Save The Males
Doyle's classic treatise on
men's rights, now in 6th printing.
Dr. Warren Farrell's new DVD:
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Coalition advocates for the institution of fatherhood, encompassing the full range of
human behaviors and endeavors that flow from the father-child relationship. We work to
promote shared parenting and to end the discrimination and persecution faced by divorced
and unwed fathers.
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Repeal MGL 209A (so-called ‘Abuse Prevention’ law) Campaign Kicks Off Tues., September 27!
Our effort to repeal the draconian 209A law is on track after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered the Mass. Attorney General’s office to allow the initiative petition to proceed.
Under the so-called ‘domestic violence’ law many individuals are separated from their children, thrown out of their homes, forced into the court system and even incarcerated for non-violent acts and for charges without any merit. Due process rights are ignored under a law which presumes a person is guilty before any crime is committed.
The most benign actions, even unintentional ones, are considered criminal by a law destructive to normal healthy relationships within families. Signature gathering will begin this coming Tuesday.
We encourage all those who have been adversely affected by the law and all who are concerned about fair treatment of men and fathers to help collect the required 68,900 signatures from registered voters. Email email@example.com or call 857 350-0575 to have petition sheets delivered to you.
Get the Initiative Petition here!(.pdf file) When printing this out to collect signatures make sure it is printed exactly as in the .pdf file, no enlargement or shrinkage, back-to-back, black on white paper. If you have any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please spread the word through your social media. Sign up and like our Repeal 209A Facebook page!
Initiative Petition to Repeal MGL 209A ('Domestic Abuse' law) Submitted to Massachusetts Attorney General
The first step to present Massachusetts voters with an opportunity to repeal the state's domestic abuse law was taken on Thursday, July 28, 2011 when an Initiative Petition to Repeal MGL 209A was submitted for review to the the state's Attorney General. Once the Petition is certified in early September the proponents, who include many Fatherhood Coalition members, will begin the task of collecting some 68,000 certified signatures from registered voters.
Enacted into law in July, 1978, MGL 209A was the first domestic abuse law in the country and used as a model for simlar laws nationwide. It is fitting that the effort to repeal this unconstitutional and onerous law begin in the same state.
Signature gathering for Initiative Petitions in Massachusetts is a costly task and only two months are allowed to gather the required number of certified signatures from registered voters.
Contact The Fatherhood Coalition for more information about how you can support the effort.
Tom Ball Kills Himself in Front of Keene, NH Courthouse
It was with sadness that we learned Tom Ball, in an act of protest, sacrificed his life by dousing himself with gasoline and lighting himself on fire at the Keene New Hampshire County Court House steps on Wednesday. June 15, 2011. Eye witness accounts of Tom's last moments say he was calm and committed to his act.
We encourage everyone to understand why Tom took his own life by reading the 'Last Statement' he sent to the media.
Tom was an energetic leader for more than three years of the Worcester chapter of The Fatherhood Coalition and served on the statewide leadership board. In this moment of grief we ask everyone new and old to fatherhood causes to come together in solidarity.
That no one else should endure such an absolute and final sacrifice let us show our respect to a father pushed to his limits by continuing our resolve to stop this country's war on fatherhood.
Out of Order?
This 2000 Chronicle (WCVB-TV) program highlights the injustice still faced today by men and fathers and the destruction caused to normal, healthy personal relationships due to MGL 209a restraining orders. Interviews with The Fatherhood Coalition leader Mark Charalambous, Harry Stewart, Dennis Watts and others.
The Fatherhood Coalition State Meeting Saturday, January 8.
The Fatherhood Coalition annual statewide meeting will take place Saturday, Jan 8, 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Westborough Public Library, 55 West Main St., Westborough, MA
Nominations are being requested for the officer positions of co-chair, treasurer, secretary and state-wide outreach. Consideration will also be given to newly created positions of special interest such as court system liaison, fundraiser, etc. Individuals can nominate themselves. Please reply to email@example.com with a short statement of why you or the person nominated would like the position.
Planning to attend? RSVP here.
Nomination Hearing December 1 for Roderick Ireland as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
The public nomination hearing before the Mass. Governor's Council of Roderick Ireland to be the new Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will take place at the State House on Dec. 1, at 10 AM, in the State House Hearing Room B-2.
This hearing is extremely important, especially for men and fathers, as the Chief Justice has a direct influence in how the courts are run and whether there will be change for the better in issues affecting fathers.
Anyone can speak at the hearing, either in favor or in opposition to the nomination. The Fatherhood Coalition has sent Judge Ireland a letter and our questionnaire to which all judicial nominees are expected to respond.If you plan to attend please RSVP here.
More people are paying attention to the direct affect judges have on everyone's lives. This is the last and only opportunity to speak up about this nomination. In Massachusetts, once a judicial nominee is confirmed it is a lifetime position.
The Governor Council is made up of eight members. Lt. Governor Murray is likely to preside at this hearing making it a body of nine. After introductions, the Lt. Gov. will ask those in favor of the nominee to testify, during which they may be asked questions by the Councilors. Following this, those who oppose the nomination are asked to testify and they also may be questioned by the Councilors. The nominee is then asked to make a statement. There is no direct questioning of the nominee except by the Councilors.
Written testimony and statements may be presented to the Council at any time before the final vote on the nomination which will take place on the following Wed., Dec. 8.
Please attend and make your opinion on this nomination known.
UPDATE on Maynard Kirpalani, recently approved Associate Justice to Superior Court.
The Fatherhood Coalition recommended that the Mass. Governor's Council reject the nomination of Maynard Kirpalani at their Nov. 24, 2010 meeting in this letter for the reasons stated. Attorney Kirpalani did however send CPF a letter recently. We appreciate his courtesy in responding to our request and invite him to revisit the questionnaire so that we can re-exmaine our earlier decision on his nomination.
Business as usual at Mass. Governor's Council?
The recent nomination and approval of Judd Carhart to the Appeals Court on a vote of 6-1 (Councilor Devaney voted 'No' and Councilor Manning abstained) went by without notice that nominee Carhart and Councilor Merrigan had a professional relationship in a murder case some years ago. Councilor Merrigan was the suspect's attorney while Judd Carhart was the District Attorney, an office in which Councilor Merrigan's father also worked as an Assistant DA.
Court records show that Councilor Merrigan had attempted to remove evidence later used at the trial from the murder suspect's home. The defendant was later convicted, in part due to that evidence, of the crime.
The relationship between Carhart and Councilor Merrigan was not mentioned at the nomination hearing.
Aptaker Judicial Nomination Application Withdrawn!
Fatherhood Coalition Efforts Bear Fruit
The Fatherhood Coalition's continued push to bring the issues of shared parenting and restraining order laws to light has borne fruit with the recent forced withdrawal by David Aptaker of Arlington of his application as a judicial nominee to the Middlesex Probate and Family Court. Aptaker failed to disclose campaign contributions and his testimony that he was unfamiliar with Shared Parenting Bill (HR 1400) and a lack of understanding of the restraining order laws made it clear he was not fit for the bench.
The Fatherhood Coalition, fighting for shared parenting and restraining order reform for years, rallied when David Aptaker demonstrated his carelessness in failing to disclose information about his political donations to two disgraced politicans-one of whom was John Buonomo, register of Middlesex Probate and Family Court (the same court in which the nominee often worked), who was imprisoned for theft. “If he is this careless with his application to be a judge how careless will he be when he is handling family matters” one father wrote.
Within hours of Mr. Aptakers exposure that he failed to disclose required information to the Governor's Council the word went out and members of The Fatherhood Coalition started contacting the Governor's Council and their state representatives and State Senators to encourage them to reject Mr. Aptakers application for judicial appointment.
Massachusetts Governor's Council Needs New Faces
When the first vote on Aptaker's nomination was scheduled only Councilors Manning and Devaney opposed the nomination. They were derided for their actions by Councilor Merrigan (who called their behaviour 'bizarre' ) while Councilors Foley and Fiola questioned even bringing the issue up. Councilors Ianella and Timility said nothing and Councilor Callahan (reportedly ill) was absent. Aptaker would have been approved at that hearing except for the actions of Councilors Manning and Devaney. None of the other Councilors had done due diligence and the scheduled nomination vote was postponed for two weeks.
At the next hearing it was clear that Councilors Iannella, Foley and Fiola knew they had a tiger by the tail with Aptaker's nomination. Councilor Iannella came out strongly in support of our issues. Councilor Foley blamed the injustice in the courts on the behavior of lawyers and Councilor Fiola made it clear that Aptaker's bullying actions (having his supporters bombard her with calls ) had backfired. Even Councilor Merrigan was defensive. Councilor Callahan was again absent and Councilor Timility said nothing.
Aptaker would have given the worst judges in Probate court a run for their money. The importance to each and every man who enters court of getting men and fathers' rights supporters elected to the council can't be underestimated. It is huge. Many, many kids will not lose their fathers and many (tens of) thousands of dollars will not be spent on litigation. Support those of us who are candidates (Franco, Mitchell and Ureneck) with your time and/or your money if you want to make sure that no future Aptakers sit on the bench.
A round of applause to all those who joined in this successful effort!
Learn how to defend yourself in court
Pro se workshop, (Held Saturday, June 26, 9am-5pm) -Now Online-
Learn how to defend yourself in court!
Online access to the 4 1/2 hour video, presentation material and exhibits is $35. It is free of charge to CPF members( Membership signup) or for those who commit to volunteer a couple of hours of their time in court support/watching or similar activity. Watch a video preview of the workshop by Attorney Greg Hession.
Make payments hereand send us an email to receive your online password.
UPCOMING PUBLIC JUDICIAL NOMINATION HEARINGS BY THE MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL
Hearings Held at the State House Office of the Governor
12 15 p m - Michael G Allard-Madaus — Worcester District Court
June 16, 2010
10 30 a m - J Elizabeth Cremens — Woburn District Court
12 15 p m - Brian St Onge, Clerk-Magistrate, Palmer District Court
June 23, 2010
10 30 a m - Katherine A Field, Bristol Probate and Family Court (Katherine Field’s date and time is conditional)
12 15 p m - David Aptaker, Middlesex Probate and Family Court
Three Fathers’ Rights Activists To Submit Nomination Papers for Massachusetts Governor’s Council Election
DATE: MAY 14, 2010
Three members of The Fatherhood Coalition of Massachusetts, a men and fathers’ rights organization, have each collected the required one-thousand signatures to get on the ballot for the Massachusetts Governor’s Council election this November.
The press is invited to attend at 1:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon. The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Election Division office is located at the McCormack Building, Room 1705, One Ashburton Place Boston, MA 02108.
The primary responsibility of the Governor's Council is to review and confirm individuals nominated by the Governor to be judges. However, in recent years virtually every judicial nomination has been approved, indicating a less than thorough review of the individuals who will sit on the bench. There is a clear need for those with a fresh perspective to join the Council.
In a statement, Joe Ureneck, Republican, candidate for Council District 1, South Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands, said:
“Every day the people of Massachusetts suffer injustice in our courts due to bad laws and incompetent judges. While correcting bad law is in the hands of the legislature, our judges must first pass a review by the Governor’s Council. I will do my best to make sure each and every nomination is thoroughly examined.”
Rich Mitchell, Independent, candidate for Council District Two, Southwest of Boston, said:
“In Massachusetts, the legal system often does more harm than good because of well-intentioned but poorly written laws and biased or incompetent judges. I am an Independent, I have no connections to any elected officials and I have no favors that I need to return. As a Governor's Councilor, I will thoroughly examine each prospective judge to ensure they are honest, unbiased, and understand the importance of fundamental rights of privacy, due process and free speech.”
Mike Franco, Republican, candidate for Council District 8, Western Massachusetts, said:
“It's refreshing to have common citizens step up and run for public office. We must take our government back at the state and local level to prevent the further erosion of our natural rights and liberties. There's much work to be done, starting with the state legislature and the Governor's Council. Count me in...”
May 6, 2010It looks like Massachusetts Senator Cindy Creem is facing ethics allegations over her efforts to block alimony reform. Is it right that a practicing divorce attorney is blocking men and father friendly legislation that affects her family law practice?
Massachusetts Legislators Again Vote to Remove Due Process in New RO LawDateline: Feb. 14, 2010
Updated: May. 7, 2010
New anti-harassment law slated to go into effect in May.
Governor Deval Patrick recently signed the ‘Anti-Harassment’ bill HB 4443 into law. 154 Representatives, including those, like Reps. Perry and Evangelides, who often get good reviews from social conservatives for supporting constitutional principles, voted for the bill. Every state senator voted in favor. The initial bill S1611, worse then the final bill, was sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans, including Scott Brown, our state's newest US Senator. The Fatherhood Coalition did not support Brown for Senate because of his sponsorship of anti-father legislation.
The law purports to protect everyone in the state from abuse and harassment. To do so it strips away constitutional rights to due process. There is no right discovery of evidence or jury trials. Like the MGL 209a, the domestic ‘abuse’ law, the Legislature created a criminal law under civil statute to avoid the ‘mess’ of providing constitutional safeguards.
The roll call of scoundrels is in the House Journal NO. 285, Pg. 22.
There was already a criminal harassment law in place, MGL 265, that punished harassment while providing due process. This new law pays homage to political correctness and opens up another source of revenue for state government with $5000. fines.
The 'show trials' of the old Soviet Union are alive and well here in Massachusetts.
Every legislature who voted for this bill should be voted out of office this Fall.Here are the Senate and House versions of the originating bills.
Pro Se Seminar for Men and Fathers in Divorce, Saturday, March 6, 2010
Learn how to defend yourself in court
WE HAD A SUCCESSFUL WORKSHOP! THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!
Please set aside the date of March 6th, Saturday, for an all day pro se workshop sponsored by The Fatherhood Coalition. The workshop will help participants prepare to handle their own cases in court during and after the divorce process. Learn about court procedures (complaints and filings) and the players (clerk, judge, etc). Plan to join us in Dorchester at St Mark church hall from 9-5 p.m. on March 6.
The workshop is free of charge to CPF members (Membership signup) or for those who commit to volunteer a couple of hours of their time in court support/watching or similar activity . A cash of $20. in lieu of volunteer time is acceptable.
Registration . For more information contact Wayne Jewett or by phone 774 254-5414
The Fatherhood Coalition Political Action Committee Endorses Joe Kennedy for Senate
The January 19 election for US Senator from Massachusetts is very important for those who support the rights of men and fathers. The key question is how the candidates are likely to vote on the reauthorization of Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA).
Based on the candidates' issue statements and legislative activity The Fatherhood Coalition PAC believes Joe Kennedy's position (below) on VAWA and domestic violence laws will be the most beneficial for men and fathers. For this important issue Joe Kennedy deserves your vote.
The Fatherhood Coalition PAC is pleased to endorse Joe Kennedy for US Senator from Massachusetts in the January 19, 2009 election.
"While significant domestic violence issues exist and must be dealt with, the Violence Against Women Act [VAWA] is not the solution. First off, no bill should be gender biased. If we were to have any bill addressing violence it must be gender neutral. Secondly, the issue of domestic violence needs to be addressed by individual states as does funding. Any issue which funnels money through federal bureaucracies only dilutes actual dollars that go to the cause. In addition to these two issues which would already lead to my not supporting a bill of this nature is the potential abuse of the bill. Today the concept that any parent (man or woman) could be denied their parental rights based on the mere allegation of abuse begs for corruption. We have a domestic abuse problem in this country and both men and women are victims. Domestic violence issues are serious and must be addressed without bias by legislature on the state level and in a manner that directly deals with the issue of abuse." firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Coakley: "As Senator, Martha will support federal funding for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and the Violence Against Women Act, which provide support for local shelters, counseling, and other services for child and adult victims of violence." http://www.marthacoakley.com/about/Issues/details/24
Scott Brown: "BOSTON, MA – State Senator Scott Brown is pleased to announce that Newton-Wellesley Hospital is providing free and confidential domestic and sexual violence services for both survivors and health care providers. The Hospital program works to provide comprehensive, culturally competent care specific to the needs of the individual survivor." 2/26/08 http://www.scottbrown.com/domestic_sexual_violence_services.htm
The Nov. 18 hearing will be streamed live on the internet.Click here to watch on Nov.18, 12:30.
Governor's Council to Hold Public Hearing for Two Judicial Nominees Oct. 21
The Mass. Governor's Council will hold a public hearing on Oct. 21 at the State House (Governor's Patrick's office) for two judicial nominees, Pamela Dashiell as Associate Justice of the Dorchester Court at 10:30 a.m and Paul Yee as Associate Justice of the Quincy District Court at 12:15 p.m.Coalition supporters are encouraged to attend.
The Fatherhood Coalition will submit a questionnaire to both candidates to determine how they stand on issues affecting men and fathers in the courts.
UPDATE: Since nominees Dashiell and Yee did not respond to our questionnaire The Fatherhood Coalition recommends that the Governor's Council reject their nominations, respectively, to the Dorchester and Quincy Courts.
Our Letter to Gov. Deval Patrick: Open Up Your Judicial Nominating Committee!
Following Governor Patrick's town hall meeting in Wareham, Massachusetts on July 29, 2009 at which many fathers spoke up about the ongoing injustice they faced in the court system we wrote the governor to ask that he act immediately to reform the process by which judges are selected. We urged him to broaden the makeup of the Judicial Nominating Committee (JNC), now comprised entirely of lawyers, and appoint non-Bar individuals to this important committee. He has absolutely no obstacles in his way to accomplish this task. His own Executive Order 500 created the JNC and he has the power to remove and appoint members at will. Further, nothing in his current order calls for the exclusion of non-lawyers.
The use of the JNC to screen judicial nominations was first begun by Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1975. Gov. Dukakis had the foresight to create a committee of eleven members, six of whom could not be lawyers. Since then, succeeding governor's have acquiesced to the Bar Association's increasing control over the JNC. Republican Governor Romney was the first to require that nominees for judgeships be members of the Bar, a step of questionable legality since the Massachusetts Constitution does not require that judges be lawyers. Gov. Patrick has kept this requirement in place.
If Governor Patrick is serious about improving the judiciary he should allow more voices to be heard on the Committee. Creating a JNC whose members represent individuals from many walks of life, instead of only one exclusive professional club, will not resolve all the problems faced by men and fathers in the courts but it will be major step in the right direction.
Our Efforts in the News May 21, 2009
Following the recent approval of Judge Sydney Hanlon and Atty. Laurie MacLeod as judges by the Massachusetts Governor's Council the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly newspaper ran the following article by David Yas on our opposition to their nominations. Although we appreciate the ink given to the cause of fathers and men's rights the article was flawed with partial facts and inaccurate statements. Our response, also carried by Lawyers Weekly on May 18, 2009, follows below.
Domestic violence: out of the frying pan ...
*By* David Yas
Joseph Ureneck really wants me to write that wives physically abuse their husbands just as often as husbands physically abuse their wives.
He wants me to write that the vast majority of women are lying when they claim that they have been beaten by their husbands.
And he wants me to write that the law is so flawed in Massachusetts that men accused of domestic violence lose everything important in their lives without a real chance to defend themselves.
I can't write that. I won't. But Ureneck has my attention.
His group and others like it are plotting to defeat judicial nominees whose philosophies don't comport with their own.
Spurned by the courts and angered by a society that has been sensitive to battered women, fatherhood rights groups have landed on our turf, the judicial system.
Buttoned-downed and organized, they are now making a point of loudly protesting judicial nominees who have shown any sort of sensitivity to domestic-violence issues.
Ureneck didn't sound like a fanatic when I spoke with him over the phone. The chair of the Fatherhood Coalition, Ureneck in recent days urged the rejection of two judicial nominees, Laurie MacLeod and Sydney Hanlon, at their confirmation hearings. Both judges were ultimately confirmed (MacLeod to the Palmer District Court; Hanlon to the Appeals Court).
Said Ureneck: "We saw two individuals who were proactive in promoting the 209A [restraining-order] regime. ... Our perspective is that there is something akin to a Holocaust going on, and so it is worth rejecting a judicial nominee."
Ned Holstein, executive director of Fathers and Families, claims that "in a relatively short period of time, we will look back on this as an embarrassing era. It reminds me of the McCarthy era, or the anti-immigrant hysteria, or other periods of time when we have singled out particular groups."
Holstein and Ureneck utter things that many of us would say simply defy reason.
Ureneck estimates that between 80 to 90 percent of women who claim they have been beaten, or are in genuine fear, are lying.
Both men are convinced that the notion that men are more likely to do harm to women than vice versa is a myth, largely citing the comprehensive work of a professor of psychology named Martin S. Fiebert.
"It's a seriously flawed argument that men are inherently violent," Ureneck declares.
Holstein says: "There's no question ... it's not a matter of debate."
I asked Holstein: Can't most men overpower most women? Isn't that common sense?
"When you actually think about it, it's not common sense at all," he says, claiming that most people know of an incident of a wife becoming violent with her husband. He recalls the image of a wife hitting her husband with a frying pan.
"Culture thinks that's funny," he says. "But if a man did it, it would be unacceptable."
Lydia Watts, executive director of the Victim Rights Law Center, says what a lot of us think: No. There is no epidemic of women fabricating tales of domestic violence.
She says: "I have heard thousands of victims' stories and barely ever doubted one."
I believe Watts. Or at least I want to. But the uneasy truth is that I don't know for sure.
Watts says that Fiebert's research is flawed, and perhaps it is. But I cannot stand up and say that Ureneck and Holstein are 100 percent wrong. And, in fact, voices, including that of Governor's Councilor Christopher A. Iannella, have made the point at confirmation hearings that reform is needed in the law to give divorced dads a fair shake.
Ureneck and Holstein may be on the fringe. They may even be downright sexist. (Mark Charalambous, who writes a column for the Fatherhood Coalition's website, wrote on the subject of then-presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton: "There has never been a female president. Ergo, no woman candidate can be perceived as ‘presidential,' assuming a rational interpretation of the word. When one thinks of the phrase ‘commander in chief,' a pear-shaped woman in a pants-suit doesn't come to mind.")
But they also may have found a comfortable forum to state their case.
Hanlon, a leading voice against domestic violence during her days as a practicing lawyer, heard no fewer than five speeches from representatives from the Fatherhood Coalition at her confirmation hearing. That's a lot, even given the Jerry-Springer-like hysteria that can erupt at any given Governor's Council hearing.
As it turns out, Ureneck had rallied his group with the following post on the coalition's website: "Please rendezvous with Joe Ureneck who will be at the Governor's Office and will be wearing a badge that says, ‘Vote No on Hanlon.'"
The Fatherhood Coalition then uploaded to YouTube video footage of the hearing that its members had shot - in 13 parts. I'll let you know when I'm done watching them all.[Ed. note:video on Blip TV]
And this sort of thing will continue.
"This is a fast growing movement," Holstein says of calling out judges and judicial appointees. "It's not new in concept, but it is new in execution."
I am reminded of a line from the film "Hoosiers," when a narrow-minded fellow is concerned that Gene Hackman's new-to-town, unconventional basketball coach is turning the small town of Hickory upside-down. He tells the coach: "Look, mister, there's two kinds of dumb: the guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and the guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter; the second one you're kinda forced to deal with."
Yes, judicial nominees are going to have to deal with groups like Ureneck's and Holstein's.
Watts, of the Victim Rights Law Center, says these groups "are free to do what they want, but the frustration I have is that this is a calculated effort against judges. These are judges who have shown strong understanding and commitment, and they are penalized for doing so."
The modern manifestations of free speech - public hearings, websites, the vast chaos of the blogosphere - tend to turn the sullen into spokespeople.
Seeing these groups protest at judicial confirmation hearings gives dads who have been accused of domestic violence some hope. But is it false hope?
Before showing up at a hearing and telling their tale, men embittered by their treatment in the legal system should demand answers.
Are these leaders arguing facts, or are they playing on emotions? Will attacking a judicial nominee keep an unqualified person off the bench, or will it merely stain the reputation of someone who will serve Massachusetts well?
Fatherhood rights groups should be careful that their attacks are really meant to improve the judiciary and are not just borne out of the most contemptible of motives: revenge.
This Emperor Has No Clothes
by Joseph Ureneck, published in Lawyers Weekly May 18, 2009
It's heartening that Lawyers Weekly has joined the discussion of false domestic abuse allegations and judicial nominations by way of David Yas' May 4 column, "Domestic violence: out of the frying pan ...," but the uncertain meandering around the issues was disappointing. Astute readers of Lawyers Weekly deserve an accurate and focused report on the serious problems created by G.L.c. 209A on the public and the courts.
So, let's take a more clear-headed look at why The Fatherhood Coalition believes the domestic abuse regime unjustly treats men and why we opposed the two recent judicial nominations of Sydney Hanlon and Laurie MacLeod.
Start with the common but inaccurate conflation of the terms "domestic violence" and "domestic abuse." Since accusations of actual physical "violence" can be examined and challenged in court by hard evidence, we fully support the aggressive use of assault laws to deal with the crime.
On the other hand, we oppose the domestic "abuse" statute and its implementation as it requires nothing more than one person's statement of unsubstantiated claims, including an individual's broadly defined feeling of "fear."
Assault and battery complaints allow for the opportunity to discover evidence. Not true for domestic abuse complaints, as discovery is all but disallowed under the Trial Court's administrative procedures.
There is no avenue whatsoever outside the dramatic arts practiced in the courtroom to challenge the factual accuracy of a woman's core complaint that she is in "fear." Completing this Kafkaesque restriction on a defendant's rights is the denial of a trial by one's peers, despite the loss of property and threat of incarceration.
In the realm of domestic abuse, the courts are no longer "of law" but de facto social service agencies, intervening in personal emotional disputes that involve no one but the parties themselves.
In this way men are indeed robbed of everything important in their lives - most notably their children - without a real chance to defend themselves. With little more than the clothes on his back, a man is rousted from his home and family, and any attempt to contact his children is met with a criminal charge and possible jail time.
There is no doubt that women and men are physically aggressive toward one another in approximate equal measure. Our common sense instincts about human nature, political correctness notwithstanding, along with many academic studies, including the unchallenged Fiebert Studies of Southern California University and the academic work conducted by the grandfather of family violence in America, Murray Strauss of the University of New Hampshire, support this understanding.
That our laws, implemented by the courts, reflect otherwise and punish men is a travesty.
"Every 15 seconds a woman is battered ..." was the feminist mantra of the 1970s taken from Strauss' work that fueled the passage of G.L.c. 209A. Conspicuously left out in this 30-plus year barrage of anti-male propaganda was Strauss' co-joining evidence that "every 15-20 seconds a man was also battered."
In short, for more than 30 years the public has been sold a false bill of goods - to the tune of 30,000 to 50,000 restraining orders each year in Massachusetts - about a man's role in personal and family disputes.
The reality is that about 50 percent of domestic abuse claims involve no allegation whatsoever of physical assault and that another 30 to 40 percent contain mutual acts of yelling and threats by both men and women against one another.
Despite 80 to 90 percent of the 209A filings being frivolous, false or mired in such mutual recrimination as to be impossible to fairly untangle even on a psychiatrist's couch, never mind a court of law, it is men, not women, who are the nearly exclusive object of restraining orders. Men and fathers are now true victims of abuse - by the legal system.
It should be no surprise, least of all to lawyers, that The Fatherhood Coalition and other groups have said enough is enough, as we advocate, respectfully and in our button-down way, for a fair shake for men.
MacLeod and Hanlon are professionals who built their reputations in part on a flawed law that protects no one and has harmed the innocent far more than punishing any guilty party. We actively opposed their nominations, two out of many we reviewed since last August, because their active promotion of the domestic abuse regime placed them apart from other candidates. Regretfully, they were approved by the Governor's Council.
There is no option left to men and all who support judicial fairness but to continue educating elected officials and the public on the true nature of this judicial activity - clearly an emperor without clothes.
Hanlon Confirmed 8-0
Massachusetts Governor's Councilors Vote for Injustice
April 9, 2009
Over the strong objection of The Fatherhood Coalition the Massachusetts Governor's Council 4/8/09 confirmed (video) the nomination of Judge Sydney Hanlon to the Mass. Appeals Court. The Coalition presented the council with extensive testimony and evidence why Judge Hanlon, an active proponent of the unconstitutional domestic violence laws, should not be elevated to the Mass. Appeals Court.
The 8-0 vote in favor of Hanlon demonstrated a lack of understanding and an acceptance by all the councilors, including those professing sympathy towards fathers, of the disasterous legal, financial and emotional problems faced by men, fathers and their families confronted by the domestic violence law.
Hanlon Vote on Wednesday, April 8
Coalition Supporters Urged to Contact the Governor's Councilors
April 7, 2009
The public vote for Sydney Hanlon to the Massachusetts Appeals Court will take place tomorrow, April 8, 12:00 noon, at the office of Governor Patrick in the Massachusetts State House. Coalition supporters are encouraged to continue to contact the Governor's Councilors (list below), attend the hearing tomorrow (arrive about 15 minutes early) and urge then to vote 'No' on the nomination.
Our letter to the council expressing our opposition to Hanlon's nomination follows:
Massachusetts State House
April 6, 2009
Re: Nomination of Judge Hanlon to Mass. Appeals Court
Thank you for the opportunity to address the council at the April 1 hearing for the nomination of Judge Sydney Hanlon to the Mass. Appeals Court. As representatives of The Fatherhood Coalition stated in their presentations we ask that the council reject this nomination.
Several points raised by councilors at the April 1 hearing require clarification.
* The assertion that issuance of the MGL209a restraining orders are based on ‘establishing facts equivalent to a criminal assault’ is false. To the contrary, the so-called abuse standards in the 209a statute are open invitations to calculated manipulation. The absurdity of this domestic ‘assault’ hysteria nationwide was highlighted in the case of David Letterman, the TV host, who was served with a RO for allegedly harassing a New Mexico woman he had never met by sending her mental telepathic messages.
* There is no reasonable and productive option for redress under perjury statutes for male victims of fraudulent restraining orders based on false accusations. Absent extraordinary circumstances these accusations are left to stand by the district attorneys' offices while any attempt at civil recourse is blocked wholesale by the Supreme Judicial Court’s expansive ruling that false 209a accusations are immune under the Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP law.
* Any assertion that 85% of domestic abuse is initiated by men is false. Martin S. Fiebert, Department of Psychology, California State University, Long Beach examined 247 scholarly investigations, surveying 240, 200 individuals. These 188 empirical studies and 59 reviews and/or analyses demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners.
Finally, though we understand that the Governor’s Council is not a legislative-making body, we believe the council has an obligation to review a nominee’s approach to a law which lacks integrity and constitutional basis. In the words of St. Augustine, an unjust law is no law at all.
It follows that the Governor’s Council should not confirm a nominee who has actively promoted such a law.
We therefore again respectfully request that councilors reject the nomination of Judge Sydney Hanlon to the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
Chair, The Fatherhood Coalition
MacLeod Confirmed on a vote of 4-3.
Governor's Council Hears Testimony of Fatherhood Coalition Representatives
(April 2, 2009)
Governor's Council vote maneauvering confirms MacLeod nomination. Coalition testimony against Hanlon
On April 1 the Governor's Council held a hearing on the nomination of Sydney Hanlon to the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Currently a district court judge, Judge Hanlon's nomination was opposed by five representatives of The Fatherhood Coalition (video Part 4[end] , Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 12[end] and Part 13) because of her active promotion of the domestic violence legal system. The Dorchester District Court under Judge Hanlon was one of three courts nationwide used as a domestic violence court model/prototype by the US Justice Department.
The council also voted 4-3 to confirm the nomination of Laurie MacLeod to be a judge at the Palmer district court (Part 11 and Part 12). Two weeks earlier, the council's presiding officer Lt. Gov. Murray closed the council meeting without a scheduled vote on MacLeod when she was expected to lose. The vote change in MacLeod's favor came about because one councilor opposed to MacLeod was absent due to a family death while another councilor supporting MacLeod, absent at the previous meeting, was in attendence. There are apparently no provisions to prevent the manipulation of council votes in this way.
Councilors Devaney, Manning and Iannella are to be commended for their vote against MacLeod and for their strong statements in support of men and fathers. Councilor Foley was also expected to vote against MacLeod but was absent due to the death of his father. Coalition supporters are encouraged on contact all the councilors before the expected vote on Hanlon next Wed., April 8 at 12:00 noon and encourage them to vote 'no'.
Despite his strong presentation on behalf of fathers and his vote against MacLeod, Councilor Iannella said at yesterday's hearing that he would vote for Hanlon.
Councilors Callahan, Fiola, Merrigan and Timility voted in favor of MacLeod and are expected to do the same for Hanlon.
Urgent Opposition to Appeals Court Judge Appointment
(March 28, 2009)
Urgent: You are needed to stand in opposition to the appointment of Judge Sydney Hanlon to the Massachusetts Appeals Court on Wednesday April 1, 2009 10:00AM at Governor Patrick's office at the Statehouse.
Judge Sydney Hanlon is one of the architects of the current domestic violence system which is frequently abused in custody and divorce disputes because district and probate court judges are willing to issue 209A restraining orders against men based on false allegations and where the minimum evidentiary standards have not been met and there is no presumptive right to discovery of evidence or a jury trial. The only avenue we have had for change has been the appeals court. Had it not been for the appeals court we would not have won the right to an evidentiary hearing in 2005 to defend ourselves against false allegations.
If Judge Hanlon is appointed to the appeals court she will block the only legal avenue we have for progress and an important defense against false allegations.
It is important that every one arrive at 10:00AM so that we are certain to be seated. Please rendezvous with Joe Ureneck who will be at the Governor' office and will be wearing a badge that says "Vote No on Hanlon."
In preparation for opposing Judge Hanlon there is a conference call on Tuesday evening March 31 at 9:00PM. Please join us then. For conference call credentials please call Joe at 857 350-0575 or by email: email@example.com.
Sign up HERE if you can join us.
MacLeod Vote Scheduled for April 1, Noon
(March 23, 2009)
Hanlon Nomination Hearing Same Day, 10:30 AM
The public vote to confirm, or not, Atty. MacLeod's nominaton to the Palmer District Court will be held on April 1, 12:00 noon. At 10:30 that morning there will also be a public hearing on the nomination of Sydney Hanlon to the Massachusett Appeals Court. Testimony from the public is invited. Both the vote and the hearing will take place at the Governor's office at the State House.
As is clear in her resume, Judge Hanlon, currently at the Dorchester District Court, has been in the forefront of promoting the state's domestic violence law. Coalition supporters are encouraged to attend and testify against her nomination at the hearing.
The nominations of MacLeod and Hanlon demonstrate that the Patrick administration has no understanding of the damage done to men and fathers by the law and its implementation. Supporters are encouraged to continue contacting the Governor's Councilors (below) to let them know of your personal experiences with false and malicious RO's, with these two individuals and why their nominations should not be confirmed.
Please tell the councilors to vote 'No' on both nominations.
MacLeod Confirmation Put Off
(March 19, 2009)
Supporters Maneuvering to Get More 'Yes" Votes
The meeting to vote up-or-down on Atty. MacLeod to be a judge of Palmer District Court was unexpectedly shut down by Lt. Gov. Murray despite it being an agenda item apparently because the nominee would have lost on a 4-3 vote. There is no date certain for a new vote on the nomination although it could occur next Wed., March 25 at 12:00 noon. There is also speculation that the nomination may be withdrawn.
The Fatherhood Coalition opposes the MacLeod nomination because of her work as a DV prosecutor and as an organizer of the Western Mass Domestic Violence Task Force.
The councilors who were expected to vote against the MacLeod nomination yesterday are Devaney, Foley, Iannella and Manning.
Fatherhood Coalition supporters are encouraged to contact Councilors Fiola and Timilty to encourage them to also vote against the nomination should it come up for a vote. Individuals with direct knowledge about Atty. MacLeod should be sure to inform these two councilors of their experience and how it has adversely affected their lives.
Following the sudden close of the meeting by Lt. Gov. Murray, Councilor Devaney read a statement Pg.1, ; Pg. 2,; Pg. 3,; Pg. 4 which is also on video-(Part one and Part Two ) on why she opposed the nomination and why Councilor Merrigan (a MacLeod supporter) should recuse himself from the vote. Councilor Manning also issued a statement on the controversy.
(UPDATE 3/20/09:Reports indicate that some councilors appear to be basing their vote for MacLeod on Oprah Winfrey's false assertion recently that 75% percent of domestic violence is instigated by men against women.
We enourage CPF supporters to let the councilors know about their own experience with false accusations and of the many reputable studies and statistics which prove women are more likely than men, or as equally likely, to provoke domestic violence. These include the work of Martin S. Fiebert Department of Psychology California State University, Long Beach who examined 247 scholarly investigations: 188 empirical studies and 59 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners, surveying some 240,200 individuals.)
COALITION CALLS ON MASS. GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL TO REJECT MACLEOD NOMINATION
(March 4, 2009)
CPF requests a 'No' vote in letter and testimony before Council
Governor’s Council Massachusetts State House Boston, Ma March 3, 2009
RE: Nomination of Atty. Laurie MacLeod to the Palmer District Court
The Fatherhood Coalition is a non-profit volunteer organization of men and women providing advocacy for fatherhood.The Coalition requests that the Council reject the nomination of Atty. MacLeod to the Palmer District Court. Our concern regarding this nomination is not a matter of the nominee’s personal integrity or competency. Indeed,we assume that Atty. MacLeod, like all of nominees that come before the Council, is of the highest moral and ethical standards.
Rather, we take exception to her former employment history as a domestic violence prosecutor and how this history will be perceived by fathers and men who come before her as a judge.
There is no question on behalf of reasoned members of the legal community that the domestic violence system in Massachusetts is seriously flawed in both law and procedure. The victims of this travesty lose children, homes, employment and financial security. They are predominately men.
We believe the elevation to a judgeship of any individual who has actively engaged in a process which has created such injustice and hardship to be inappropriate.We respectfully ask therefore that you reject the nomination of Atty. MacLeod to the Palmer District Court. Thank you. Regards. Joseph Ureneck Chair, The Fatherhood Coalition
Video of Council hearing March 4.
Atty. MacLeod is unable to answer Councilor Iannella's question as to whether men or women take out more restraining orders. A surprising response given her past employment as a 'domestic violence' prosecutor and leader of the Western Massachusetts Domestic Violence Task Force
Contact these councilors below and ask them to vote 'NO' on MacLeod's nomination. Individuals who have had direct contact with Atty MacLeod in her role a DV prosecuter or have information regarding her activity on the domestic violence task force(s) are encouraged to tell council members of their experience.
The public up-or-down confirmation vote for MacLeod will take place at the governor's office in the Massachusetts State House, Boston, on March 18, 12:00 noon.
Coalition supporters are encouraged to join in a final lobby effort on March 18 at 11:00 AM in State House Room 184 to encourage councilors to reject the nomination.
GREATER BOSTON CHAPTER OF THE FATHERHOOD COALITION TO MEET MARCH 24
First Meeting of 2009 Set for 7 PM at St. Mark's in Dorchester
The Greater Boston Chapter of the Fatherhood Coalition will hold its first meeting of 2009 on Tuesday, March 24 at 7PM at St Mark’s church hall, 20 Roseland Street (on Dorchester Avenue), Dorchester. For more information, please call 617-723-3237 or Joe at 857 350-0575. The Coalition, advocating for men, fathers and their children since 1994, will present the WCVB-TV Chronicle program 'Out of Order' which originally aired in February, 2000.
The Greater Boston Chapter of the Fatherhood Coalition will hold its first meeting of 2009 on Tuesday, March 24 at 7PM at St Mark’s church hall, 20 Roseland Street (on Dorchester Avenue), Dorchester. For more information, please call 617-723-3237 or Joe at 857 350-0575. The Coalition, advocating for men, fathers and their children since 1994, will present the WCVB-TV Chronicle program 'Out of Order' which originally aired in February, 2000.
Norton, MA—Sept. 6, 2007—The Southeastern Chapter of the Fatherhood Coalition is hosting a candlelight vigil Thursday, Sept. 6, 8:00-9:00 p.m. at the Norton Town Common. Norton is the site of the recent slaying of Elizabeth Cann by her ex-boyfriend. Elizabeth, 44, was shot by her ex-boyfriend, Robert McDermott, 39, who also shot the two daughters in the head, leaving them critically injured in the rampage. McDermott then shot himself.
CPF/The Fatherhood Coalition extend their sincerest condolences for the victims and their family and friends, including Elizabeth’s ex-husband, the father of the two girls, Wayne Cann. Mr. Cann discovered the bodies after he was telephoned by his third daughter, Amanda, 17, who was out of town at the time and grew concerned when she couldn’t contact her family.
According to the Coalition, mistakes made by the Massachusetts Family Court bear some responsibility for the tragedy, and this has been entirely overlooked in the media coverage. Event coordinator and longtime Fatherhood Coalition member Earl Sholley questions the circumstances under which the children were placed in the care and custody of the mother in the first place following the Cann divorce.
Massachusetts Trial Court Child Support Guidelines Task Force
2007 public hearings
Milford, July 11, 2005 – A study of how one court in Massachusetts applies the abuse prevention statute (MGL ch.209A) as measured by the issuance of “209A restraining orders” has just been published in the June issue of Journal of Family Violence, an academic journal on domestic violence issues.
“A Measure of Court Response to Requests for Protection,” by the Fatherhood Coalition’s Steve Basile, examined the 209A restraining orders issued in Gardner District Court in 1997. The study reveals a clear double standard in the court response to alleged victims of domestic abuse/violence. In each of the benchmarks, women plaintiffs (victims) were treated more favorably than men, and likewise, male defendants were treated more harshly than their female counterparts.
Among the study’s findings:
When compared with other attributes of the litigants, sex was by far the greatest predictor of whether or not a restraining order would be issued and of the severity of the restrictions imposed on the defendant.
At ex parte hearings, where only the victim is present and the defendant is unaware of the proceedings, men were 240% more likely than women to be denied the immediate protection of an emergency restraining order.
Women were 38% more likely than men to be granted an emergency protection order at an ex parte hearing.
At follow-up 10-day hearings, when victims seek an extended or new restraining order, men were 383% more likely to be denied protection.
Women were 32% more likely than men to be granted a new restraining order when protection was pursued at the follow-up10-day hearing.
Overall, with and without children in common, men were 29% more likely to be evicted than women and 110% more likely to be evicted if they shared a common child.
Study Wars: The Fathers Strike Back
BOSTON, May 17 – Fathers Rights advocates from across the state will converge on the State House today to give testimony to the Judiciary Committee on shared parenting and 209A reform (MGL 209A abuse protection “restraining order”).
The hearings are scheduled for 1 pm today in Room B2.
Several shared parenting bills are on the docket. The Fatherhood Coalition supports Senate bill 855, brought forward by senators Scott Brown, Richard Tesei and Richard Ross.
According to Fatherhood Coalition co-Chairman Michael P. O’Neil, “[I]n Massachusetts today, over 90% of the time, a judge will rule that it is in ‘the best interest of the child’ to have his access to one of his parents—usually the child’s father—severely restricted…studies and statistics show the exponential increase in teen pregnancy, suicide, drug usage and school failures that follow these unconscionable court edicts.”
Coalition members will also be speaking to the critical need to reform the state’s notorious abuse protection law, MGL 209A, from which thousands of “restraining orders” restricting the civil and human rights are yearly issued, mainly to men. Coalition Spokesman Mark Charalambous and others will be testifying in support of House bill 833, the “209A Reform bill.”
According to Charalambous,
“Legal protections routinely afforded hardened criminals are denied
fathers who are often merely accused of making their estranged wives or
girlfriends afraid, with no accusation of any actual violence at all.”
. . .
Shared parenting ballot initiative wins overwhelmingly across Massachusetts!
Yes: 85%, No: 15%
They maintain murder, shootings could have been avoided if courts had been more supportive of dads
Stephen Petersen, Sun Chronicle, Sept. 7, 2007
Right Initiative Joins Forces with Locals
Sarah Kirchner, The Hometown News, Sept. 13-19, 2007
tragedy spurs visit from parents' rights group
Cathy Gilbertie Knipper, Norton Mirror, Sept. 13, 2007
Children involved in divorce best served by shared parenting Mark Charalambous, Telegram & Gazette, AS I SEE IT, Dec. 3, 2004
Valley voters send
legislators message on diverse collection of
John Snyder and Kimberly Ashton, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Nov. 3, 2004
Access to Children After Divorce
Cathy Young, Boston Globe, Oct 16, 2004
asks voters whether divorced parents should share custody
Adam Gorlick, AP [Boston Globe, Herald, ...] Aug. 25, 2004
blaze trail for father's rights
Mark Charalambous, Massachusetts News, July 9, 2004
Beacon Hill grab
Michael McAuliffe, The Republican, Mar,. 28, 2004
need to right judicial abuses
Letter: Mike Franco, Daily Collegian, Mar. 24, 2004
Holyoke Sun, Apr.1-7; MetroWest Daily News, Apr. 3; Sunday Telegram, Apr. 4
A case of overreaction
Letter: Steve Basile, Boston Herald, Feb. 25, 2004
'10 most wanted' poster includes 3 from WMass Dan Ring, (Springfield, MA) The Republican, Feb. 24, 2004
Cindy J. Roth, Metropoint, Feb. 10, 2004
The second phase of the study has been published by the Journal of Family Violence, June 2005. The study is available online to subscribers of the Journal, but it is also available for individual purchase.
Issue: Volume 20, Number 3, June 2005
By Steve Basile, Fatherhood Coalition, Milford, Massachusetts
Are male victims of domestic violence provided the same protections as female victims? With increasing entanglement of custody and domestic violence law, the answer to this question is critical for fathers embroiled in disputes where allegations are sometimes made to secure custody of children. All non-impounded requests for Abuse Prevention Orders initiated in Massachusetts Gardner District Court, in the year 1997, involving opposite gender litigants were analyzed to determine if court response to the associated allegations is affected by the gender of those litigants. These orders were previously examined and male and female defendants were found similarly abusive. By studying the characteristics of each case, and overall court response at court hearings, a determination is made concerning any evident gender trends in the aggregate court response to requests for protection. Despite gender-neutral language of abuse prevention law (M.G.L. c. 209A), application of that law favors female plaintiffs.
Phase 1: The Basile Gardner District Court restraining order study
The first part of the study has been published by the Journal of Family Violence, Issue 1, February 2004. The study is available online to subscribers of the Journal, but is also available for individual purchase.
By Steve Basile, Fatherhood Coalition, Milford, Massachusetts
Domestic violence is commonly portrayed as something male batterers do to their female victims. Much research excludes study of female-perpetrated violence. This study develops a two-gender measure of abuse as documented by requests for protection. All nonimpounded Abuse Prevention Orders (M.G.L. c. 209A) issued in Massachusetts' Gardner District Court in the year 1997 were analyzed by gender to examine the level and types of violence alleged by plaintiffs. The level and types of violence were categorized and measured by examining Abuse Claimed Checkboxes found on each Complaint for Protection and by applying quantitative scales to affidavits, or plaintiff statements, filed as part of each request for protection. Despite widespread misconceptions that tend to minimize female abuse, examination of these court documents shows that male and female defendants, who were the subject of a complaint in domestic relation cases, while sometimes exhibiting different aggressive tendencies, measured almost equally abusive in terms of the overall level of psychological and physical aggression.
Journal of Family Violence, 19 (1): 59-68, February 2004
© Springer. Part of Springer Science+Business Media. All rights reserved.
FROM THE READING ROOM
Michael O'Neil's shared parenting testimony, May 17, 05
Mark Charalambous' 209A reform testimony, May 17, 05
Michael O'Neil's 209A reform testimony, May 17, 05
custody is best for kids
Ned Holstein / Guest Columnist, Metro West Daily News, Oct. 30, 2004
Dogma on Partner Abuse
Cathy Young, Boston Globe, Oct 11, 2004
the impotent father’s rights movement finally found its Viagra in F4J?
Fathers-4-Justice blaze trail for father’s rights
Mark Charalambous, June 28, 2004
researcher hides study data behind university lawyers
Steve Basile challenges latest domestic violence junk-science ‘study’
Mark Charalambous, June 28, 2004
there really a crisis in Fatherhood?
Stephen Baskerville, The Independent Review, spring, 2004
Massachusetts Chief Justice Marshall's Basis for 'Gay Marriage' a Lie
Zed McLarnon, Mens News Daily, Mar. 12, 2004
to the editor:
Judicial support of same-sex unions a slap in the face to father's rights
Mark Charalambous, Sentinel & Enterprise, Mar. 6, 2004
before gay rights
Mark Charalambous, Feb. 27, 2004
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