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Week Ending July 16, 2004
Religious Freedom Coalition
July 16, 2004 5:36PM EST




On Wednesday, July 14th a "cloture" vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment lost. The Senate vote, which was 48 for and 50 against, was not actually a vote for or against the FMA, but rather to see if the FMA should be debated on and voted on. Senate Democrats had filed a notice of filibuster which blocked any actual vote on the FMA itself. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) called for the cloture vote which in the Senate requires 60 votes out of 100 to succeed. All but three Democrats voted not to allow a debate or a vote on the actual Federal Marriage Amendment. Six Republicans, including Senator John McCain, voted with Democrat leader Tom Daschle.

I was in the Capitol Building on Monday and Tuesday before the vote. The phones were ringing off the hook in Senators' offices with a ratio of 10 calls for the FMA for every 1 call against. One Senator told me that on Tuesday alone his office received 4300 calls and only 300 of those were against the FMA. Supporters of the FMA clogged the Senate phone system so badly that it failed on several occasions. The homosexual lobby groups pleaded with their people on the Internet to call the Senate, but there just are not that many homosexuals. I believe those Senators who voted against traditional marriage and who are up for election this year are fearful of what will happen in November and rightly so. In the Senate the battle now moves from the phone lines to the ballot box. The mass news media claimed that family groups such as ours had a huge "defeat" in the Senate on marriage. This is far from true. We forced those who get hauled around by the nose by the homosexual groups to expose themselves for the puppets they are. To see how Senators voted click here.


Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) has introduced legislation labeling the continuing mass murder of Christians and Animists in the Southern Sudan as genocide. The Muslim government of the north has allowed armed Arab militias to devastate the Darfur region. During a press conference concerning his proposed resolution Senator Brownback said, "This resolution will require the United Nations and the international community to take decisive action. Sudan will be put on notice. It will become a pariah among nations." (Full Brownback statement) Congressman Frank Wolfe (R-VA) will introduce companion legislation in the House. Senator Brownback has obtained Democrat sponsors for the resolution in the Senate, assuring its passage. The Senator has been working to stop the mass murder in the Sudan for many years and was the chief sponsor of the Sudan Peace Act. He has risked his own life traveling to the Darfur region to personally investigate the continued ethnic cleansing of the people by Arab militias loyal to the Sudanese government.



On Thursday I was one of the speakers at a press conference celebrating a victory for traditional marriage in the full House Judiciary Committee. The press conference was held in the actual hearing room of the House Judiciary Committee. The Marriage Protection Act, known as the "Super" DOMA authored by Congressman John Hostettler (R-IN) passed the Judiciary Committee by a margin of 22 to 13 with both Republicans and Democrats voting for it. His bill would add language to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that would strip federal courts of authority to find it unconstitutional. As this is legislation and not a constitutional amendment, only a simple majority vote is needed to pass it. Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) has made it clear that he plans to push for traditional marriage in the House. He now plans to move the Marriage Protection Act onto the floor for a vote next week. This is important legislation. If we can pass it through the House and Senate, the state of Massachusetts will be isolated as the "gay state" with their same-sex marriage licenses not honored anywhere else. And the people of that state may well change that by means of a state constitutional amendment. I have strongly supported Congressman Hostettler's bill to stop the abuses of the courts. This past week Democrats became born-again state's rights advocates, saying the states should decide about marriage. They defended votes against a Constitutional Amendment saying that marriage should not be defined by the federal government. That is exactly what the Hostettler bill does. It says a state can decide, but that no other state has to recognize a same-sex marriage license. Massachusetts can change its motto to "the gay state", but no other state will be forced to accept their marriage licenses as valid. Let's see if the Democrats are still for "states' rights" next week when the vote is held on the Marriage Protection Act in the House.


For several years I have promoted the passage of the Houses of Worship Free Speech Act authored by Congressman Walter Jones (R-SC). His bill would take the muzzle off pastors which was placed upon them by Senator Lyndon Johnson back in the 1960's. Prior to that time, pastors had no restrictions on their speech, not even political speech. This year an alarming trend has emerged. Several attempts have been made in the last few months to silence pastors even further. There has been an effort to amend tax law to force a "renewal" of non-profit status every five years after it is "proven" that churches have not participated in political activity. This is a further threat to free speech. In a letter to Speaker Dennis Hastert, the Religious Freedom Coalition and other freedom loving organizations urged him to add the language of Congressman Walter Jones's bill to any available tax package the House intends to pass prior to the August recess. Click here for more information.


Several items are needed for our overseas ministry work. These may seem like odd requests, but we have tens of thousands of subscribers and there is no telling what someone may have and not use, and as a result may be willing to give away. We still need: Laptop computers with Cyrillic keyboards; Kevlar level II A or higher vests; working gasoline powered scooters; video projectors; aluminum or hard composite travel cases for video and audio equipment; one 18' to 26' power boat with working engine (cannot draft more than 3'). We cannot accept cars. Please note that contributions are tax deductible, but you must set the value of the item, not us. Contact us at donations



The White House is facing more controversy about the choice of prime-time speakers at the GOP convention in August. As I previously mentioned in this update the most conservative prime time speaker is Democrat Senator Zell Miller of Georgia. The rest of the prime time speakers are either pro-abortion or support the gay agenda. Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) has circulated a letter in Congress asking President George W. Bush to have at least one Republican speaker who is a well known social conservative, such as Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL). The letter has been signed by 125 Republicans, more than half of all Republicans in the House. If the White House does not take some action to shore up its conservative image at the August convention I foresee really bad sound bytes appearing on the media during the proceedings. Conservatives will not keep their mouths shut as Governor Pataki and others stand at the podium promoting social liberal views.



The ethnic cleansing of Christians from Kosovo continues. More than 150 churches have been destroyed and more than 250,00 Christians displaced by Muslims in the former Serbian province since it was taken over by United Nations troops at the direction of former President Bill Clinton. I will personally travel to Kosovo in August. During this fact finding mission to Kosovo, the Religious Freedom Coalition will attempt to expose the continuing persecution of Christians in that region. To help financially with this project click here.

HOLY LAND Land Soap is once again available for shipment. Fresh handmade soap made in the Holy Land is made from olive oil. The soap is made by Christian Palestinians in the West Bank. This is the ONLY income of the Christian families involved. Two of the men are under death warrants issued by the PLO. The soap is made by the families. For more information on the soap, its cost and how we obtain it from the families in the West Bank click here or on the image.

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William J. Murray, Chairman

Religious Freedom Coalition , P.O. Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013 Phone: (202) 543-0300

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This publication is a service of the Religious Freedom Coalition (RFC) and does not necessarily reflect its views. It is neither an attempt to aid nor hinder the passage of any specific legislation nor an attempt to assist or defeat any candidate running for public office.

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