While the presidential election is garnering most of the attention from the mainstream media, there are a number of important other races and issues on the ballot. Many of the state ballot measures concern issues Focus on the Family cares deeply about.
Many of these issues will affect our families and communities for years to come, so it’s important for Christians to be informed, make their voices heard and vote their values. Here are just some of the issues of concern:
Colorado voters have a chance to prohibit abortions performed after 22 weeks gestational age of the baby. Proposition 115, the 22-Week Abortion Ban Initiative, only provides an exception “if the pregnant woman’s life is threatened by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, but not including psychological or emotional conditions.”
The measure penalizes those who perform abortions after 22 weeks, not the woman. Colorado is one of just seven states to allow abortion up until birth. Proposition 115 would change that. Voters can go to DueDateTooLate.com to find FAQs and other important information on this pro-life ballot issue.
Louisiana’s Amendment 1, dubbed the “Love Life Amendment” by supporters, would add this sentence to the state’s constitution: “To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” The constitutional amendment was approved by the state’s legislature in June, 2019, and placed on the November 3, 2020 ballot.
Louisiana voters can pledge to vote, support the initiative, find information for churches and learn more about the amendment at Love Life: Vote Yes.
Psychedelic Mushrooms and Decriminalized Drugs
Oregon has two ballot measures that should concern the state’s residents. The first, Measure 109, is the Psilocybin Mushroom Services Program Initiative. It creates a program, under the Oregon Health Authority, where licensed service providers can administer psilocybin-producing mushroom and fungi products to individuals 21 years of age or older. Psilocybin is a psychedelic compound found in some mushrooms and fungi.
Measure 109 says, “an estimated one in every five adults in Oregon is coping with a mental health condition” and psilocybin can be used to treat addiction, depression, anxiety disorders, and end-of-life psychological distress.
The Oregon Psychiatric Physician Association and the American Psychiatric Association oppose the measure, but at this point there is no organized opposition group. The measure looks to have heavy supportin the state, including from groups like ACLU Oregon and the Democrat Party of Oregon.
Measure 110 is the second Oregon drug bill on the ballot. It decriminalizes possession of certain drugs and establishes a drug addiction treatment and recovery program. The bill says the treatment programs would befunded by the state’s marijuana tax revenue and by state savings from imprisoning fewer people.
The measure would reclassify personal, non-commercial possession of drugs such as heroin, LSD, cocaine, methamphetamines, hydrocodone, codeine and anabolic steroids. These would be reclassified from Class A misdemeanors to Class E violations, resulting in a $100 fine or a completed health assessment. Individuals who manufacture or distribute illegal drugs would still be subject to a criminal penalty.
Ballotpedia reports that supporters of the measure have raised more than $2.6 million, while the No on Measure 110 committee has currently reported $40,000 in contributions.
Washington, D.C., also has a drug measure on the ballot. Initiative 81, the Entheogenic Plants and Fungus Measure, would “make the investigation and arrest of adults for non-commercial planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, possessing, and/or engaging in practices with entheogenic plants and fungi among the Metropolitan Police Department’s lowest law enforcement priorities.”
The measure also says that “the people of the District of Columbia call upon the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia to cease prosecution of residents of the District of Columbia for these activities.”
“Entheogenic” is a term that was coined from two Greek words. The first, entheos, means “full of the god, inspired, possessed,” while the second, genesthai means “come into being.” It was created as a replacement for words like hallucinogen and psychedelic, and it is used by proponents of drug use to imply that there is a spiritual or religious component to using these substances. “Entheogenic plants and fungi” refer to plants, mushrooms and fungi that naturally produce hallucinogenic compounds such as mescaline and psilocybin.
Comprehensive Sex Education
Despite protests, phone calls and emails from thousands of concerned citizens and parents, the Washington legislature passed, and the governor signed SB 5395, a bill mandating comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) throughout the state. Parents, grandparents and concerned citizens were horrified when they saw some of the curriculums and materials that were approved by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Washington parents fought back, collecting a record number of signatures, more than 264,000, to place a referendum on the ballot to repeal SB 5395 – despite the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Somewhat confusingly, a vote to approve Referendum 90 supports SB 5395, requiring CSE throughout the state. A vote to reject Referendum 90 opposes SB 5395, meaning the voter does not want public schools mandated to provide sexuality education throughout the state.
Ballotpedia lists all 120 state ballot measures up for a vote on November 3. The site gives information about each initiative, including details about who supports and opposes each measure. The website also lists local ballot measures.
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