Updated June 4, 2006 Compiled & written by Mike Fitzpatrick
Quest News Update
Reality Check: The Column
FRI’s “Battle For Marriage In Wisconsin” DVD Gets Bad Review
Milwaukee - The May 31 edition of the alternative paper the Shepherd-Express contained a movie review that is likely to upset Julaine Appling and the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, the leading proponents of the proposed ban on civil unions and marriage. Appling’s highly touted “The Battle For Marriage In Wisconsin,” reportedly distributed to over 4,000 churches throughout the state was the subject of both a review and a “fact check” by the paper’s Lisa Kaiser.
Kaiser gave the video a “thumbs down,” noting the DVD contained twelve blatant misrepresentations of the civil union and marriage ban proposal and civil marriage in general. In point-counterpoint fashion, Kaiser offers excerpts from the DVD’s transcript and her responses.
Kaiser began by quoting this voice-over: “The institution of marriage is God’s creation, designed for mankind’s good and God’s glory. Marriage and the family are not the creation of the state or even the church. Therefore marriage or the family cannot be redefined by the government or the church.”
In response Kaiser wrote, “That must be news to our lawmakers because marriage is in fact defined by state law. Statute 765.01 states ‘marriage, so far as its validity at law is concerned, is a civil contract ,to which the contracting is essential, and which creates the legal status of husband and wife.’”
Kaiser later questioned the DVD’s assertion that “the battle for marriage in Wisconsin is the defining social and moral issue of our day.”
“Really?” Kaiser asked, then noted that “legislators say that their constituents’ main concerns are health care, jobs, and education.
Kaiser was apparently stunned by FRI Executive Director (and Bob Jones University graduate) Julaine Appling’s lack of basic civics knowledge. “Make no mistake. Our Constitution will be amended,” Appling intoned in the video. “The question is, by whom? A few renegade judges at the insistence of a very loud but small group of people or by our elected representatives, by we the people?”
The reporter set Appling straight. “Fact: Actually, judges can’t amend our Constitution,” Kaiser wrote. “Amendments must be passed by two consecutive sessions of the state Legislature, and then it is put on a ballot. In this case, the “small group of people” who is insisting on putting this on the November ballot is the Republican leadership, afraid of losing big-time in the election and hoping to win only by appealing to the base instincts of voters.”
Copies of the Shepherd Express are available without charge throughout the Milwaukee metro area. No online line version of the review was available at Quest’s deadline. Other content from the paper’s May 31 edition can be found at: www.shepherd-express.com