Action Alert: Ask Representatives to Vote No on HB 1386, the Sexual Orientation and Transgender Bill
The House Human Services Committee has given a “do not pass” recommendation for House Bill 1386. That means it will now head to the full House for a vote.
The Catholic Church rejects unjust discrimination, but HB 1386 would provide special legal recognition based on sexual acts and expressions as well as infringe upon religious freedom.
Contact your Representatives and ask them to vote NO on HB 1386.
Contact them here: https://www.legis.nd.gov/…/pub…/publicviewpointormessage.htm
House Bill 1383 – is an anti-loitering bill. The conference is concerned that it could be used a tool to harass pro-life prayerful persons, sidewalk counselors, the homeless, persons with mental illnesses, and religious minorities.
House Bill 1386 – is a bill to give enhanced legal rights to persons based on sexual orientation and “gender identity.”
ACTION ALERT – NO ON HB 1163 (REPEALS SUNDAY LAW)
Contact your House Representatives NOW and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 1163.
HB 1163 would repeal the state’s Sunday closing laws.
Setting aside a common day of rest and recreation puts families and communities first. It is part of the “North Dakota Way of Life” that makes this state great.
Creating sufficient, decent work that honors the dignity of families is a necessary component of the challenge facing all Catholics, and it is the Catholic way, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami cited the importance of work in supporting families in the 2015 Labor Day statement, which drew on Pope Francis’ June encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si’.
“We must not resign ourselves to a ‘new normal’ with an economy that does not provide stable work at a living wage for too many men and women,” Archbishop Wenski said. “We are in need of a profound conversion of heart at all levels of our lives.” Archbishop Wenski challenged Catholics to “recommit ourselves to our brothers and sisters around the world in the human family, and build systems and structures that nurture family formation and stability in our own homes and neighborhoods.”
Archbishop Wenski noted that even though work is meant for the sake of family, “Wage stagnation has increased pressures on families, as the costs of food, housing, transportation, and education continue to pile up.” He added that “the violation of human dignity is evident in exploited workers, trafficked women and children, and a broken immigration system that fails people and families desperate for decent work and a better life.”
Archbishop Wenski said that, in Laudato Si’, Pope Francis challenges people to see the connections between human labor, care for creation, and honoring the dignity of the “universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect.”
The full text of the 2015 Labor Day statement is available online.
I am deeply saddened by the Supreme Court’s decision to mandate the redefinition of marriage in every state of our nation. This ruling, which fails to uphold the truth of marriage as a union of one man and one woman, is a tragic error that will have long-lasting consequences for generations to come. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the morality of abortion more than 40 years ago, the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling will not settle this question of marriage today. Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court has declared, the truth of marriage as found in natural law and as taught by Jesus Christ has not changed and remains unchangeable.
The Supreme Court’s decision will have a significant impact on the first amendment right to religious liberty. It sets the beliefs of millions of Americans about marriage in opposition to the law and will create innumerable conflicts between the state and religious people and institutions. In light of this decision, I urgently ask government officials of our state and throughout the country to implement measures that will protect the religious freedom of individuals and institutions who uphold the authentic meaning of marriage.
The Catholic Church will continue to teach and defend the goodness, beauty and truth of marriage given to us by our Lord. As Bishop of the Diocese of Fargo, I urge all Catholics to witness more fervently to the truth about marriage. I also ask all people of good will and those in positions of authority to join in affirming this truth and to respect the freedom of those who seek to live according to it.
We are saddened and disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling concerning the recognition of same-sex relationships. As St. John Paul II said, “The truth is not always the same as the majority decision.” Our defense of the truth is not over despite this erroneous decision. With great respect for the rule of law in the United States, we will continue to teach and practice God’s truth that marriage is a union between one man and one woman for a lifetime.
We join with the Archbishop Kurtz and the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) in calling this decision a “tragic error.” We will stand united and “move forward with faith” as he has asked of us.
The Catholic Church continues to affirm the inherent dignity of persons with a same-sex attraction. At the same time, it is my fervent hope and expectation that the right of religious liberty and freedom of conscience of all persons will be respected and defended by the government without exception.
A few days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the rights of states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, more than 30 religious leaders representing diverse faith communities throughout the United States have reaffirmed their shared commitment to marriage and religious freedom. An open letter entitled “The Defense of Marriage and the Right of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness” was issued to all in positions of public service on April 23.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), signed the open letter and was joined by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty; and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
“We hope this letter serves as an encouragement to all of us, especially those dedicated to public service, to continue to promote both marriage and religious freedom as integral to a healthy and free society,” said Archbishop Kurtz. “Marriage as the union of one man and one woman provides the best context for the birth and rearing of children and should be specially protected by law. The law, when it upholds the unique meaning of marriage, is simply recognizing an objective reality, not constructing one: children always have a mother and a father and deserve to be loved and raised by both of them. Society should work to strengthen the unique bond between husband and wife, knowing that strong marriages build stronger communities.”
The religious leaders stressed the need for civility and mutual respect, writing, “Government should protect the rights of those with differing views of marriage to express their beliefs and convictions without fear of intimidation, marginalization or unwarranted charges that their values imply hostility, animosity, or hatred of others.”
The leaders close with a statement of their duty and love towards all: “In this and in all that we do, we are motivated by our duty to love God and neighbor. This love extends to all those who disagree with us on this issue. The well-being of men, women, and the children they conceive compels us to stand for marriage as between one man and one woman.”
The letter is available at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Open-Letter-on-Marriage-and-Religious-Freedom-April-2015.pdf and follows two previous open letters: “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment,” issued December 6, 2010, and “Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together,” issued January 12, 2012, which are available at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/ecumenical-and-interreligious-activities.cfm.
The House Human Services Committee overwhelmingly voted against SB 2279, a bill that would give sexual acts outside of marriage special legal protection while restricting religious freedoms. The vote was 11-2 for a Do Not Pass recommendation.
The committee made an amendment to the problematic “religious exemptions” in the bill which the conference is still analyzing.
The state House is considering SB 2279, often called the “sexual orientation non-discrimination” bill. A vocal campaign in favor of the bill has tried to make the bill a referendum on how a person feels about sexual orientation discrimination. According to them, if discrimination based on sexual orientation is “bad,” you must support the bill. Opposing the bill, to them, means that you endorse such discrimination.
The truth is that the bill is not about how one feels about sexual orientation. The truth is that the bill gives special legal protection – the right to sue – based on an individual’s sexual-related acts.
In addition, the bill is a direct attack – some would say a right to harass – on individuals and organizations with sincere religious beliefs about those sexual acts.
For more information, see the testimony of the conference against SB 2279.