Advocacy News

The Word from Lansing Column: The “Lame Duck” Legislative Session

With the November elections completed and the newly elected officials not beginning their terms until January, the Michigan Legislature has entered its “Lame Duck” legislative session. November’s The Word from Lansing column outlines the impact of the elections and the characteristics of the next two months, as lawmakers seek to accomplish remaining priorities before the end of the 2013–2014 session. Since Michigan is a full-time Legislature, any bills that have been introduced these past two years could be considered during this time. Michigan Catholic Conference staff will be looking out for measures, such as the recently introduced Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that impact significant priorities of the Church, such as religious liberty, economic justice, human life, education, families, and restorative justice. Read more…

Religious Liberty Must be a Priority, Says MCC President and CEO

In order to promote religious liberty and conscience rights, and to help encourage diversity in the public square, legislation introduced today by Speaker Jase Bolger to create a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act, House Bill 5958, is needed now more than ever, said the President and CEO of the Michigan Catholic Conference. "In the name of tolerance, religious organizations and individuals are not being tolerated,” said Paul A. Long, Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO. Read more…

Statement Applauding Court Ruling to Uphold Traditional Marriage

On Thursday, November 6 a three judge panel in Cincinnati ruled 2-1 to uphold the 2004 voter-approved Michigan Marriage Amendment as constitutional. The majority opinion from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a lower court decision in Michigan, and also finds constitutional traditional marriage amendments in the states of Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky. The Michigan case was defended by the office of state Attorney General Bill Schuette, which Michigan Catholic Conference supported through an amicus (friend of the court) brief that was filed back in May. Following the Circuit Court’s ruling, Michigan Catholic Conference released a statement saying “Today’s ruling is a joyous occasion for many communities and families across the state that have sought to protect the traditional definition of marriage.” Read more…

November General Election Results

The commercials are over, the campaigning is done and the yard signs are soon to come down. Election Day has come and gone. What an exhilarating opportunity Michiganders and all persons across the country are given every two years to participate in the Democratic process! In the Catholic tradition, “Responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.” In the weeks leading up to the election, Michigan Catholic Conference urged Catholics to form their conscience based on the principles of Catholic social teaching, and to evaluate candidates through the lens of faith. This update summarizes the results of the November 4 General Election and what the political composition will look like in Michigan next year. Read more…

The Word from Lansing Column: Respect Life Month

On Sunday, October 5th, parishes and dioceses began promotion of the annual Respect Life Program, a month long series of events to highlight human dignity issues and to distribute materials developed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). This year’s Respect Life Program specifically emphasizes topics such as advanced directives and end-of-life care, commercial surrogacy, and abortion and its connection to poverty. Through its teaching on these and other life issues, Catholic Church emphasizes the importance of standing up for all life, from conception until natural death. The Word from Lansing column for October delves into the Catholic teaching on human life and its relation to the public realm and the November elections. Read more…

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