FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2020

BREAKING: Gov. Murphy Takes Hypocritical Stand On Infant Loss and Abortion

After making October “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month,” Murphy announces support for pro-abortion bill – in October

TRENTON, New Jersey – Today, Governor Murphy made clear his support for the Reproductive Freedom Act. In response, Shawn Hyland, Director of Advocacy at Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey issued the following statement:

“Just this past January, Governor Murphy declared October to be “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month.” At the beginning of the solemn month, it is the epitome of hypocrisy to today announce his support for a radical abortion proposal. We expect that if this plan is like similar proposals (now laws) in New York and Illinois, it would allow the taking of life up to the moment of birth for any reason in New Jersey.

“It is indisputable that Governor Murphy and so many others in Trenton are beholden to the senseless taking of life through abortion and the industry built around it. From increasing Planned Parenthood funding to $20 million per year when New Jersey could least afford it, to refusing to enforce important health and safety standards in standing-room-only abortion clinics during the Coronavirus pandemic, his stance is clear – abortion anywhere, anytime regardless of cost, safety of the mother, or the lives of babies in the womb.

“During a month when countless New Jersey parents mourn the tragic loss of unborn children and infants, it is sobering that efforts to advance the publicly funded and virtually limitless killing of children would be the singular focus of the Murphy administration.

“We call on Governor Murphy and the pro-abortion contingent in the NJ legislature to stop promoting policies that legally advance genocide in the Garden State.”

Media Contact:

Robert Noland, (719) 308-2822, Media@FamilyPolicyAlliance.com

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Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey works to advance biblical citizenship and promote good public policy that protects religious freedom, families, and life.

 

Votes are still being tabulated for congressional races across New Jersey before the state legislature can certify the results. I am thrilled to inform you that our endorsed candidate for the New Jersey state senate seat in District 25, Anthony Bucco Jr., won his reelection campaign! He received more votes than any other person ever to run for a state senate seat in New Jersey under the current plan of 40 districts. Congratulations to Senator Bucco and all our ministry partners that invested in our Get Out the Vote efforts to contact thousands of pro-life, pro-family voters in his district through multiple mailers and digital ads.

The real battle for the soul and stability of our state is in 2021. Our state may have old voices heading to Washington, but we need a new vision in Trenton. This new vision should protect life and God’s design for family as the foundation of society—and especially the right of parents to direct their children’s education. Currently, these historical mainstream beliefs are fiercely opposed by those who hold the highest seats of power in our state government.

Together, we must stand firm against efforts to further undermine the moral fabric of our state in 2021. For that reason, two weeks ago we hosted Win Back NJ featuring Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA. This virtual event highlighted the fight for parental rights, religious rights, and the right to life. Parents, pastors, and pro-life advocates joined us live in person and by video to encourage you to Win Back NJ.

If you have not yet viewed this event, please take the time this weekend to learn what is happening in your state and how Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey is serving you by protecting students in school, babies in the womb, and pastors in churches.

Finally, this virtual event replaced our normal year end Family Gala fundraising dinner. I must ask you to consider giving a gift today to help strengthen our efforts across the state. Whether it is a gift of $500, $100, $50 or your very best, please pray about what you can do to help Win Back NJ to your values.

Let’s make New Jersey better,

Shawn Hyland
Director of Advocacy

Dear Friends,

Late last week, I contacted you to make urgent phone calls to your state senator and twelve key senators to vote NO on S1512. This bill, if it becomes law, would create a “state approved textbook database” and would restrict school boards from purchasing textbooks from any vendor of their choice. They would be legally required to purchase textbooks from companies that publish LGBTQ inclusive material.

Legislative offices were overwhelmed by your calls on Friday and Monday. Staff members communicated to many callers how they had received hundreds of calls within hours! In response to this widespread objection from concerned parents and residents, the bill was pulled from the legislative calendar.

They did not have enough votes to pass it!

I also contacted each senator to let them know their vote would be tracked and used in our voter guide for their 2021 reelection efforts next year. Why? Because I believe school board members and parents in the community should decide which textbooks to purchase, not state bureaucrats empowered by the legislature to remove local control from public education.

By the grace of God, the bill did not pass today but we must remain vigilant and watchful for the next time it may arise.

Thank you for making NJ better,

Shawn Hyland
Director of Advocacy

Yesterday, pro life organizations, including Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, participated in a day of outrage to protect babies in the womb from the most atrocious and radical abortion bill ever introduced in our state, and possibly in any state – The Reproductive Freedom Act! We gathered outside the offices of the two primary senate sponsors – Senator Loretta Weinberg and Senator Linda Greenstein to remind them that every child has the right to live and it is the government’s job to protect them.

The Reproductive Freedom Act would codify into law the right to abort a baby minutes before birth, and equally threaten women’s health, jeopardize children’s safety, and criminalize medical health professionals.

It is outrageous and we are outraged. Therefore, despite extremely inclement weather, pro-life organizations and supporters gathered for hours in solidarity to protect these vulnerable people and professions from the negative impact this bill would have on their health, their career, and for many – their life.

Shawn Hyland, Director of Advocacy of Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey
“Moms deserve better than risky abortions performed by non-physicians. Babies deserve better than painful third trimester abortions. Medical workers deserve better than forcing them against their conscience and religious beliefs to participate in the abortion procedure. New Jersey, we must do better.”

Rev. Clenard Childress of L.E.A.R.N.
“The Reproductive Freedom Act at its core is the most heartless proposed legislation in the history of the state. The sponsors of this draconian bill have disregarded the polling of New Jersey citizens that found 82% of its citizens want lawful restrictions on abortion. This is a clear example of the few imposing their will upon the many.”

Marie Tasy, Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life
“New Jersey Right to Life is proud to stand in solidarity with other pro-life groups and the growing number of informed NJ citizens to express our outrage at this unjust and inhumane legislation and demand that it be immediately withdrawn from consideration.”

Christine Flaherty, Director of LIFENET
“This legislature knows of abortion’s harm to babies who feel excruciating pain at 20 weeks through our post card campaign. This is outrageous to present this bill to NJ citizens.”

You can view more photos of this Day of Action on our Facebook page!

The current pro-abortion lawmakers want to end this debate in New Jersey once and for all. Abortion at any time, for any reason, without any restrictions – without end. Please use our Action Center to tell the Health Committee members to vote NO on the Reproductive Freedom Act.

Let’s make New Jersey better,

Shawn Hyland
Director of Advocacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 29, 2020

BREAKING: Pastors Sue Governor Murphy for Not Deeming Churches Essential and Preventing Them from Immediately Reopening

Lawsuit comes after Governor Murphy failed to respond to two letters asking to responsibly reopen churches

TRENTON, New Jersey – Today, 27 churches sued New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, in District Court, over his failure to deem churches as essential, which prohibits them from reopening, even under CDC guidelines. The complaint argues Governor Murphy is unconstitutionally preventing the free exercise of faith of hundreds of thousands of New Jersey citizens by keeping church doors forcibly closed.

As of this week, New Jersey church doors have been closed for more than nine weeks. While Governor Murphy had initially named a variety of other entities in his reopening plan – including restaurants and entertainment – he had not included churches with the exception of “drive-in” services, where congregants must remain in their vehicles with doors and windows closed or with vehicles six feet apart, a requirement that effectively prohibits many worshipers from gathering. Though today, Governor Murphy projected lifting the current restrictions on indoor religious services on Friday, June 12, he failed to define these limits.

The lawsuit comes after Governor Murphy failed to respond to two separate letters from pastors throughout the state respectfully requesting the Governor deem churches as essential so believers throughout the state can begin to freely worship together again while following all CDC guidelines.

The first letter, sent two weeks ago, was spearheaded by Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey and signed by 100 pastors who reminded Governor Murphy being permitted to gather together was an absolute essential aspect of their faith. They implored Governor Murphy to trust churches to exercise their faith “responsibly and compassionately” as they serve the needs of communities in crisis.

When the Governor failed to respond to the first letter, 67 pastors sent a second letter last week, once again asking Governor Murphy to include churches in his reopening plan by this past Wednesday or face this lawsuit.

As of this writing, Governor Murphy has not directly responded to either letter.

Demetrios Stratis, the attorney representing multiple churches who are now plaintiffs in the lawsuit, offered the following statement:

“Today we filed a Federal lawsuit seeking the courts to override the Orders of the Governors which restrict our House of Worship and citizens of this State from going to church to pray and worship Almighty God.  Most importantly, if our Governor will not declare that churches are essential, we ask our Federal Courts to do so for him.  Our President has done so, but unfortunately, our State Governor does not believe in what our New Jersey Constitution says, that ‘No person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience… .’ (N.J. Const. Art. I, par. 3.) The language in our Constitution could not be more clear. That churches are not deemed to be essential is a terrible statement about the Governor’s priorities being in the wrong place.”

Rev. Walter E Nistorenko of Abundant Life Church in Ocean View, New Jersey, one plaintiff named in the lawsuit, offered the following statement:

“The freedom to exercise our faith is a right given to us by Almighty God and protected by the First Amendment of our Constitution.  I have been quite saddened that Governor Murphy has chosen to ignore this right during the pandemic.  He has chosen to keep open the liquor stores and abortion clinics, calling them essential as he has governed this crisis, yet has chosen to keep houses of worship closed.  We know that churches are beyond essential. It is where hope, encouragement, and a Divine solution can be found, especially during this challenging season. As the church, we minister to every soul, including those who contracted the COVID-19 virus and those who are struggling in various other ways because of the lockdown. If a second wave reemerges this fall or if another future crisis appears, our essential right to function should not be encumbered again.  I am asking Governor Murphy to recognize the value of churches as essential by opening them immediately, and in doing so, providing a critical solution to help New Jersey residents navigate these pressing times.”

Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey applauds the courage of the pastors as they stand up for their fundamental right to freely exercise their faith by worshipping together. Though we are disappointed churches had to sue to have their fundamental rights protected, there’s still time for the Governor to do the right thing and protect the First Amendment rights of all New Jerseyans.

Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey is not party to the lawsuit.

The complaint is available for download here.

Media Contact:

Robert Noland, (719) 308-2822, Media@FamilyPolicyAlliance.com

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Family Policy Alliance works to advance biblical citizenship and promote good public policy that protects religious freedom, families, and life.

Your help is needed immediately to stop the Reproductive Freedom Act, the most radical abortion bill ever proposed in this state. If this bill is passed, it will codify into law the extreme anti-life policies practiced in only a handful of nations.

This includes:

Governor Murphy and the current pro-abortion lawmakers want to end the debate over the right to life in New Jersey once and for all.  Their solution is simple: abortion at any time, for any reason, without any restrictions – without end.

What can you do?

First, join us and over a dozen pro life organizations for a Day of Action on Wednesday, Nov. 11, in a peaceful protest and prayer gathering led by Rev. Clernard Childress of New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair. Please register so we can contact you with updated information next week.

We will meet at the offices of the two senate sponsors:

Wed, Nov. 11, 10 am–12 pm: Sen. Loretta Weinberg, 545 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ (NOTE: This is a different location than was initially planned.)

Wed, Nov. 11, 2 pm—4 pm: Sen. Linda Greenstein, 1249 S River Rd #105, Cranbury, NJ

Second, I want to urge you to contact the bill sponsors and other key senators who will decide the fate of babies in the womb.  Please complete our action alert form and call the following:

Hello, my name is __________. I am calling about The Reproductive Freedom Act. This is the most dangerous and radical abortion bill ever proposed in our state. It violates conscience protections, puts women at risk in late-term abortions and abortions performed by non-physicians, and prohibits any protections for babies in the womb – even up to birth. I urge Senator/Assembly ___________  to vote NO. Can we count on him/her to help protect women and children from this unsafe law? 

The bill is most likely scheduled to be heard in committee within weeks.

Let’s act like lives depend on it – because they do!

Shawn Hyland
Advocacy Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 22, 2020

 

Pastors Ask Governor Murphy to Let Them Reopen – or Face a Lawsuit

TRENTON, New Jersey –Today, 67 pastors signed a letter to Governor Phil Murphy asking him to let churches reopen in some manner by next Wednesday – or face a lawsuit. The letter, which includes the prospective lawsuit, was a partnership between Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey,  attorney Demetrios Stratis of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and Pastor Walter Nistorenko of Abundant Life Church in Seaville who mobilized pastors from across the state to add their name to this joint good-faith appeal.

This is the second letter pastors have sent to Governor Murphy asking for permission to reopen. In the first letter, sent last week by Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, 100 pastors expressed their commitment to follow CDC and local health guidelines and asked to be included in Phase 1 of New Jersey’s reopening plan. The Governor did not respond to that letter.

Shawn Hyland, Director of Advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, reacted to the Governor’s silence: “It is disappointing that Governor Murphy has disregarded the request of 100 pastors who respectfully requested to be treated equally in reopening and who have committed to following CDC guidelines in caring for their community. New Jersey would not be alone if it were to allow churches to safely reopen. Many states across America, including most recently Massachusetts, acknowledge that houses of worship can safely practice their faith with more than 10 people present.”

The new letter asks for a special designation separate from for-profit businesses. “As a threshold matter,” the letter reads, “houses of worship such as churches should not be relegated to the category of ‘business’ – essential or not. Houses of worship warrant separate and independent consideration given the sacred constitutionally protected activity that takes place inside.”

It stands out that churches were not named in the Governor’s reopening plan. “The Governors Phase reopening plan listed libraries, museums, indoor restaurants and entertainment, but not churches,” said Hyland. “We hope the Governor does not deem tax paying businesses more essential than charitable organizations that are ministering to the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health of their members. That would be religious discrimination.”

Mr. Stratis, the attorney representing the pastors, elaborated on the constitutional claims.

Governor Murphy has violated the First Amendment of our US Constitution and our New Jersey Constitution, two documents he swore to uphold when he took office.  Freedom to exercise our religion does not take a vacation during a pandemic and, in fact, is needed even more so during those times.  We can debate whether Governor Murphy should dictate business closures, but the First Amendment protection of religious liberty is not debatable.  No one, including our Governor, can dictate to churches and their congregants when and how they choose to worship.”

The pastors’ full letter is available for download here.

Media Contact:

For general media inquiries:  Robert Noland, (719) 308-2822, media@FamilyPolicyAlliance.com

For legal inquires: Demetrios Stratis, dstratis@stratislaw.com

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Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey is a Christ-centered organization whose vision is a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 14, 2020

New Jersey Churches Ask Governor Murphy to Include Houses of Worship in Phase 1 Reopening

100 pastors signed a letter asking to be included in the forthcoming reopening plan

TRENTON, New Jersey – Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey – a public policy partner of Focus on the Family – on Wednesday sent a letter to Governor Phil Murphy, signed by 100 pastors who expressed their commitment to follow CDC and local health guidelines, and who asked to be included in Phase 1 of New Jersey’s reopening plan. The signatures were gathered in less than 24 hours in response to Governor Murphy’s announcement that he will begin to release “hard dates” for reopening by the end of the week. This follows the Governor’s initial reopening plan, which some viewed as noncommittal due to its lack of specifics.

To obtain signatures, Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey – a Christian advocacy organization – contacted pastors to communicate their shared commitment to exercise extraordinary care and precaution in protecting congregants who attend services.

Shawn Hyland, Director of Advocacy for the organization, offered the following statement:

“There is no greater commandment than to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbors as ourselves. People of faith should lead by example in their practice of safe social distancing recommendations. I believe local churches have done that, thanks to the leadership of pastors from across the Garden State.”

The letter cites both the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the preamble to the New Jersey Constitution as evidence of the “essential” status of houses of worship.

On this point Hyland added, “Temporary restrictions upon Constitutional rights in times of emergency are allowed, but the government must restrain its own power by ensuring these limits are the least restrictive means possible. Sadly, that is no longer the case. Until today, churches have been prohibited from holding drive in services, where congregants remain in their car, separate from all person-to-person contact, while other business entities continue to serve customers. We are thankful for Governor Murphy’s decision today to lift restrictions concerning drive-in worship services, but we urge him to allow the churches to open following the same safety guidelines as essential businesses.

Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey hopes Governor Murphy will honor the respectful request of these pastors and allow them to safely reopen their doors when other essential “Phase One” reopenings are permitted.

The full letter is available for download here.

Media Contact:

Robert Noland, (719) 308-2822, Robert.Noland@FamilyPolicyAlliance.com

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Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey is a public policy partner of Focus on the Family. As a Christ-centered organization, our vision is a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.

The outcome of this year’s election in New Jersey is still yet to be determined in many key congressional races and the special election in Legislative District 25 with our endorsed candidate State Senator Anthony Bucco*. We must continue to wait as mail in ballots will be counted until Nov 10. After that, the provisional ballots that were filled out at polling places will be counted and cross-checked with mail in ballots to ensure a vote in someone’s name is not counted twice. The state has until Nov 20 to certify the election results.

Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey® contacted nearly 50,000 prolife voters in these competitive districts to support the candidate that would protect babies in the womb. Because of your support, we were able to target and motivate people of faith to vote their conscience. Thank you for investing wisely to educate and inform others on each candidate’s position regarding the sanctity of human life. Unfortunately, the latest report tallies have many pro-abortion incumbents leading by a significant percentage.

If the difference in votes remain steady throughout the process, we expect the following outcomes:

 *Endorsed candidate
**Preferred candidate

Despite the uncertainties of outcomes, the real battle for the soul and stability of our state is in 2021. We might have old voices heading to Washington, but we need a new vision in Trenton. That new vision should protect life and God’s design for family as the foundation of society—and especially the right of parents to direct their children’s education. Next year, every seat in our state legislature and the governorship is up for grabs.

If parental rights, religious rights, and the right to life is important to you, then join us this Friday night, Nov 6 from 7-9pm for our virtual event Win Back NJ featuring Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA. You will hear from parents, pastors, and pro-life advocates about their efforts to Win Back NJ.

Let’s make New Jersey better!

Shawn Hyland
Advocacy Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 24, 2019

Watchung Hills Teacher Pushed for Pornography in School Curriculum; Arrested for Soliciting Child for Sex

 

WATCHUNG HILLS –The Watchung Hills School District has been under fire for over a year for promoting pornography in its curriculum, despite a lawsuit and requests from concerned parents and community groups to remove the material.

Earlier this month, the school district found itself embroiled in a different matter after a teacher allegedly sent obscene images of himself to a student and then allegedly solicited that student for sex. Sean DiGiovanna, a high school social studies teacher and sponsor of the gay and lesbian student group on campus, was arrested on October 10. DiGiovanna had, as recently as last summer, advocated for the use of pornographic curriculum in the school.

DiGiovanna is seen on a YouTube video from June of 2018 advocating for the use of Fun Home: A Tragicomic in the school’s LGBT curriculum. Fun Home includes explicit images of gay sex and nudity, and DiGiovanna stated that he had talked to students about the content of the book. The author of Fun Home has alluded to the power of the images featured in her book stating, “[I]t’s all about the power of images . . . I can understand why people wouldn’t want their children to accidentally think this was a funny comic book and pick it up and see pictures of people having sex . . . drawings are very seductive and attention catching,” (emphasis added).

We know that pedophiles are opportunistic and seek to groom their victims. This begs the question whether DiGiovanna was grooming victims, in part, through the use of school-approved pornographic curriculum materials. The Watchung Hills Board of Education, the governor and the legislature need to ask themselves if the use of such material in school curriculum is prudent and safe.

Statement from Shawn Hyland – Director of Advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey:

“The Watchung Hills Regional High School Board of Education has ignored red flags all along the way in this situation. They have discounted for over a year the grave concerns Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey has been sharing with them and they have turned a blind eye to concerned parents. The Governor and legislature only made the situation riskier for students with the approval of troubling new LGBT education mandates earlier this year, which some schools think is an open invitation to graphic and explicit sexual content like Fun Home. This mandate also erodes parents’ ability to protect their children by denying them the right to opt their children out.”

The governor and legislature must face the fact that placing curriculum containing pornographic material in the classroom, without the option for parents to opt-out their children, opens the door for more of DiGiovanna’s type of victimization.

For media inquiries or to schedule an interview with Shawn Hyland, contact Robert Noland at: 719-308-2822 or media@familypolicyalliance.com.

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