Monday, November 8, 2010

What's Next? An Issue that Unites Americans: Preservation of Parental Rights

/PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Michael P. Farris, J.D., President of

In the aftermath of this past election, it is appropriate to ask the question: What next? What will some of the legislative priorities be for the newly constituted House and Senate?

An issue that motivated many activists in last week's elections, while going largely uncovered by the national media, is the protection of the right of parents to make decisions concerning their children. This promises to be on the short list of action items for a new House controlled by Republicans.

During the last election cycle, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, and other Democratic leaders promised that they would seek and obtain ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Senator Jim DeMint (SC) introduced a resolution, S.Res.519, which opposes the ratification of the UN children's treaty that threatens the constitutional rights of parents. With the leadership of Senator DeMint and the substantial grassroots efforts of and 140+ affiliated family organizations, the Senate resolution has 31 formal sponsors. Written commitments from two additional senators bring the number to 33 Senators who stand against the use of international law to govern American parents. This is just one Senator away from the number needed to block ratification of this treaty.

A recent Zogby poll demonstrates that Americans oppose the Convention by 78.3% to 6.4%--a ratio of approximately 12 to 1.

On the flipside, 93% of Americans endorse the Supreme Court's traditional rule protecting parental rights as a fundamental freedom. And even with no explanation of the need for an amendment, 63% of the American public supports a constitutional amendment to protect these rights.

The proposed Parental Rights Amendment currently has 142 co-sponsors in the House, including 140 Republicans and two Democrats. In addition, dozens of candidates for the 112th Congress signed a pledge to cosponsor the Parental Rights Amendment. With many of these winning on November 2, already anticipates 156 cosponsors on the measure in January.

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