Parental Rights Amendment Gains
Special Report - May 11, 2010
Congressional support continues to grow for a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would protect the fundamental right of parents to “direct the upbringing and education of their children.” The Parental Rights Amendmentwhich was introduced in the House last year by Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) as H.J. Res. 42would amend the U.S. Constitution to explicitly protect the rights of parents to raise their children in the manner they believe to be best, while also protecting children from potential abuse and neglect. H. J. Res. 42 now has 135 co-sponsors, including five members from North Carolina: Representatives Walter Jones, Howard Coble, Sue Myrick, Mike McIntyre, and Patrick McHenry. Sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), the companion bill in the Senate is S.J. Res. 16, and currently has seven co-sponsors. To date, North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan have not signed on as cosponsors to the bill.
“The number of members of Congress continues to grow because of the growing understanding of the threats to the parent-child relationship by government and foreign organizations,” Rep. Hoekstra said in a press release. “Protecting the ability of parents to raise their children how they best determine is absolutely necessary in the current environment of encroaching government interference into our private lives.”
Proponents of the Parental Rights Amendment stress that the threat to the rights of parents is increasing, both here at home through the federal court system and also from international law, such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty that has not yet been ratified by the U.S. but could be soon. To read more about the treaty, read our July/August 2009 feature article in Family North Carolina magazine, “UNdermining the Family: How Certain U.N. Conventions Undermine Family and Sovereignty.”
The proposed Parental Rights Amendment states:
- “Section One: The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.”
- “Section Two: Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.”
- “Section Three: No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.”
Supporters of the Parental Rights Amendment have launched a national campaign aimed at raising grassroots and Congressional support for the legislation. They are urging citizens to sign a petition in support of the Parental Rights Amendment, which can be found at their Web site, www.parentalrights.org. On the Web site, there is also a list of House and Senate cosponsors of the legislation grouped by state, including information on North Carolina House and Senate members who have signed on as cosponsors (and those who have not yet done so).
In May 2009, North Carolina Family Policy Council president Bill Brooks spoke with Michael Farris, president of parentalrights.org, about the Parental Rights Amendment on the Council’s weekly radio program, “Family Policy Matters.” To listen to that interview, go here, and select the May 2, 2009 program entitled, “Parental Rights Amendment.”
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