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NEWS BRIEFS: Did Obama signal future support for ‘gay marriage’?

SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–President Obama may have given a hint April 20 that he will eventually support “gay marriage,” but both sides were left trying to interpret what he had said.

Speaking in San Francisco, Obama was making the argument that he needs a second term “for us to finish everything we need to do.” Seconds later someone in the crowd shouted “gay marriage,” and Obama replied, “our work is not finished.”

Was Obama saying that his work isn’t finished on legalizing “gay marriage,” or was he simply restating the theme in his speech and not directly addressing the person in the crowd?

The incident, reported by the Los Angeles Times, came nearly four months after Obama told reporters when asked about his marriage views that “my feelings about this are constantly evolving.”

“I struggle with this,” he told reporters at the time.

Traditionalists warn the legalization of “gay marriage” would have a widespread negative impact on society, affecting the tax-exempt status of religious organizations, the religious liberty of private businesses and curriculum in elementary schools.

OKLA. FOURTH STATE WITH FETAL PAIN BILL — Oklahoma has become the fourth state — and third state this year — to enact a ban on abortions of unborn babies who ostensibly are able to feel pain.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law April 20. The measure prohibits abortions after 20 weeks of gestation based on scientific evidence a baby in the womb experiences pain by that point.

Fallin also signed legislation that prohibits health insurance policies in the state from covering elective abortions.

Oklahoma joined Idaho and Kansas in adopting pain-capable abortion bans this year. Nebraska became the first state to enact such a law when it passed the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2010.

The pain-capable approach tightens the restriction on late-term abortions. The model legislation, which was drafted by the National Right to Life Committee, sets the benchmark earlier than one based on fetal viability, which can be 22 to 24 weeks.

Tony Lauinger, chairman of Oklahomans for Life, expressed gratitude to Fallin and pro-life leaders in the state legislature for “their principled and selfless defense of the youngest members of our human family, the helpless, voiceless unborn child — who will never vote for them, never be able to thank them, but whose very lives depend on the courage, perseverance, and dedication of these public servants who stand in defense of innocent human life.”

VA. REJECTS ADOPTIONS BY HOMOSEXUALS — Virginia’s Board of Social Services rejected April 20 a proposal that would have expanded nondiscrimination policies to enable homosexuals to adopt, The Washington Post reported

The board’s 7-2 vote followed appeals from adoption agencies that they be allowed to continue to evaluate prospective parents based on religious beliefs, according to The Post. Homosexual organizations, meanwhile, urged the board to adopt the proposed rules, which included “sexual orientation” as a category protected from discrimination. “Sexual orientation” can encompass homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender status.

The proposal’s “broad language would place an undue and unconstitutional burden on private faith-based child placing agencies by forcing us to compromise our religious beliefs in order to maintain our license to operate,” said Andrew Brown, director of foster care and domestic adoption for America World Adoption (AWA), The Post reported. AWA is a Christian agency based in McLean, Va.

Homosexual activists criticized the decision.

“It is a sad day, indeed, when public servants charged with upholding the constitution and serving the best interests of Virginia’s children put those obligations aside because of political pressure or fear,” said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia. “We will take action to assure that no [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender] person or couple with a loving home to offer a child is denied the right to parent simply because of who they are.”

There are about 3,300 same-sex couples rearing about 6,700 children in the state, according to the homosexual organization Family Equality Council, The Post reported. Because of Virginia’s rule, one person per couple has custody of those children adopted in the state.
Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, and Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.

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