Heritage’s Ryan Anderson Defends Traditional Marriage in Hostile Territory

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In Heritage Work

Ryan Anderson at Boston College.

Heritage’s Ryan Anderson takes a question about traditional marriage at Boston College. Photo: Ryan Anderson

College campuses are not known for being a welcoming place for conservatives. Especially when you’re talking about the importance of traditional marriage.

A Heritage Foundation scholar nevertheless went to Boston College this week to explain traditional marriage to an overflow crowd.

When the event was announced, gay rights organizations on campus took to social media, encouraging students to show up to challenge Anderson’s message, reports The Heights student newspaper.

Anderson didn’t let the crowd deter him. Instead, he opened by explaining he was not going to speak out against gay marriage in a way they expected:

 “From the looks of the t-shirts, this is probably a challenge for most of the audience,” he said. “I want to know what you think marriage is … that’s actually the question that people in favor of redefining marriage refuse to answer. And they refuse to answer that question by hiding behind what I think is a rather sloppy slogan: marriage equality.” …

“Marriage is a personal relationship that benefits the public good in a way that very few other personal relationships do. It’s the least restrictive way that a political community has to ensure the wellbeing of children—it’s the least restrictive, least coercive way to ensure that someone raises that child.”

Even if he didn’t sway many students, Anderson’s arguments offered a principled counterpoint to the liberal consensus on same-sex marriage.

Have you ever had to present your conservative ideas to a hostile audience? Tell us what happened in the comments.

Video: What Do New Yorkers Really Think About Obamacare?

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In Heritage Work

The Heritage Foundation’s Chris Jacobs took to the streets of New York—near our new Times Square billboard—to hear what Americans really think about Obamacare.

Their answers might surprise you. Watch the video below:

How do you think Obamacare will affect you?

Vote Now to Help a Heritage Expert Present on Cybersecurity at SXSW

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In Heritage Impact

James Carafano. Photo: Chas Geer

James Carafano. Photo: Chas Geer

A Heritage Foundation expert needs your help to ensure the conservative message is represented at an important technology conference in 2014.

Speakers at SXSW—a technology, culture and music celebration in Austin which attracts thousands of influential attendees—are predominantly left of center. To get in front of this important audience and help move the national debate in a conservative direction, Heritage expert James Carafano applied to present on cybersecurity and cyber-terror.

Speakers are chosen by the votes of the American people. Which is why we need your help to get a conservative voice at SXSW.

Vote online for James Carafano’s presentation today. The deadline is September 6. You will have to register an account on the SXSW website in order to vote. Continue Reading »

Video: Sen. Orrin Hatch Makes the Case for U.S. Sovereignty and Against Ineffective U.N. Treaties

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In Other Work of Note

In 2009 the Obama administration signed the the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an inefficient United Nations treaty that sacrifices American sovereignty without any benefit to the United States.

Now it is in the hands of the Senate to ratify or reject the treaty.

The United States has enacted extensive federal laws to end discrimination against persons with disabilities in the United States, Heritage Foundation expert Steve Groves told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year.

CRPD would not improve on these laws. Instead, it would hand over US sovereignty to a UN governing body that would set legally binding standards and require routine compliance reviews.

“If the Senate gives its advice and consent and the Convention is ratified,” Groves testified, “it would become the supreme Law of the Land on par with federal statutes, including statutes relating to disability rights.”

Speaking last week on the Senate floor, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) laid out his argument for voting down the CRPD. Continue Reading »

Video: Ryan Anderson Unpacks the SCOTUS Decisions

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In Heritage Work

The Supreme Court this week handed down decisions on two important cases relating to the definition of marriage.

The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson’s provides conservative analysis of the decisions on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

What You Need to Know About the Supreme Court’s Pending Marriage Rulings

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In Heritage Work

The Supreme Court will announce decisions this week on two cases relating to same-sex marriage.

The first case challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8, an amendment to California’s state constitution passed by a popular vote in 2008. It defines marriage for state purposes as the union of one man and one woman.

The second case involves the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law passed by overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. It defines marriage for the purposes of federal law as the union of one man and one woman. It also ensures that each state is free to make its own marriage policy and does not have to recognize another state’s revision of marriage policy.

The Court should uphold these marriage laws and allow the debate over marriage to proceed in the democratic process.

Read The Heritage Foundation’s fact sheet on these cases to find out what’s at stake.

Heritage Action Releases a New Legislative Scorecard for the 113th Congress

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In Other Work of Note

Heritage Action Scorecard

Heritage Action for America, the sister organization of The Heritage Foundation, has launched new and improved Legislative Scorecard that grades lawmakers on their votes in the current session of Congress.

The Scorecard is a key resource that allows Heritage Action’s hundreds of thousands of activists across the nation to keep Congress accountable.

Using the revised Scorecard, Heritage Action activists can: Continue Reading »

Video: How the Internet Sales Tax Is Threatening a Virginia Small Business

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In Heritage Work

Catesby Jones owns a small business in Virginia called Peace Frogs. Along with his three dozen employees, he makes T-shirts, baseball caps and other “cool” stuff, which he sells online.

He credits his success to the internet. “By reaching out to a worldwide base of customers, companies in rural parts like ours can thrive and have a much bigger presence than they otherwise would through traditional sales.”

Jones is incredibly concerned with the threat of the Internet Sales Tax. Big businesses with the money to lobby Congress are pushing for the measure, which they can afford to pay. But it would hurt small internet-based businesses like Peace Frogs.

Watch The Heritage Foundation video above to learn more about Catsby Jones’s story. Then tell us in the comments: do you think it’s fair for Congress to impose a punishing tax like this on Jones’ business?

Does America Need a One-Size-Fits-All Education Plan?

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In Heritage Work

Every child is unique. There is not a one-size-fits-all model for educating them, but that is exactly what liberals are attempting to create with Common Core.

Common Core would establish a national education curriculum, standards, and testing on all students across the United States. Heritage Foundation expert Lindsey Burke outlines three major issues with this approach:

  1. It has no track record of success. Common Core has not been proven to improve academic outcomes. Nevertheless, Burke explains, the “Obama Administration has pushed states to adopt national standards and assessments in exchange for offers of billions of dollars in federal funding and waivers from the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind.”
  2. It centralizes power in Washington. Individual school districts have proven time and time again that they are capable of managing their own educational curriculum and standards. Each state, district, and school has unique needs and circumstances to achieve what is best for their students. Burke elaborates: “common core assumes curriculum driven by federal bureaucrats and national organizations – are preferable to the state and local reform efforts guided by input from parents, teachers and taxpayers.”
  3. It discourages innovation. By mandating top-down federal standards, common core takes away classroom innovation and forces teachers to teach to the centralized standards and tests, removing creativity and individuality from the classroom.

Common Core is an unproven system that would centralize power and strip creativity from teachers. Read more about Heritage’s education research on our education website.

What do you think about instituting a Common Core education? 

The Cost of Amnesty to the American Taxpayer: $6.3 Trillion

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In Heritage Work

The Heritage Foundation released a pivotal report today  which calculates that granting amnesty to illegal immigrants will cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion.

Some highlights from the report:

  • If amnesty is enacted, the average adult unlawful immigrant would receive $592,000 more in government benefits over his lifetime than he would pay in taxes.
  • The lifetime fiscal deficit of amnesty — benefits minus taxes — would be $6.3 trillion, and that’s a conservative estimate.
  • When those granted amnesty retire and collect Social Security, they would draw $3.00 out of the pot for every $1.00 they paid in.
  • In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. That means that each illegal immigrant household today costs taxpayers $14,387 per year. Amnesty would provide unlawful households with access to over 80 means-tested welfare programs, Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare. The fiscal deficit for each household would soar.

In their 93-page report, Heritage welfare expert Robert Rector and domestic policy scholar Jason Richwine break down the cost of amnesty to the U.S. taxpayer. Even accounting for the phased approach to implementing government benefits that some amnesty advocates favor, the long-term cost is astronomical. Continue Reading »

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