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Church State Issues

Who says Arizona isn't a Christian Theocracy????

Mar 1, 2014

East Valley Tribune

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy or Cathi Harrod as I have been calling her Who says Arizona isn't a Christian Theocracy????

Cathi Harrod will probably tell you that we are almost there.

CAP has long history of legislative successes

Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 2:10 pm

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

Despite the gubernatorial veto of legislation billed as promoting religious freedom, the Center for Arizona Policy has a long history of getting lawmakers and governors – at least Republican governors – to do what it wants.

It has, however, had somewhat less success in convincing courts of the constitutionality of its legislative successes.

Among the measures it has pushed through the Legislature:

- Providing vouchers of taxpayer money for students to attend private and parochial schools. While an outright voucher plan was struck down by the Arizona Supreme Court, a more limited version has so far survived legal challenges.

- Allowing taxpayers to divert some of what they owe the state to provide scholarships for students to attend private and parochial schools. This was upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court.

- Banning abortions at the 20th week of pregnancy. This was voided as illegal by a federal appeals court, a decision upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

- Barring Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood's family planning services because it also performs abortions. This was voided as illegal by a federal appeals court, a decision upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

- Requiring parental consent for minors before getting an abortion. Courts ruled this enforceable with a provision to allow girls to bypass that mandate with consent of a judge.

- Mandating a 24-hour waiting period between a woman's first visit to a doctor to seek an abortion and when the procedure can be performed.

- Overruling regulations that allowed specially trained nurse practitioners to perform both medical and early-term surgical abortions.

- Enacting a ban on so-called “partial-birth” abortions.

- Allowing certain companies who claim to be “religious employers” to refuse to include birth control coverage in the health insurance they provide to their workers.

- Permitting pharmacists to cite religious reasons for refusing to dispense the “morning-after” pill to prevent pregnancy.

- Pushing through laws that prohibit teachers from doing anything that “portrays homosexuality as a positive alternative life-style” or “suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex.”

- Giving heterosexual couples preference in adopting a child over gay couples.

- Repeatedly blocking legislation that said if schools opt to teach sex education that they must do so in a way to provide “medically accurate information.” CAP said the only thing schools should be teaching is abstinence.

- Convincing voters to approve a constitutional amendment defining marriage in Arizona as solely between one man and one woman, but that came after CAP was unsuccessful at pushing a broader measure that also would have outlawed civil unions.

- Successfully killing efforts to extend the state's anti-bias laws that now cover things like race, religion and gender to also include sexual orientation.

- Blocking legislation to strengthen laws against bullying. CAP portrayed the legislation as “agenda-driven propaganda,” saying that gray rights groups “have used the bullying issue in order to gain access to our public schools.”

- Halting measures to allow doctors to assist terminally ill patients in ending their own lives.

- Pushing successful legislation to limit the hours of operation of “adult-oriented businesses” and how far they must be from parks and schools.

- Gaining enactment of laws that bar schools from enacting or enforcing policies that single out religious expression for different treatment. That means a school cannot bar a youngster from wearing jewelry or T-shirts with religious messages unless there is a ban on all jewelry and all clothing with messages.

- Getting lawmakers to overturn a state policy of providing the same benefits it does to married couples to the domestic partners of state employees. This was overturned as unconstitutional by a federal judge, a decision upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

- Allowing home-schooled children to participate in interscholastic sports.

- Permitting judges to consider a spouse's criminal conviction when dividing up community assets in a divorce.

- Creating voluntary “covenant” marriages where spouses agree to premarital counseling and new restrictions before they can separate.

- Exempting churches from having to file as political committees when the clergy speaks out about ballot measures.

- Banning the sale of human eggs for cloning research.