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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

WFA Testifies in favor of AB 127; stops group insurance board from contracting for abortions

Today Julaine Appling, WFA president, testified before the Assembly Committee on Health in favor of Assembly Bill 128 which prohibits the group insurance board from contracting for or providing abortion services.

Testimony in Support of Assembly Bill 128
Assembly Committee on Health
Public Hearing, April 19, 2017

Julaine Appling
President, Wisconsin Family Action

Thank you, Chairman Sanfelippo and committee members, for the opportunity to testify in support of Assembly Bill 128.

Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) believes this bill is necessary to bring the state fully in compliance with existing state prohibitions on funding abortion, as cited in Section 20.927 of our state statutues.

Providing a benefit in the form of a health insurance policy to state employees, state annuitants or local government employees whose local government unit participates in a Group Insurance Board health insurance plan certainly constitutes state funding.  Since the law clearly prohibits state funds from subsidizing abortion, with the exceptions as noted in 20.927, making health insurance policies that include abortion available to state employees and the others as noted obviously is funding abortion and should therefore not be permitted.

It is time to bring this outlier into conformity to state law.

Wisconsin Family Action urges the committee to support this bill and move it to the full Assembly for a vote.

Click CLICK HERE to view the full testimony.

Click HERE to read AB 128.

 

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