A contingent of Fathers and Families’ Election Campaign 2012 activists attended the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Seacoast Republican Women’s Breakfast with Newt Gingrich on Wednesday. F & F member Deanna Marchand (pictured) asked Gingrich:
Family courts generally allow fit loving fathers only a few days a month with their children. This is not only harmful to children since it’s so important level of involvement by both parents in their lives, but it’s also a terrible civil rights violation when the government dictates how much time a father or mother can spend with his or her children. What are your thoughts on family court reform?
In response, Gingrich criticized the family law system for its “extreme anti-male bias.”
Gingrich added that he was “in favor of fathers having rights…We live in an age that is very different than 50 years ago and I think that it is very often very important…that we have a much greater sensitivity that both sides, both parents, both have rights and have responsibilities…”
We commend Gingrich for his awareness of the crisis in family courts and for giving a meaningful response to our question.
Since family law is usually a state matter, it’s a fair question to ask, “What could the federal government do to promote shared parenting?” One answer is this:
The federal government helps shape states’ policies in many areas by the payment or withholding of federal reimbursement funds. It works the same way with family law–the federal government reimburses the states billions of dollars each year in child support collection funds.
One of the things a pro-shared parenting administration could do to greatly encourage shared parenting is to tie those funds to progress in enacting shared parenting laws, implementing and encouraging shared parenting arrangements, and enforcing visitation orders.
Join Fathers and Families’ Election 2012 Campaign
Fathers and Families’ Election 2012 Campaign is a nonpartisan grassroots campaign with the goal of injecting family court reform into the 2012 election campaign.
Between now and New Hampshire’s February 14, 2012 primary, our activists will be going to candidates’ campaign stops, rallies, and townhall meetings, as well as calling in when candidates are interviewed on radio talk shows. We will be politely and persistently asking candidates questions about family court reform, with the goal of garnering media attention for our issues and getting candidates to go on the record with their views.
Our central issue is simple–family courts harm children by routinely separating them from one of the two people they love most.
How You Can Help
No matter where you are, there are many ways you can help:
1) If you are in New England and can volunteer to make appearances at campaign stops and townhalls, please fill out our volunteer form here and type “Fathers and Families’ Election 2012 Campaign” at the beginning of the “How I Can Help” section.
2) We understand that many of you can’t participate due to geography or other limitations. We still want you to fill out our volunteer form here and participate by:
- Helping us organize by making phone calls and doing web research.
- Making calls to reporters, radio talk shows, and candidates’ offices, writing letters and posting comments in response to our campaign Action Alerts. You will see these on our website at www.FathersandFamilies.org, our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/FathersandFamilies, and in our weekly ENewsletter.
- Our New Hampshire efforts cost money–help defray our costs by giving at www.FathersandFamilies.org/give.
We Are Non-Partisan
Fathers and Families is resolutely non-partisan and has and continues to work successfully with legislators on both sides of the aisle on legislation to promote family court reform. Our primary goal is to protect the loving bonds children share with both parents after divorce or separation, and we’re happy to work with any legislators or political figures who share this goal.
During the Fathers and Families Election Campaign 2012 we will be intervening at both Republican and Democratic events. However, there are many more Republican events than Democratic events because the Republican primary will be hotly contested, whereas the Democrats have an incumbent running.
Newt Gingrich’s Daughter Speaks about Gingrich’s Highly-Politicized Divorce
Gingrich has taken a lot of criticism over his personal life, some of it undoubtedly merited. However, to be fair, he is close to his two adult daughters, one of whom publicly disputes the widely-publicized accusation that Gingrich told his first wife he wanted a divorce while she was in the hospital dying of cancer. In her article Setting the Record Straight, Jackie Cushman Gingrich, Gingrich’s 44-year-old daughter, says:
- It was her mother who requested the divorce
- It happened prior to her mother’s hospital stay
- Her mother was not “dying of cancer,” as many claim, but was instead there for a benign tumor, not cancer, and is still alive and healthy today
- Gingrich visited her so the couple’s children could see their mother, not to discuss their divorce.