Want to Make A Difference for Faith, Family & Freedoms? Give A Year-End Gift

December 28, 2009

Click here to Donate to our work TODAY!

(President of Free Market Foundation shown above as legal counsel for Hannah Giles, who helping take down ACORN.)

As you know, we, at Free Market Foundation/Liberty Legal Institute, are a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.  We are funded solely by private donations.  We could not do the work we do without the support of so many generous persons. 

But our battles (and victories) have been many this year, and we need a strong December and finish for 2009 to cover the expenses for defending freedoms and family values in the courts, legislature and media.

Click here to donate to our work today!

2009 HIGHLIGHTS/VICTORIES!!!

In the Courts

  • We won our third landmark case on religious freedom in the past three years at the Texas Supreme Court – this time protecting all churches in an opinion that national experts hailed as “groundbreaking”. 
  • We won the first written decision from the IRS for pastors and churches nationwide in over a decade, explicitly protecting pastors’ rights to speak to the political issues of the day and equip their congregants to vote their values.
  • We argued, along with the Texas Solicitor General, at the Federal Court of Appeals to defend the Texas Moment of Silence law, and we won! Now, we’re fighting again at federal appeals to defend the words “under God” in the Texas pledge in a lawsuit brought by an atheist plaintiff.
  • And there’s more- our brief was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Summum case; we’ve won numerous victories for churches literally being banned from existing; we represent Hannah Giles, who has been sued by ACORN; we represent all the major veterans groups in the Mojave Desert Cross case at the U.S. Supreme Court; and, we represent Houston City Councilwoman, Ann Clutterbuck, in a lawsuit brought to try to ban prayers at city council meetings.

In the Legislature

  • We won the major battle at our State Board of Education, stopping the liberal attempt to strip our students of academic freedom and their right to test the strengths and weaknesses of all scientific theories, including evolution.
  • We led the charge, reversing the State Board of Education committee decision to remove Christmas from the coverage of religious holidays in our Social Studies books and standards.
  • We won a last-minute veto from the Governor on a frightening bill which would have changed the Texas law on parental rights to allow government officials to take away and interrogate anyone’s children with no notice or requirement of “just cause.”
  • Defeated Planned Parenthood’s attempt to takeover sex education in Texas.
  • Defeated dangerous so-called “Hate Crimes” legislation.
  • We helped lead the largest Pro-Life lobby day at the Capitol, with live ultrasounds performed for legislators.
  • We tracked over 150 bills, testified in 25 legislative hearings, and held 9 press conferences during the Texas Legislative Session.
  • Had nearly 50,000 hits on our Texas Legislative Update Blog

In the Media/Culture


Update: Travis County Bows To Planned Parenthood; Ignores Mass Public Outcry

December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009

First, thank you to all the hardwork by so many people.  You made your voice heard and stood up for what it is right.  This has so much value.  Please make sure you are signed up to our blog RSS feed (upper right corner) and our email so you can stay up to date on issues like this in the future. https://www.freemarket.org/GetInvolved_WeeklyAlert.aspx

Click here to see our video on KVUE. http://www.kvue.com/news/Travis-County-Healthcare-District-Votes-To-Continue-Program-That-Allows-Property-Taxes-To-Fund-Abortions-79020902.html

Prior to the hearing and vote by the Travis County Healthcare District on taxpayer funded abortion, the TCHD said they wanted to know what people in Travis County thought about this issue.  Well, in less than two weeks almost 10,000 Travis County residents signed a petition opposing Travis County Healthcare District’s proposal to use $450,000 of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions on healthy women, including $$ for Planned Parenthood.

According to the hearing, 10,000 is twice the number of people that voted to create the Travis County Healthcare District, in 2004.

In the hearing last night, this stack of signatures was laid before the TCHD board members.  Additionally, the entire hearing room was packed, and a massive group of supporters stood outside the hearing room, watching and listening to the proceedings on a monitor in the hallway.

Nearly fifty (50) people also signed up to testify against this outrageous proposal.  However the TCHD board cut the hearing short, and only allowed less than 15 of them to testify.  The overall turnout was easily 2 to 1 in our favor.

At the end of the day, the TCHD bowed to the pressure of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry and ignored Travis County taxpayers.

PRESS STATEMENT:“This decision is an example of  government it its worst.  The TCHD bowed to the pressure of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry and ignored the outcry of nearly 10,000 Travis County residents that signed a petition in just two short weeks. The TCHD should be ashamed of itself and know that Travis County taxpayers are not going to stand for this.  This is just another outrageous example of a government bailout for Planned Parenthood.” 

The good news is, this is just the beginning of this issue and going forward we need to inform more people about how TCHD and Planned Parenthood are working to get around federal and state law, which bans tax dollars from being used this way with federal and state tax dollars.

Forward this petition to your friends who did not get to sign it and help inform them about this issue!  Click here to DOWNLOAD & SIGN THE PETITION! Petition against TCHD property tax-funded abortions  Fill up the the petition and send it back to us by FAX at: 512-478-2229.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS??? POST YOUR COMMENT HERE!


Texas Medical Association: Senate Plan is “Bad Medicine”; Liberal Texas Democrat is Texas Point man For Obama

November 23, 2009

The Texas Medical Association (TMA) has released a statement opposing the Senate version of the Government Takeover of healthcare.  Click here for their release. http://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=8201

Quorum Report is reporting that Democrat State Representative, Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), is criticizing the TMA’s position. 

The QR piece says that the Obama Whitehouse asked Rep. Coleman to a be a pointman in Texas for selling healthcare reform. 

It should frighten all Texans that Obama wants Coleman to be a leader on healthcare issues, and it should tell us something about what type of “reform” Obama is seeking.

 Who is State Representative Garnet Coleman?  Well just a few recent details.  He supported HB 2221, by Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston),  filed this past Texas Legislative session, which would have forced Texas hospitals to give out emergency contraception (which can cause an abortion) to alleged sexual assault vicitms.  This would apply to public and private hospitals, including Catholic (as was specifically pointed out during the testimony of another person) and other faith-based hospitals, which would force doctors to violate their conscience by forcing them to participate in causing an abortion.

Can you say – taxpayer funded abortions?

This bill received a hearing in the House Public Health committee, and committee member Rep. Coleman (D-Houston), thundered away at us, in favor of this bill, when we testified against it.  Thankfully, this bill was never voted out of this committee.

Rep. Coleman himself, filed a bill during the now ended Texas Legislative session, H.B. 2968, that would have removed the current law that informs women, as a part of informed consent before an abortion, that there is a possibility of increased risk of breast cancer following an induced abortion.  This bill thankfully never received a hearing. 

These two bills failed in Texas Legislative session, but are prime examples for what the government is capable of doing when it has ultimate control over healthcare.  Forcing Catholic and other faith-based hospitals and healthcare providers to cause abortions, against their conscience, and censoring information about risks to women is the wrong directions for our state and our country.

Is this the type of reform Obama and Congress want for healthcare?


Travis County Could Spend $450,000 for Abortions; Refuses to Discuss with Citizens

October 28, 2009

Click here for an update on this issue!! https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/travis-county-bows-to-planned-parenthood-ignore-mass-public-outcry/

We testified last week against Travis County’s efforts last week to use $450,000 of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.  Their response by the Travis County Health District after ours and the testimony of many others, was to run and hide in “executive session”, which means they discussed their intentions on this issue behind closed doors.100_0548Is this what the future of healthcare is going to look like?  Bureaucrats behind closed doors wasting our tax dollars on life destroying practices? What an outrage.

STAND WITH US & Call the Travis County Health District (512-978-8000) and tell them you don’t want your tax dollars to be used to pay for abortions and that you want this issue to be discussed in open view by the public!  They have not yet voted and you can rest assured they are being heavily influenced by the abortion lobbyists.

Planned Parenthood had two persons there testifying IN FAVOR of tax dollars being used for abortions.

http://www.statesman.com/search/content/news/stories/local/2009/10/23/1023abortion.html

Click here for details of more Government funding of PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN TEXAS. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/planned-parenthood-sex-ed-with-goverment-funding-controversy-continues/


Stop the Abortion Mandate!! Stop Planned Parenthood Funding by Taxpayers!! Live Webcast Tomorrow!!

July 22, 2009

Tomorrow, on Thursday, July 23rd, a live webcast will take place at 8 p.m. Central.  You’ll remember we informed you that Planned Parenthood was busted in April for performing illegal abortions in TEXAS!!  click here for details. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/state-orders-cease-desist-against-illegal-planned-parenthood-facilities-in-texas/.

You’ll also recall that Planned Parenthood just closed all of its El Paso facilities, So They Are On The Run and THEY WANT MORE MONEY FROM YOU, THE TAXPAYER!!  https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/06/29/planned-parenthood-closes-6-clinics-in-el-paso/

“Help block one of the greatest threats to human life since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision imposed abortion on America…”

Join the URGENT nationwide webcast event on Thursday,
July 23, to prevent Washington D.C. bureaucrats and abortion industry lobbyists from forcing YOU to pay for abortions.

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, received more than $350 million in taxpayer funding last year and ended the year with a $112 million surplus.

Now they want EVEN MORE!

Click here for details and to REGISTER for the WEBCAST!  http://www.stoptheabortionmandate.com/

 Click here to Contact your Congressman and tell he/she to vote against taxpayer funded abortions http://capwiz.com/freemarket/home/

Read the CNN story on this issue. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/22/health.care.abortion/index.html


2009 Texas Legislative Session Summary

June 11, 2009

Click here for our summary. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/texas-legislatve-session-summary-taxes-rejected-family-values-protected/


Texas Legislative Session Summary: Taxes Rejected, Family Values Protected

June 4, 2009

         ultrasound   

From the front lines of the Texas Legislature:  Despite a change in D.C. and a more liberal coup in the Texas House (which helped many dangerous bill have progress that would have previously never moved an inch), there is good news to report, but also some unfinished business.  It must be noted that even though there was a more liberal coup in the Texas House, extreme legislation was still soundly defeated because they are massively out of step with mainstream Texas values. 

Taxes:  The business/franchise tax now exempts from the tax, businesses with a revenue of less than $1 million (HB 4765- House Record Vote http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY64FINAL.PDF#page=9 ; Senate Record Vote http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-27-F.PDF#page=388) and property tax appraisers now must include foreclosure sales when computing the market value of a homestead (HB 1038: House Record Vote-http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY41FINAL.PDF#page=7 ; Senate Record Vote-http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-26-F.PDF#page=162).  

Also, TEA Party groups, FMF and others, helped end the local-option transportation tax on the last day (HB 300/SB 855-Senate Record Vote-http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ04-14-F.PDF#page=11). This was HUGE! 

Science Prevails, Censorship Rejected: We answered the call and defeated efforts to censor and ban discussion and criticism of evolution in the classroom, before the SBOE.   This issue was intertwined with the Legislature as House members signed a letter supporting our position and filed a bill to protect these freedoms, if necessary. Over 10,000 emails and many phone calls made a difference!  This affects 4 million students and was covered internationally! Final record vote: 
For- Allen, Agosto, Bradley, Cargill, Craig, Dunbar, Hardy, Knight, McLeroy, Mercer, Miller, Leo, Lowe.  AGAINST-Nunez, Berlanga. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS! 

 State Board of Education (SBOE) Attacked, Liberal “Victory” Short Lived: FMF fought successfully against liberal bills that stripped textbook and curriculum authority away from the elected SBOE (SB 2275: Bill never received vote-click here for Supporter of Bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=SB2275) and another, HB 710 (http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY65FINAL.PDF#page=25), would have taken power away from the voters to decide the future and existence of SBOE members and the entity itself.  We were the key to the demise of these and many other SBOE attack bills, with your help. We are outraged that SBOE Chairman, Don McLeroy, was blocked from confirmation by 11 Democrat Senators (the only other Democrat Senator, Sen. Eddie Lucio, chose not to vote on McLeroy, but he was on the Senate Floor). Despite our best efforts to the contrary, the Senate discussion focused on his Christian beliefs and the opinion of the N.Y. Times.  This far-left “victory” will no doubt be short lived, as we believe Gov. Perry will be appointing a new SBOE chairman who is is just as conservative as Dr. McLeroy.  An announcement could come soon. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE DETAILS! 

Planned Parenthood Failed Takeover of Texas Sex Ed:  Planned Parenthood and other groups put all their efforts toward forcing Texas students to learn more about condoms, contraception, and various sexual lifestyles, and less about abstinence (HB 741 -House members who supported this  http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB741, HB 1567- see who suppported this bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB1567).  Almost every day at the Capitol, you could see small groups of women and children carrying Planned Parenthood bags, working on this issue.  But, we provided key testimony and documentation and pulled together a strong and united coalition of groups across the state in opposition to these bills, which we defeated. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS!!  

New Hate Crimes  Law for Children? Not On Our Watch: Can you image your ten year-old child being charged with a “hate crime”?  That’s the bill that almost became law this session, HB 824 (see who vote for this bill  http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY43FINAL.PDF#page=18).  This bill passed the full House, and passed the Senate State Affairs Committee.  Just last week, it was one step away from heading to Gov. Perry’s desk before we were finally able to stop it.  We also stopped a hate crimes bill (HB 2966-see who supported this bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB2966) and a “bullying” bill (HB 1323-see who supported this bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB1323) that would have given special class protection to “transgender’ persons. 

Pro-Life, Pro-Family Legislation: Some Gains, Some Setbacks:  The Pro-Life Lobby Day was a huge success with hundreds of you in attendance and live ultrasound performed at the Capitol.  Numerous legislators were able to come face to face with the amazing ultrasound technology, some for the first time.  We also worked on the Ultrasound bill (supporters in the House http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB36 and Senate Record Vote http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-01-F.PDF#page=21). Both the Choose Life license plate bill and Ultrasound had a majority of support by the House and Senate, but the Ultrasound bill was blocked by liberal delays related to Voter I.D. and the Choose Life plate fell victim to political posturing on the last day. Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, bascially blocked the Choose Life license plate from getting out of committee, otherwise it would have passed the House in a stand alone bill, which would have allowed it to become law, as it had already passed the Senate, Instead, we had to amend the plate onto another bill, which had its own problems and eventually died. (See the House members that supported the Choose Life Plate http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB109 and the Senate Record Vote: http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-01-F.PDF#page=47)  Adult Stem cell treatment and research funding of $5 million will continue and the Alternatives to Abortion fund was increased from $5 to $8 million. Adult Stem Cell and Divorce Reform bills ran out of time before a House vote.  We also stifled efforts to undermine parental and informed consent and embryonic stem cell/cloning bills. 

Attack on Voters Guides & Others Dangerous Legislation Averted:  HB 2511- see the record vote in the House-http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY72FINAL.PDF#page=30 which we were able to stop after it passed out of the House, would have had a dramatic negative impact on our voters guide.  I even heard one legislator tell me that he was working on a way to ban our Voters’ Guides from being passed out in churches, something federal law clearly protects!  

Infanticide Bill-We also knocked down efforts to create a new Infanticide law (HB 3318- supporters-http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB3318) mother who murders her infant could have received only 6 months jail time if she claimed postpartum stress, currently this is a Capitol Murder crime). 

Gambling Bills Crushed-numerous bills were filed to expand gambling in Texas, particularly to allow full blown casino gambling in Texas.  We helped defeat them all.   The word around the Capitol was that there were over 200 paid lobbyist working to expand gambling in Texas. 

With our Austin office firmly established, we were at the Capitol every day and we were involved in every part of the legislative process.  We were also able to meet and interact with so many of you when you came to Austin or you called into our office.  We debuted our Texas Legislative Update Blog in January and it received almost 20,000 hits during the session! Thank you for your commitment to stand with us on these important issues.  We could not have had the outcomes on the above legislation without your help.  Please look for more detailed analysis, pictures, and videos of legislative session summaries in the days to come here at our Texas Legislative Update Blog! 

FMF meets with San Antonio pro-life activists at the Capitol

FMF meets with San Antonio pro-life activists at the Capitol


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