Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Parental Rights- Victories to Celebrate, a Vigil to Keep logo
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September 25, 2012

Victories to Celebrate, a Vigil to Keep

Last Wednesday when Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois proposed that the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) be adopted by the Senate by unanimous consent (UC), it looked for a brief moment like the battle might be lost and our freedoms signed away. But a “unanimous consent” motion means any one objection is enough to halt it. We are grateful to know several senators who would have come to our defense, but on Wednesday Senator Mike Lee of Utah was that “one.” He spoke up boldly in opposition to adopting something as significant as an international treaty that dictates domestic law, without even so much as discussion and a vote.

And in doing so, he revealed not one but two reasons to celebrate.

The first reason is that we do have senators like Mr. Lee who will stand up to oppose this and similar treaties. Thanks to their opposition, the Senate is now in recess until after the elections, and has not ratified the CRPD! This means the risk of its passage is over until the “lame duck” session in November. (“Lame duck” refers to a legislature made up in part of lawmakers who have already been voted out of office – the “lame ducks.”)

But that’s where the second reason to celebrate comes in. In his opposition to the motion for a UC adoption of the CRPD, Senator Lee announced the following:

“I have right here a letter that is signed by 36 members of this body… a letter addressed to Leader McConnell and Leader Reid explaining that for various reasons, we don’t think that any treaty should come up for ratification during the lame-duck period of the 112th Congress. …We will oppose efforts to consider any treaty during this time period. The primary reason cited in the letter is the fact that it is very important to make sure that we have a full understanding of what these treaties mean.”
Since a treaty must be ratified by two-thirds of the senators present, having thirty-six opposed (two more than the 34 senators needed to defeat the treaty) will make it extremely hard for the Senate to act on the CRPD, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), or any other U.N. treaty until the new Congress is seated in January.

This is incredible news, and well worth celebrating!

But we must remain vigilant. If proponents of the CRPD were willing to attempt a “sneak attack” last Wednesday, it is possible they are also willing to try to “peel off” some of the supporters of this letter or to sneak in a vote while enough of these are out of the room to let the vote pass. We must encourage these senators to remain faithful to the position they have signed onto in this letter – in a fashion that supports and does not irritate them.

To that end, if your senators signed Sen. Lee’s letter, we would urge you to mail a letter or card this week to their D.C. offices. Thank them for their stand to oppose any treaties during the lame duck, and encourage them to stand firm in that commitment. Show them your full support. The list of signing senators and their addresses is here.

Recognizing the delays in mail to the Capitol, we estimate they should receive your card shortly before the start of the lame duck session – the perfect time to encourage their stand. But to ensure that timely arrival, you need to mail your card or letter in the next week or so. Let me urge you to take care of it today!

It is easy for us to criticize our lawmakers for the many things Congress gets wrong every year. But here is an opportunity to encourage those who are doing right, and it can have a tremendous impact!

We will remain vigilant throughout the lame duck for any further attempts to harm parental rights through treaty ratification, and we will alert you right away if a need for action should arise.

In the meantime, please send your note of encouragement. The letter you send now could prove just as important as the phone calls you made last week.

And please consider a generous donation* to as well. We have invested resources in defeating this treaty that would otherwise have gone toward passage of the Parental Rights Amendment. We need to catch up those resources as we shift our focus back for the next Congress, and we are completely dependent on the support of concerned parents just like you.

Whether you can give financially or not, I thank you so much for standing with us in this struggle. The victories we celebrate today are possible only because of your unwavering support!


Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

P.S. – If you haven’t done so lately, why not share the 7-minute Overruled movie with a friend who needs to join the parental rights cause? And please give a generous donation to today to sustain our efforts into the 2013 Congress. We depend entirely on the support of donors just like you.

*Because is a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization, donations are not tax deductible – but they are vital to our cause!
Parental Rights Amend. House Cosponsors
Includes HJRes110 lead sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks.
Latest added Sept. 21, 2012.
Parental Rights Amendment Senate Cosponsors
Includes SJRes42 lead sponsor, Sen. Jim DeMint.
Latest addition July 23, 2012.
Senators Opposing Treaty Ratification
Senators who indicate they will oppose ratification.
Latest addition Sept. 21, 2012.
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