Thursday, July 19, 2012

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July 19, 2012
A Great Day for Parental Rights
Yesterday, July 18, was a great day for parental rights, both regarding the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA) and regarding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Subcommittee Hearing: Differences Among Friends
The Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday held a hearing on HJRes110, the Parental Rights Amendment, with 2 witnesses in favor (Alliance Defending Freedom’s Pierro Tozzi and our own Michael Farris) and 1 opposed (NYU Law Professor and ACLU Attorney Martin Guggenheim). There was no friction or animosity among these gentlemen. In fact, all three agree that parents, not the government, should be the first line of defense in protecting and providing for their children. The only point of contention was whether or not an amendment is necessary to safeguard that right.

Here is a snapshot (no pun intended) of the atmosphere of the meeting: prior to the hearing, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) came down from the gallery to have a staffer take his picture with Michael Farris. Farris and Scott warmly shared a brief conversation as well. Within the scope of the meeting, Rep. Scott might be considered “on the other side,” in that he is among those not yet convinced of the need for the PRA. But he was far, far from hostile or adversarial.

In conclusion, we are very excited about this meeting. We believe that even those not yet on board are “accessible” – we have an opportunity to reach them with the need for this Amendment. Your calls and emails have kept them receptive, and we will continue to answer their questions and concerns to the best of our ability until we have won this vital protection for America’s parents. (In particular, the committee members have about a week to submit questions stemming from the hearing, and we will have opportunity to answer those questions. We hope as a result to see more and more members persuaded to join our efforts in the weeks ahead!)

CRPD: Stopping the Runaway Train
After the hearing, several of our staff stayed in D.C. to visit once again the offices of the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We wanted to urge them to consider the threats which the CRPD poses to U.S. sovereignty and to parental rights.

While we were there the word went out among them (and was quickly passed on to us) that the committee vote on CRPD, which had been scheduled for today, has been indefinitely postponed! This is absolutely wonderful news! What last week appeared to be a runaway train has been visibly slowed down.

Does this mean it is time to let up? No. We must remain vocal and vigilant, especially between now and August 3 – the last day of session before the August recess. Because the CRPD can still be brought for a vote before then, we ask that you continue your calls and emails urging your senators to defeat it.

But we have bought some valuable time.

The Senators standing for the rights of parents are working on ways to halt this treaty for this term of Congress. If they can succeed in that, we can all breathe a little easier. (If not, we will all have to remain vigilant throughout the fall and the lame duck session as well.)

If the CRPD vote can be held off until after August 3, those Senators gain an additional month to build that effort.

In all, yesterday was an overwhelmingly good day for parental rights in America. We are humbled and amazed, and we are grateful to each of you who have called, written, donated to, or otherwise taken part in making such wonderful news possible!

Please continue to stand with us, and we will keep you posted as things continue to develop.


Michael Ramey
Direct of Communications & Research

P.S. - News like this is made possible through the generous donations of supporters just like you. If you would like to support this ongoing effort, you can do so by clicking here.
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