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ELECTION 06: Focus, FRC compile pro-family vote scorecard


WASHINGTON (BP)–Pro-family voters interested in knowing where candidates stand on significant issues can consult a newly released scorecard that shows how members of Congress voted on issues affecting families.

The scorecard was complied by FRC Action, the legislative action arm of the Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family Action and contains a cross-section of issues including embryonic stem cell research, parental notification laws and protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. The scorecard focuses on how senators and representative voted in the second session of the 109th Congress.

“If out of the seven different things that we were scoring, if a member sided with us all seven times, they would get a 100 percent,” David Christensen of FRC said, adding that it’s also “useful for people to look at who got zero on our scorecard, showing you how many people actually do oppose everything that we support.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Connie Mackey, vice president for government affairs with FRC, noted in a joint letter to supporters that the House “recognized the renewed importance of Congress’s role in protecting the family by passing legislation that included increased fines for indecency, … elimination of the death tax, … and an attempt to halt the court-ordered starvation” of Terri Schiavo.

“The votes recorded here are only part of our effort to protect the family,” Perkins and Mackey said of the scorecard. “Only through your help as informed and active constituents, working with us in contacting your members of Congress on pro-family issues, can we truly make headway with the increased pro-family majority in Washington. There is no greater asset in the battle to preserve the American family than an involved citizenry.”

Amanda Banks, a spokeswoman for Focus on the Family Action, told Family News in Focus that the scorecard is one of the clearest explanations of voting records available to constituents.


“They can use this, I think, in a variety of ways,” Banks said. “Of course, prior to the elections they can look and see how their members have been voting and use that information as they prepare to go to the polls.”

Also, voters can use the scorecard in the year ahead as a resource guide when they want to contact their members of Congress on key votes based on how they voted in the past, she added, according to Family News in Focus.

The seven issues covered by the scorecard in the House of Representatives portion include the Repeal of Abortion Restriction on Military Facilities, which sought to lift the current ban on privately funded abortions at U.S. military facilities overseas, and the Marriage Protection Amendment, which would have amended the U.S. Constitution and defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

The Pledge Protection Act is the third issue covered in the House portion, and it removed the jurisdiction of federal courts over cases involving the Pledge of Allegiance. The Embryonic Stem Cell Research Act sought to overturn President Bush’s policy on funding human embryonic stem cell research by authorizing the destruction of human embryos, the scorecard guide notes.

Also included in the House portion is the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which prohibits the transfer of minors across state lines for abortions without parental notice, and the Public Expression of Religion Act, which prevents the use of legal fees to threaten the government over establishment of religion cases. The seventh issue is sponsorship of the Marriage Protection Amendment, which notes representatives who endorsed the amendment by co-sponsoring the legislation.

For the Senate portion of the scorecard, the eight issues considered include the cloture motion on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, Alito’s confirmation, the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the cloture motion on the Marriage Protection Amendment and the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Act.

The sixth issue is the Lautenberg Sex-Ed Amendment, which would have increased funding for comprehensive sex-education programs and undermined abstinence programs. The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act and sponsorship of the Marriage Protection Amendment are also considered.

Voters may download a PDF version of the vote scorecard by visiting www.frcaction.org or www.focusaction.org.