency Order #12, Safer at Home Order, which states that “the number of people needing medical care due to COVID-19 will significantly exceed the amount of available healthcare resources (and)…the entire State of Wisconsin – including residents, businesses, community organizations, and government – need to take all possible actions to reduce further spread of COVID-19 to save lives.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? The emergency order stops all non-essential business and operations through April 24, with the exception of healthcare and public health operations including, but not limited to, hospitals, medical facilities, clinics, and ambulatory surgery centers for response to urgent health issues or related COVID-19 activities. More importantly, it states that “Healthcare and Public Health Operations shall be broadly construed to avoid any impediments to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined.”

ABORTIONS CONTINUE ACROSS WISCONSIN. WHY? Because this order does not specifically exclude abortion providers as essential healthcare and public health operators, Wisconsin’s surgical and chemical abortion facilities will be allowed to continue killing preborn children in a “business as usual” manner without fear of repercussion.

Abortion is NOT healthcare, and it certainly is not “essential” healthcare. It is an elective procedure that kills innocent preborn human beings.

WHAT ABOUT PROTECTING OUR HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS? At a time when medical resources are crucial to the survival of those who are critically ill or severely affected by the Coronavirus crisis, non-essential procedures contribute to the community spread of COVID-19 and put more people, specifically healthcare workers and patients, and then the GREATER COMMUNITY, at very high risk. The personal protective equipment (PPE) (i.e., masks, gowns, etc.) that is already in short supply continues to be used by abortion facilities to kill babies, either by ELECTIVE surgical abortions or by ELECTIVE chemical abortions.

BY THE NUMBERS: There are 808 abortion facilities in the United States and 2,600 abortions that occur EVERY DAY. If there is a minimum of three people that come in contact with each abortion, that equates to 7,800 PPE masks used every day. Hospitals, where people’s lives are actually saved, are pleading to have volunteers make PPE masks to supply the demand.

Governor Evers continues to allow babies to be killed by abortion while claiming to be doing everything he possibly can do to avert a state and national disaster. TELL HIM TO STOP NOW.

Please CONTACT Governor Evers NOW and urge him to

Immediately SHUT DOWN Wisconsin’s abortion facilities for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency order. Abortion is NOT healthcare and will result in killing preborn children, spreading the deadly Coronavirus and using up scarce medical supplies.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Call Governor Evers at (608) 266-1212 or send a message on his official website HEREEvery minute that we allow to go by more lives become at risk and more children will lose their lives at the hands of abortionists across Wisconsin. Please don’t hesitate. Pick up your phone and call now!

Wisconsin Family Action is 100% pro-life from conception to natural death. We are appalled at the continuance of abortion across The Badger State during this critical time in the history of Wisconsin, and every day, and will continue to take our place on the front lines with partners like you on behalf of the unborn.

President Trump Declares Sunday, March 15, National Day of Prayer for All Americans

 
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR ALL AMERICANS AFFECTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND FOR OUR NATIONAL RESPONSE EFFORTS
 
– – – – – – –
 
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
 
A PROCLAMATION

In our times of greatest need, Americans have always turned to prayer to help guide us through trials and periods of uncertainty.  As we continue to face the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are unable to gather in their churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship.  But in this time we must not cease asking God for added wisdom, comfort, and strength, and we must especially pray for those who have suffered harm or who have lost loved ones.  I ask you to join me in a day of prayer for all people who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and to pray for God’s healing hand to be placed on the people of our Nation.

As your President, I ask you to pray for the health and well-being of your fellow Americans and to remember that no problem is too big for God to handle.  We should all take to heart the holy words found in 1 Peter 5:7:  “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.”  Let us pray that all those affected by the virus will feel the presence of our Lord’s protection and love during this time.  With God’s help, we will overcome this threat.

On Friday, I declared a national emergency and took other bold actions to help deploy the full power of the Federal Government to assist with efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.  I now encourage all Americans to pray for those on the front lines of the response, especially our Nation’s outstanding medical professionals and public health officials who are working tirelessly to protect all of us from the coronavirus and treat patients who are infected; all of our courageous first responders, National Guard, and dedicated individuals who are working to ensure the health and safety of our communities; and our Federal, State, and local leaders.  We are confident that He will provide them with the wisdom they need to make difficult decisions and take decisive actions to protect Americans all across the country.  As we come to our Father in prayer, we remember the words found in Psalm 91:  “He is my refuge and my fortress:  my God; in him will I trust.”

As we unite in prayer, we are reminded that there is no burden too heavy for God to lift or for this country to bear with His help.  Luke 1:37 promises that “For with God nothing shall be impossible,” and those words are just as true today as they have ever been.  As one Nation under God, we are greater than the hardships we face, and through prayer and acts of compassion and love, we will rise to this challenge and emerge stronger and more united than ever before.  May God bless each of you, and may God bless the United States of America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 15, 2020, as a National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for our National Response Efforts.  I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers for all those affected, including people who have suffered harm or lost loved ones.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
DONALD J. TRUMP

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The White House · 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW · Washington, DC 20500-0003 · USA · 202-456-1111

Action Alert: WFA president asks citizens to weigh in on dangerous ban on talk therapy/counseling by 11 a.m. Tuesday 1/28

TODAY, Tuesday, January 28, at 11 a.m. the Wisconsin Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board will hold a public hearing at 4822 Madison Yards Way (Hill Farms State Office Building), Room N208, in Madison.

CLICK HERE to send email NOW

(SEE TALKING POINTS BELOW)

Also, send an email to Jon Derenee, Director at DSPSAdminRules@wisconsin.gov.  

The purpose of the hearing is to consider a permanent rule relating to unethical and unprofessional conduct.

Administrative Code Chapter Affected: Ch. MPSW 20 (Revised)

Part of the changes being proposed greatly concern us:

  • Adding gender and gender identity to the list of protected classes in the anti-discrimination language. (section (8) of the proposed rule change)
  • Determining that using or promoting “any intervention or method that has the purpose of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including attempting to change behaviors or expressions of self or to reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender” would constitute unethical or unprofessional conduct.

Essentially this rule would ban talk therapy or counseling that warns people that certain behaviors related to sexual behavior or gender identity can be dangerous or that offers a different approach or way of thinking (including exposing people to God’s design and plan) could result in the therapist, counselor or social worker being disciplined, up to and including losing their license.

CLICK HERE to send email NOW

(SEE TALKING POINTS BELOW)

Also, send an email to Jon Derenee, Director at DSPSAdminRules@wisconsin.gov.  

This proposal is uniquely different from the bill that is before the state legislature (AB 111/SB 107) that would prohibit certain mental health providers from engaging in so-called “conversion therapy” (i.e., talk therapy/counseling) with minors dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender confusion and from similar ordinances that have passed in several communities in the last couple of years. First, this rule is not restricted to minors; it applies to anyone at any age. Second, nothing about a “fee for services” is mentioned, meaning whether or not money for services is exchanged, this rule would apply. Third, the rule provides no religious exemption/exception.

Citizens wanting to be part of the public record on this issue, must submit their written comments by email no later than 11 a.m. tomorrow morning, or they can make an appearance before the Board.

Eventually, the state legislature will have an opportunity to review this proposal; but that is down the road a bit.

CLICK HERE to send email NOW

(SEE TALKING POINTS BELOW)

Also, send an email to Jon Derenee, Director at DSPSAdminRules@wisconsin.gov.  

We believe this is an end-run around the normal legislative process, done to expedite these changes and keep people like the governor from having to actually sign-off on the language.

Wisconsin Family Action strongly opposes this proposed rule change, which if passed, will have the full weight and effect of a law in our state. Christians who have a license as a marriage and family therapist or a professional counselor or a social worker would be directly impacted by this rule, even to the point of losing their license and thereby potentially losing their livelihood.

CLICK HERE to send email NOW

Also, send an email to Jon Derenee, Director at DSPSAdminRules@wisconsin.gov.  

Below are some helpful “talking points” to assist you with your message:

  • Removing the word sex and replacing it with gender and gender identity in the discrimination rule changes the meaning of sex, which the federal government has affirmed refers to one’s biological makeup. Gender and sex are not the same. Gender is a politically correct idea that is not founded in science, whereas sex is a biological, scientific reality. The state has not equated these terms either. No agency should get to make this decision.
  • Marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers have First Amendment rights of freedom of speech. Section 25 essentially forces all holding these licenses to give only one form of speech when it comes to treating someone dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender confusion. Talk therapy is an intervention or method used by many therapists, counselors and social workers to help people make wise decisions. Their not being able to warn people about what can happen as a result of acting on their attractions and/or confusion is irresponsible at best.
  • We all agree that bullying, intimidation, shock therapy, or any kind of truly abusive behavior is wrong and is truly unethical and unprofessional conduct. But talking to people about realities, about biological truth, and educating them on risks is what good counselors, therapists and social workers should all have the right to do.

STATE ASSEMBLY PUTS ADULT DESIRES ABOVE BEST INTEREST OF CHILDREN

STATE ASSEMBLY PUTS ADULT DESIRES ABOVE BEST INTEREST OF CHILDREN
Vote this week weakens institution of marriage & removes protective measure for children

MADISON, WI – This past Tuesday during its floor session, the Wisconsin State Assembly, under its Republican majority leadership, rammed through a bill that not only weakens the institution of marriage but puts children involved with a divorce at a much greater risk of confusion and trauma.

Assembly Bill 439, authored by Republicans Representative Cindi Duchow (Pewaukee) and Senator Alberta Darling (River Hills), completely eliminates the waiting period for remarriage after a divorce is finalized. Currently the waiting period is six (6) months and has been that for decades. The vote on the bill was done by a voice vote, which is quickly called for and accomplished by the gaveling of the speaker pro tem who is in charge of the session. Using a voice vote means individual representatives do not have an opportunity to record an identifiable “yes” or “no” vote on the bill, which essentially means no one can be held individually responsible or accountable.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, responds to the vote.

“It was obvious from the moment this bill was introduced that Republican leadership was determined to pass it. In the public hearing I offered two very reasonable ideas for amendments: keep a waiting period of some sort for couples with minor children and rather than eliminate the waiting period entirely for everyone, reduce it to 3 months. The authors were not in any way interested in those ideas, nor was the committee chair.”

“Divorce, even in the best of circumstances, takes a toll on everyone involved. The adults need a cooling-off period and children definitely need some processing time before one or both parents launch into a new marriage. The state has a vested interested in marriage primarily because the state cares, or should care, a great deal about the next generation. Research, anecdotal evidence and common sense all show children are tremendously impacted when their parents divorce. They are at risk of negative outcomes in basically every area of their lives. When a remarriage happens, it’s another whole set of adjustments and realities children must deal with, like the total realization that their mom and dad are never going to get back together again, in addition to blended family challenges. Their world really is off kilter. A judicious waiting period helps protect children. The state Assembly just jettisoned that protection. Essentially, the Republican leadership forced a vote on its members that puts adult desires ahead of the well-being and best interest of children.

“Marriage as institution is weakened by this bill, as well. Statistics continue to show that second marriages are at a higher risk of divorce than are first marriages. Wisconsin already has the worst divorce laws in the country.  With our “no-fault/no-contest” divorce laws, getting a divorce is as simple as telling a court you want one. Passing such a bill contributes to more second, third and beyond marriages that are more likely to dissolve than go the distance, thereby weakening the foundational institution of marriage. From an economic perspective, more divorces, means more taxpayer money spent on the high public costs associated with each divorce.

“I heard from a good number of legislators prior to the floor period that they were opposed to this bill, but unfortunately because of fear of repercussions, no one was willing to go to the mat on this bill and call for a roll-call vote. We can only hope the Senate will understand the truth about this bill and not force its members to vote against the best interests of children.”

 

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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.

WISCONSIN FAMILY COUNCIL LAUNCHES GENDER RESOURCE GUIDE FOR PARENTS

Madison, WI—Wisconsin Family Council, along with a unique and unlikely coalition that includes our national ally Family Policy Alliance, a self-described radical feminist group Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), D.C.-based The Heritage Foundation, our sister state organization Minnesota Family Council, and two parent groups who have children or loved ones struggling with gender confusion, have released the first-ever Gender Resource Guide for parents on how to navigate the transgender issue with their children.

The Guide is endorsed by medical professionals—including those who are experts in gender dysphoria—individuals who have lived as the opposite sex and “de-transitioned,” faith leaders, national policy experts, and more.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Council, fully supports the Gender Resource Guide: “On a regular basis we hear from parents looking for help in dealing with the transgender issue. Prior to this Resource Guide, we had little in the way of tangible materials to offer them that we believed were reliable and genuinely helpful. This Guide fills a critical void. It is carefully researched and fully documented, defines terms, is user friendly, and gives parents practical guidance in helping their own children and for traversing this new and uncharted path with some confidence. We urge parents to get this Guide and use it to full advantage. While this publication is especially good for parents, clergy, community leaders, school board members and others will likewise find it invaluable and very timely.”

With powerful lobbying groups, teachers’ unions, school boards and school administrators pushing policies that mandate the inclusion of transgender ideology in curriculum, athletics, grammar, and even basic bathroom and locker room privacy, parents need somewhere to turn.

The Gender Resource Guide will help parents understand the transgender trend and its consequences, understand the implications of transgender activism in schools, communicate with school leaders, advocate for common sense policies and act with compassion toward everyone involved in the transgender conversation.

The Gender Resource Guide is available for download at GenderResourceGuide.com.


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

Copy available online here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATION COUNCIL’S FLAG COMPARISON ALLEGATION

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO JEWISH COMMUNITY
RELATION COUNCIL’S FLAG COMPARISON ALLEGATION

MADISON, WI –Yesterday the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation along with Diverse & Resilient (D&R) (a pro-LGBT organization) jointly released a statement falsely accusing Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) of comparing the so-called “Rainbow Pride” flag to a Nazi flag. This was in response to a press release in which the following question was asked regarding Governor Evers’ divisive and exclusive action:

“By ordering this flag to fly over the state capitol, Governor Evers is proclaiming one group of Wisconsin citizens as preferred over others. He may have the authority as governor to make this decision; but in our opinion, he made a blatantly bad decision. Would the Governor authorize the Christian flag to be flown over the capitol or a Nazi flag or any number of other flags representing all sorts of Wisconsin citizens and their beliefs?”

JCRC and D&R stated in their press release that they were “disappointed and outraged about Wisconsin Family Action’s comparison of the Pride flag with the Nazi flag.” WFA did not compare the “Pride” flag with the Nazi flag any more than it compared it to the Christian flag. That reference was clearly part of highlighting the reality that there are many citizen groups in this state that have beliefs and identities that could ask for the same special treatment to recognize them as the Governor has done with this “Pride” flag. Sadly, the use of “identity politics” is not a new strategy for those who want to use emotional manipulation to get people to react a certain way and come to a specific conclusion, even if the reaction and conclusion are based on inaccurate or untruthful information.

Wisconsin Family Council, our sister organization, has launched a petition that has, in only a few short days, garnered 6000+ signatures and continues to grow. Wisconsin’s citizens are exercising their voice in sending the message to Governor Evers that they don’t feel represented by this latest tactic and are asking him to take the “Pride flag” down.

Note: The JCRC of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation should not be mistaken for the Milwaukee Jewish Community (MJC). A call was placed yesterday to MJC who, in turn, informed us that statements placed by JCRC are not a reflection of their organization. According to the spokesperson, the JCRC “does not speak for us.”

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

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action Legislative Update

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
2019-2020 Wisconsin Legislative Session
Current as of December 16, 2019

(To view as a pdf, click HERE.)

MARRIAGE/FAMILY
AB 41/SB 49 Decriminalization of child prostitution.  (WFA opposes)

Despite intentions and motives of those authoring and co-sponsoring this bill Wisconsin Family Action believes this proposal is ill-advised because it takes a tool away from law enforcement who are trying to get minors engaged in prostitution off the streets, assumes all minors involved in this activity are being coerced and gives an advantage to the Johns and the pimps to recruit more minors into their nefarious work, including sex trafficking. A substitute amendment was offered by author Republican Senator Alberta Darling. This amendment improved the bill. The Senate passed the bill on November 5, 2019, and sent it to the Assembly where it is currently in the Rules committee ready to be scheduled for a floor vote. The Assembly committee has already recommended the bill for passage.

AB 71/SB 68Possession of child pornography (WFA supports)

This bill tightens up the definition of child pornography making it easier to bring charges against someone who is engaged in this activity. The bill passed in both the Senate and the Assembly. Governor Evers signed it into law in July as 2019 Wisconsin Act 16.

AB 111/SB 107 – Prohibiting so-called “conversion therapy” for minors (WFA opposes)

This bill prohibits certain mental health workers from actually providing real hope and real help for minors dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction and/or gender confusion. It makes it clear that the only advice these mental health workers can give is that which affirms, normalizes and encourages minors to continue with these beliefs and behaviors. The bill trounces on religious freedom of mental health workers and on the rights of parents regarding counseling for their children. This bill is in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate; no further action to date.

AB 201/SB 191 – Creating a nonrefundable tax credit for adoption expenses (WFA supports)

The intent of this bill is to encourage Wisconsin families to adopt children. This $5,000 tax credit piggybacks on the federal adoption tax credit and helps parents offset some of the costs related to adoption, which today can be very expensive. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 248/SB 262 – Removing “personal conviction” exemption from vaccination requirements (WFA opposes)

Wisconsin currently has three options for parents seeking to exempt their children from vaccinations: health, religious and personal conviction. This bill would remove “personal conviction,” which would make it harder for parents choosing to not vaccinate their children. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 439/SB 398 –Eliminating waiting period after a divorce is finalized before a re-marriage (WFA opposes)
Wisconsin law currently requires that after a divorce is finalized that an individual must wait six months before entering into another marriage, whether that marriage is in Wisconsin or another state or country. This waiting period is both reasonable and responsible, especially if minor children are involved. The state has a valid interest in the well-being of the next generation. Parents rushing into another marriage immediately after a divorce is not in the adults’ best interest and certainly not in the best interest of minor children who are already dealing with much uncertainty and loss as a result of their parents’ divorce. The bill is authored by Republicans with substantial Republican support as co-sponsors, along with some Democrats. Both the Senate and the Assembly committees have held public hearings on the bill. The Senate Committee has passed it, but the Assembly Committee has not yet voted on the bill.

      EDUCATION (subheading of Marriage/Family)
AB 108/no senate version yet – Requiring parental choice program schools and charter schools to provide instruction in American Indian history, culture, and tribal sovereignty. (WFA opposes)
WFA does not support more requirements for voucher schools. We do not believe this curricular mandate does anything to increase the educational value in any given school. It simply takes away from time that could be better spent.  We believe most schools cover this topic already in the course of implementing their curriculum across the grades. This bill is in committee; no further action to date.

AB 129/SB 111 – Allowing voucher schools to provide pupil instruction virtually (WFA supports)

This bill levels the playing field with public schools by allowing voucher schools to offer direct pupil instruction virtually—to make up for missed time due to extreme weather closings and also as a part of the regular program of the school. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 149/SB 138Funding character education in public schools (WFA opposes)

Character education under this bill is not defined—and there is too much room for “character” to be stretched beyond its typical meaning and understanding. The bill authorizes DPI to award grants to schools to pay teachers to receive “professional development trainings in character education.” The Senate Education Committee held a public hearing and voted to move the bill to the full Senate. As of this update, the bill has not been scheduled for a Senate floor vote. There has been no public hearing on the Assembly version.

LIFE
AB 128/SB 114 – Creating a tax credit for parents who experience a stillbirth (WFA supports)

This bill seeks to compensate parents who have had a stillbirth for some of the costs related to this heart-rending situation (up to $2,000). These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 179/SB 175Born Alive bill (WFA supports with one concern).
This bill requires any health care provider present at the time an abortion or attempted abortion results in a child born alive to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care provider would render to any other child born alive. The bill makes intentionally causing the death of a child born alive as a result of an abortion or attempted abortion a felony with a penalty of life imprisonment. WFA’s concern is that the bill has an express exemption for a woman who intentionally kills her baby that has managed to survive an abortion or an attempted abortion. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 180/SB 174Requiring that women taking RU-486 be told there is a reversal to the abortion-causing drug (WFA supports).
This bill requires certain information regarding an abortion-inducing drug regimen to be given to a woman who is planning to have an abortion induced by this abortion-inducing drug regimen. This is primarily about RU-486. Essentially the bill requires that the woman be told that the first drug in the regimen may not result in an immediate abortion and that if she acts quickly, she can reverse the effects of the first drug and perhaps save her baby. This information would be added to the Woman’s Right to Know publication. The bill also requires that any place an abortion takes place, including a hospital, certain information must be collected and reported. The bill adds to what the law already requires abortionists to report. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 181/SB 199 – Stopping taxpayer funded Medicaid payments from going to most abortion providers (WFA supports).
This bill generally prohibits an entity that does abortions from receiving Medicaid payments. This bill is effectively dead with the legislature having voted on AB 183/SB 187.

AB 182/SB 173 – Prohibiting abortions based on sex, race, nationality, ethnicity or disability (WFA supports with one concern).
Our concern is that the bill has an exception related to disability. That exception deals with a situation where medical professionals determine an unborn baby has a disability that is deemed “fatal,” meaning the child is unlikely to survive outside the womb and the condition is not treatable. We believe this is an unnecessary exception. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 183/SB 187 – Stopping taxpayer funded Medicaid payments from going to most abortion providers (WFA supports).
This bill generally prohibits an entity that does abortions from receiving Medicaid payments. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 590/SB 524 –Prohibits the sale and use of the body parts of aborted babies, requires reporting of the sex and any fetal anomaly of an aborted baby, and requires proper final disposition of an aborted baby (WFA supports)
This bill has been introduced in prior legislative sessions. Even with a Republican governor and strong Republican majorities in the Senate and the Assembly, the bill has never received a floor vote. Current Republican leadership does not seem inclined to move these bills at all. The bills are currently in committee in both the Senate and the Assembly; no public hearing has been scheduled.

LIBERTY
AB 185/SB 197 – Changing how WI’s electoral votes are allocated (WFA opposes)
This bill erodes the Electoral College. Instead of awarding WI’s 10 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in our state, those 10 votes would go to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

MISCELLANEOUS
SB 577/no Assembly version to date – Decriminalizing 28 grams or less of marijuana (WFA opposes).
This bill makes a number of changes in the current law as it relates to bringing charges against a person who possesses, attempts to possess, possesses with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or deliver marijuana. WFA believes marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to using other harder drugs and that marijuana use in and of itself can significantly impair judgment and alter behavior. Twenty-eight grams of marijuana is the equivalent of over 80 “joints.” The bill is currently in committee; no further action to date.

AJR 106/SJR 75 – Renaming the decorated tree in the capitol rotunda during the Christmas holiday season as the Wisconsin State Christmas Tree (WFA supports).
These joint resolutions reflect the long-standing tradition of referring to the tree in the capitol rotunda during Christmas as a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree as Governor Evers refers to it. The Assembly passed the resolution in November on a bi-partisan vote; the resolution is waiting for action in the Senate.

AJR 108/SJR 59 – Prohibiting the governor from using the partial veto to increase state expenditures (first consideration) (WFA supports).
This resolution would amend the Wisconsin constitution to prevent the governor from using his/her partial veto power in an appropriations bill (like the state budget) to increase state expenditures for any purpose other than what is provided in the bill that is presented to him/her for signing. A proposed constitutional amendment requires adoption by two successive legislatures and then ratification by the people in a statewide referendum before it becomes law. If this resolution passes both the Assembly and the Senate this session (which concludes December 31, 2020), then it would need to be reintroduced and passed again sometime between January 2021 and December 2022 before it could be put on a statewide referendum. The Senate passed the resolution in November; the Assembly has not held a public hearing yet on the proposal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTION ALERT: Call Your Senator TODAY About the So-called “Equality Act” (HR5)


The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the so-called “Equality Act.” It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The Equality Act would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of protected classes under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

This means that almost no area of American public life—including education, employment, public accommodations, housing, medical care, non-profits, and federal funding for example—will be left untouched.

The Equality Act:

  • Attacks the fundamental freedoms of speech and religion.

◦ It could force faith-based charities, non-profits, and schools to operate contrary to their religious beliefs concerning human sexuality, or risk punishment or loss of federal funding.

◦ Creative professionals— especially in the wedding industry— could be compelled to communicate messages about marriage that violate their conscience or be forced out of the wedding industry altogether.

◦ It would force faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to shut down or change their policy of only placing children with a married husband and wife.

  • Threatens privacy, safety, and opportunities for women and girls.

◦ Biological men claiming to identify as women will have access to women-only intimate spaces like locker rooms, bathrooms, showers, and women’s shelters—giving easy access to sexual predators.

◦ Title IX, which is supposed to make sure women have the same opportunities as men, including in sports, would be gutted as men identifying as women could claim these opportunities. It is already happening around the country where boys identifying as women are displacing women in sex-specific sports in high school and college.

  • Undermines parental rights.

◦ Parents could lose custody of their gender-dysphoric child if they do not support their child’s desire to take puberty blocker and cross-sex hormones.

◦ Public education would be legally required to teach and operate in line with transgender ideology, regardless of parental opposition.

  • Would embed transgender ideology into federal law.

◦ As Ryan T. Anderson points out, the Equality Act “could impose a nationwide transgender bathroom policy, a nationwide pronoun policy, and a nationwide sex-reassignment health care mandate.”

◦ It could force hospital facilities, medical professionals, and insurance plans to provide gender-transitioning services, or be found guilty of unlawful discrimination.

We need your help! Contact Senator Ron Johnson (R) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D), an “out” lesbian who co-authored this bill, TODAY to voice your opposition to the Equality Act, H.R. 5.

Action Needed:

  1. Contact Sen. Ron Johnson 202-224-5323 and Sen. Tammy Baldwin 202-224-5653 TODAY. Ask them to oppose the Equality Act.
  2. Make your voice heard!
  3. Pray! Pray that our Senators vote against the Equality Act.

Impending Vote on Equality Act; Parental Rights in the Balance

The so-called Equality Act (H.R. 5) is moving very quickly through Congress. Despite the bill’s name, the Equality Act would dramatically elevate the rights and privileges of a select few while dealing a devastating blow to parental rights.

Speaker Pelosi has signaled that a vote on H.R. 5 will take place on or before May 17, so time is of the essence for people of faith and conscience to contact their Member of Congress and implore them to vote NO on this radical bill.

H.R. 5 is far-sweeping; it would amend several federal civil rights laws including the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to make sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes equal to immutable and inborn characteristics like race, age, sex and national origin.

The results of this radical legislation will be widespread and disastrous.  We need only look to the states or our neighbor to the north with similar laws to predict what we’re in for should the Equality Act become law.

In 16 states now, parents do not have a choice when they seek counseling for their children struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion. In other words, counseling that encourages children to change their gender – even to go through irreversible “genital reconstruction” operations – would be protected by the state. But counseling to help children accept their God-given birth sex would be outlawed.  These therapy bans interfere with parents’ right to direct their children’s upbringing and completely disregard family faith or values. What’s worse—the bans were passed with no regard for what type of therapy may actually be best for children long-term.

In Ohio — a state without legislation of this sort — a judge already removed custody from parents of a 17-year-old for their refusal to allow her to undergo life-altering gender transition hormone treatments.  This decision came after a two-year custody battle which started with family services alleging parental neglect and abuse for their religiously held beliefs about gender.  When the child was placed in temporary custody of family services, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital recommended the 17-year-old undergo hormone therapy at its Transgender Health Clinic, which she did.

This hospital tells first-time patients that their healthcare providers may speak to minors without their parents because “Sometimes young people also have questions that they are afraid to ask in front of their family or guardians.” The clinic also conducts a psychosocial interview to “help understand how the patient and family or guardians are functioning and see if there are any needs.”

It’s not far-fetched to surmise that what they really mean is “see if parents support the gender transition of their young son or daughter, and if not, we’ll take you to court.”

That’s exactly what happened to a Canadian dad earlier this year.  In February, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ruled that a 14-year-old girl would be administered testosterone injections by her doctor against her father’s wishes and consent.  Despite a parent’s insistence that his minor daughter should wait until she was older — not a child anymore — to make this life-altering decision, the court said the child had the right to decide for herself.  The judge, who ruled on the basis of federal law, blatantly dismissed parental objection to the medical treatment of his minor child.

As if the case couldn’t get any worse, it did.  Just last month, the judge declared the father guilty of “family violence” due to his “expressions of rejection of [her] gender identity.”  In other words, a dad refused to refer to his daughter as a boy.  As a result, he was convicted of a crime against his daughter, given a gag order and ordered not to expose his daughter to any resources which may bring her gender identity or treatment into question.

These cases seem to say everyone other than parents knows best!  We believe differently.

We know that parents have a God-given and Constitutionally protected right to direct the upbringing of their children—including their moral values, faith, education and healthcare.  We cannot allow misguided legislation to threaten that right!

We believe families should have the right to pursue mental health counseling consistent with their beliefs and religion — be it for depression, anxiety, gender confusion or any other condition.

We believe parents must have the right to prevent their children from accessing experimental puberty-blocking hormones, cross-sex hormones (which can lead to sterilization), and certainly irreversible, life-altering “genital reconstruction” surgery.

Will you stand with us today to ensure that parents across our nation retain their ability to guide the moral upbringing and medical care of their children?  If so, please contact your Member of Congress today and urge him or her to vote NO on the Equality Act.

Governor Promotes Abortion at DHS Appointments and hires concern pro-life organization

MADISON, WI – Today the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, chaired by Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point), held a public hearing regarding the confirmation of Governor Evers’ nominee Andrea Palm as Secretary of the Department of Health Services (DHS).

As Secretary-designee, Ms. Palm has already hired Nicole Safar as Assistant Deputy Secretary of DHS. Ms. Safar is no stranger to state government as she has been lobbying on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for over a decade.

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling expressed concern about the direction DHS is going under the Evers administration. “DHS’s job according to its website is ‘protecting and promoting the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin.’ Having Ms. Safar in a key leadership role in this agency indicates to me that DHS is going to be much more about special interests and political agendas than about the needs of Wisconsin citizens. Frankly, I share Senator Duey Stroebel’s concern as expressed in the press release he issued today about Ms. Palm and Ms. Safar looking for ways to work around laws in order to direct taxpayer funds to abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood.”

“This move, along with Governor Evers appointing Tanya Atkinson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, to his Health Advisory Board, bodes ominously for unborn children and their mothers. Abortion isn’t health care—for women or their unborn babies. It certainly doesn’t qualify as ‘protecting and promoting the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin.’ As Senator Stroebel pointed out, Wisconsin and its citizens deserve better when it comes to the leadership at DHS.”

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

Copy available online here.

One Wisconsin Now Owes Judge Hagedorn Public Apology for Religious Bias

One Wisconsin Now Owes Judge Hagedorn Public Apology for Religious Bias
Imposing religious test as qualification for public service violates U.S. Constitution

MADISON, WI – In an attempt to discredit Brian Hagedorn, candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, One Wisconsin Now yesterday declared Hagedorn “unfit to hold public office” because he co-founded a Christian school that seeks to follow orthodox Christian beliefs and standards.

“One Wisconsin Now owes Judge Hagedorn an apology for smearing his character and discriminating against him based on his religion,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action. “The U.S. Constitution simply doesn’t allow a religious litmus test for public office-holders and blacklisting candidates for public office because of their religious beliefs and associations is profoundly intolerant.

“Imposing a litmus test on individuals running for public office based on their faith is not only unconstitutional, it’s un-American.  One Wisconsin Now appears to have taken a page from the playbook of those who have bullied and badgered other judicial candidates in recent months for their religious beliefs, and, most recently, Second Lady Karen Pence for teaching at a Christian school that similarly states its religious beliefs and establishes codes of conduct for employees and students. One Wisconsin Now certainly has a right to hold its own beliefs, but smearing a candidate with different beliefs is the very essence of intolerance. Such attempts should concern all Wisconsinites.”

One Wisconsin Now, bolstered by other activists, asserts that because the Christian school Hagedorn helped to found, and now serves as a board member, holds to an orthodox Christian teaching regarding marriage, Hagedorn is incapable of “fairly and impartially” judging cases.

“A judge’s job is to interpret the law as written, not to legislate or impose personal policy preferences from the bench. Judge Hagedorn should be vetted and reviewed based on his temperament and character as a judge—not on his personal religious beliefs, practices, or associations. For millennia, people of all the Abrahamic faiths and no faith at all have held the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Holding that belief, or being associated with institutions that hold that belief, doesn’t mean a judge can’t fairly and impartially interpret and apply the law,” Appling continued. “These tired tactics to discredit judicial candidates because of their faith’s beliefs have failed before, and they will fail again.”

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

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

Copy available online here.

Before MIDNIGHT TONIGHT: Pro-lifers, sign this petition. Say NO to taxpayer funding of abortion.

We learned just hours ago that in the debate over the federal government shutdown, the U.S. House, led by abortion advocate Nancy Pelosi, has passed a spending bill over to the Senate that would give overseas abortion groups access to millions of YOUR taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, seven Republicans joined with numerous Democrats to move this bill in the House. That means we really can’t just assume all the Republicans in the Senate will vote no on this bill.

You should NEVER be forced to fund abortion groups in America or anywhere in the world.

That’s why I’m asking you to help.

Our friends at the Susan B. Anthony List – one of the leading pro-life groups in America – are launching a campaign to encourage every pro-life U.S. Senator to STRIKE DOWN this bill.

Please sign the Susan B. Anthony List online petition to the U.S. Senate, telling our pro-life allies Americans will NOT stand for taxpayer funding of overseas abortion advocates.

It will take you less than 30 seconds to visit the online petition and sign it, but you need to sign by midnight tonight. .

Why not go do it right now?

There’s so much being negotiated in our federal government today. Don’t allow the Nancy Pelosi-led House to slip in taxpayer funding for abortion under the radar. Sign the petition encouraging our friends in the Senate to stand for life today!

For the family,

Julaine Appling, President
Wisconsin Family Action

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Pro-Family, Pro-Liberty Organizations Share Christmas Message in State Capitol


“Merry Christmas” sign and nativity set greet visitors this season

MADISON—Continuing its 23-year tradition, Wisconsin Family Council (WFC), the educational arm of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), is once again displaying a Merry Christmas sign in the State Capitol Rotunda. The sign wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and reminds visitors of the real reason for the season—that Jesus Christ was born to become mankind’s Savior.

Wisconsin Family Action has placed an accompanying nativity display, a tradition begun several years ago.

“Celebrating Christ’s birth is a Christian celebration, an American holiday and a Wisconsin tradition,” said Julaine Appling, president of WFA and WFC. “It is altogether fitting for us to share the message of Christmas with our fellow Wisconsin citizens through this public display.”

The First Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits government from interfering with religion and guarantees citizens the right to exercise their religion, including celebrating but in the public square as well.

Appling continued, “During the holiday season, people come to our incredible capitol from all across the state and beyond. While here they enjoy the beautiful state Christmas tree, decorated this year with handmade ornaments around the theme of ‘Wisconsin: America’s Dairyland,’ and the gorgeous tree adorning the Governor’s Conference Room. We are honored to add to their enjoyment as we exercise our religious freedom with our display in the rotunda as a silent but powerful witness to the truth of Christmas and to offer hope to all 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.

Wisconsin Family Action Releases 2017-2018 Legislative Scorecard

Wisconsin Family Action Releases 2017-2018 Legislative Scorecard
9 state legislators earn 100% for their work in most recent session; 15 others have distinguished scores

MADISON, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) released its 2017-2018 Legislative Scorecard, giving its assessment of how all thirty-three State Senators and all ninety-nine State Assembly Representatives did this past legislative session. The session began in early January 2017 and floor activity concluded in March of this year.

“Within our mission, we work on or at least track quite a variety of bills during a legislative session. It’s important that citizens get an idea of how their elected officials did relative to those proposals,” said Julaine Appling, WFA president.

This past session, two (2) senators and seven (7) representatives earned a 100% score from WFA, meaning on all bills scored, these legislators agreed with WFA’s position.

The 100% senators are Dave Craig (R-Big Bend) and Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville). State representatives earning 100% are Scott Allen (R-Waukesha), Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls), Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield), André Jacque (R-DePere), Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), and Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac).

“Earning a 100% on our scorecard is not easy. We are proud of these state legislators whose body of work during this past session evidences courage and true commitment to conservative principles and ideas. We congratulate these nine on a job very well done,” noted Appling.

Legislators scoring a 95%-99% also distinguished themselves as strong pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty lawmakers. Six (6) senators and nine (9) representatives achieved this score. Senators with these scores are Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), and Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield). Representatives achieving this score are Cody Horlacher (R-Mukwonago), Bob Kulp (R-Stratford), Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee), Romaine Quinn (R-Barron), Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin), Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc), Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) and Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego).

“We are also very pleased to recognize the excellent work of those in this group of lawmakers,” Appling commented. “Being an elected official is not easy. It requires tough decisions in pressured situations. We are grateful for those officials who consistently do the right thing.”

This edition of WFA’s Scorecard scores ten bills in the state senate and 11 bills in the state assembly. Details on scoring, WFA’s position, and the bills themselves are available in the Scorecard.

WFA’s 2017-2018 Legislative Scorecard is available online HERE.

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

Copy available online here.

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.

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.

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.

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 mwalsh@mail.de-pere.org

Alderman Larry Lueck (First District)
Phone 920-339-8339
Email llueck@mail.de-pere.org

Alderman James Boyd (First District)
Phone920-336-0305
Email jboyd@mail.de-pere.org

Alderman Jonathon Hansen (Second District)
Phone 920-425-4265
Email jhansen@mail.de-pere.org

Alderman Dan Raasch (Third District)
Phone 920-217-3648
Email draasch@mail.de-pere.org

Alderman Scott Crevier (Third District)
Phone 920-940-8683
Email screvier@mail.de-pere.org

Alderman Casey Nelson (Fourth District)
Phone 920-277-3296
Email cnelson@mail.de-pere.org

Alderman Dan Carpenter (Fourth District)
Phone 920-609-2640
Email dcarpenter1@mail.de-pere.org

 

 

 

 

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.

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.