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Week Ending August 13, 2004
August 13, 2004 11:58AM EST



William J. Murray is currently traveling through Kosovo, in Mr. Murray absence Peggy Birchfield wrote this update from Capitol Hill.


Last week we informed our readers about the new "religious advisor" to Senator John Kerry. The Religious Freedom Coalition along with other active conservative groups exposed her liberal agenda, forcing the Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson to step down. This was the "Reverend" who joined the lawsuit filed by atheist Michael Newdow to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag! Her true colors were exposed-an adversary to religion and faith-thus hastening her resignation as senior religion advisor. Stay tuned to see who John Kerry appoints as his next religious "adversary".


On Thursday, August 12, the California Supreme court ruled 5-2 that San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority by issuing same-sex marriage licenses last February. The court also voided all marriages of gay and lesbian couples sanctioned by the city. Currently the California law bans same-sex marriage. The court stated that the city violated the law when it issued the certificates, since both previous legislation and voter-approved measures defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The San Francisco's "gay weddings" followed the ruling in Massachusetts' Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriages. Nearly 4,000 same-sex couples were issued marriage certificates. Missouri was the first state recently to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage in the aftermath of the Massachusetts' ruling to legalize it. Nine more states are scheduled for a similar vote. Louisiana is scheduled to vote on the same issue on September 18, followed by Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah voting in November. So, I guess it looks like Rosie O'Donnell is single again?



Today Australian lawmakers voted to ban same-sex marriage. They are also looking to establish immigration rules to prevent gays and lesbians from adopting foreign children. Prime Minister John Howard announced changes to the country’s law on Thursday. Howard who admires President George W. Bush, has been united on this issue. He confidently told reporters, "I believe in this," The changes "wouldn't be coming forward if I didn't believe very strongly in both of them." This bill passed Friday in the Senate with a vote of 39-7 will be inserted into the country's Marriage Act with the words: "Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."

Also to be inserted is a provision stating: "Certain unions are not marriages. a union solemnized in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognized as a marriage in Australia."

Senator Bob Brown,of the Green Party, a homosexual, accused Howard of "hatred" and following the "extreme right-wing fundamentalist currently in power in the United States."

The Australian people have made clear their overwhelming desire that marriages should be between only a man and a woman.


Mr. Murray is currently traveling under armed escort to remote areas of the province of Kosovo. He is currently delivering medical kits and supplies to Christian villages, which have been limited to medical supplies since the destruction of Christian homes and churches. Most Christians cannot safely travel to the new hospitals built with our tax dollars, nor can their children safely attend schools built with our tax dollars. Christians are isolated and under constant attack.

The following report was sent Tuesday from Mr. Murray as he travels:

Monday, August 9, I and other American Evangelicals had a private meeting with the President of Serbia, Boris Tadic, to discuss the situation of the persecuted Christian minority in the Serbian province of Kosovo.

Since United Nations and NATO troops were sent to Kosovo to "maintain law and order," at least 200,000 Christians have fled the province, more than 10,000 have been killed, and the remainder, about 50,000 people, are isolated and feel threatened among the majority population of mostly Albanian Muslims. At the meeting, President Tadic expressed grave concerns for the welfare of the remaining Christians. (He also, in a comment directed to me, expressed appreciation for the RFC Legislative Updates and the way our organization has tried to call attention to this humanitarian crisis.)

Afterward, our group met at lunch with the Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vuk Draskovakic; the Minister of Culture, Dragon Kojadinovic; and the President of the Coordination Center for Serbian-Kosovo Relations, Nebojsa Covic. After meeting with Serbian officials, we met with the American Ambassador to Serbia, Michael C. Polt.

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