Gov. Jeb Bush's Faith and the Death Penalty

ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, June 10—Saying “there is no joy in this at all,” Gov. Jeb Bush signed his first two death warrants June 9, reported the St. Petersburg Times.

Executions are scheduled on July 7 for Thomas Provenzano and July 8 for Allen Lee Davis.

The paper reported Bush signed the death warrants less than three weeks after Bishops John Snyder and John Ricard, visited him and “voiced their opposition and concerns about the death penalty.”

Bush, the President's son who converted to Catholicism in 1995, is “anguished about weighing his religious teachings and his duties as governor,” said the report.

“… Bush alluded to his conversion to Catholicism and the conflict surrounding the life-and-death decisions a governor makes,” said the paper.

According to the report, he recently told students, “I am a Catholic. I am conflicted a little bit by my faith. … I would not want to have the Pope call me up and ask about such decisions.”

Supreme Court Says Pro-Lifers Must Pay Fines

ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 14—The Supreme Court ruled June 14 that Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry and other pro-life activists must pay nearly $600,000 in fines stemming from a campaign to blockade abortion clinics in the New York area almost 10 years ago.

“The justices, without comment, rejected an appeal in which seven individuals and two anti-abortion groups challenged the contempt-of-court fines and fee awards,” said an Associated Press report.

“A federal judge and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals twice have ruled that the fines and fees are justified.”

But Operation Rescue believes that the heavy fines are a way of repressing civil protest, said the report.

“These phenomenally large fines … are a means of repressing civil protest that would have been enthusiastically endorsed by Bull Connor and the Jim Crow South,” the appeal read.

Vermont Could Legalize Homosexual ‘Marriage’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, June 14—Vermont's Supreme Court is weighing whether or not to redefine marriage to include men who live with other men and have sex, and women who live with other women and have sex, said a “Rule of Law” column in the Journal by Matthew Daniels.

Daniels, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said that the Court is disregarding public opposition to the move, which would indirectly affect marriage laws in the other 49 states.

“Public opinion polls show that most Americans regard the concept of homosexual ‘marriage’ as an oxymoron. This is the principal reason that proponents are pursuing legalization through the courts in an effort to do an end run around popular opinion and the democratic process,” said the report.

The Court is currently considering Baker vs. Vermont, in which “the plaintiffs … were carefully chosen by attorneys for the national advocacy organizations” trying to put the sexual relationships of homosexuals on a par with marriage, said Daniels.

The plaintiffs include college professors, state employees and a lesbian couple who run a Christmas tree farm.

One judge in the court is quoted by Daniels saying, “Look … some state has to go first.” Commented Daniels: “He made the error of confusing the court with the state of Vermont — which is to say a democratic policy with a democratically elected government.

After courts in Alaska and Hawaii gave marriage status to homosexuals who live together, voter referendums in those states changed the law back, said Daniels.