From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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7/18/2002 4:51:39 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Urgent CEDAW Update

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee was scheduled to
meet today, July 18, 2002, to consider a vote on the United Nation's
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women (CEDAW). We are pleased to report that the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee canceled its scheduled vote unexpectedly. We can
only surmise that your calls played a part in this decision.
Chairman Biden has rescheduled a vote in committee for Thursday, July
25, 2002.

Earlier this week we sought your calls to members of the Foreign
Relations Committee urging a "no" vote. The next day, HSLDA
delivered packets of material to the Senate. HSLDA staff reported
that the Senate offices were receiving numerous calls on the issue.
One Senate aid said that he alone had handled nearly 100 calls, all
but 3 of which were opposed to the treaty.

Chairman Biden stated today that he and Senator Boxer are confident
that all the Foreign Relations Committee Democrats are supporting
CEDAW, along with Republican Senator Chafee and one additional
unnamed Republican. Senator Biden stated that he expects the treaty
to pass in committee, with certain conditions.

ACTION REQUESTED

We ask that you continue to make calls to the members of the Foreign
Relations Committee, if they are from your state, and Chairman Biden
if your Senator is not a member of this Committee. When calling
Senator Biden, you will likely get transferred to the Foreign
Relations Committee Staff. Please ask the Senators to vote "no" when
the committee considers the UN Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

US SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE

Joseph Biden (D-DE) 202-224-5042 (Chairman)
Jesse Helms, (R-NC) 202-224-6342 (Ranking Member)

George Allen (R-VA) 202-224-4024
Barbara Boxer (D-CA) 202-224-3553
Sam Brownback (R-KS) 202-224-6521
Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) 202-224-2921
Chris Dodd (D-CT 202-224-2853
Michael Enzi (R-WY) 202-224-3424
Russell Feingold (D-WI) 202-224-5323
Bill Frist (R-TN) 202-224-3344
Chuck Hagel (R-NE) 202-224-4224
John Kerry (D-MA) 202-224-2742
Richard Lugar (R-IN) 202-224-4814
Bill Nelson (D-FL) 202-224-5274
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) 202-224-6472
Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) 202-224-4524
Gordon Smith (R-OR) 202-224-3753
Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) 202-224-3224
Paul Wellstone (D-MN) 202-224-5641

BACKGROUND

The following is the Media Release which HSLDA was to present to the
press at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing. It explains
more fully the impact CEDAW might have on home education and HSLDA's
principal objections.

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MEDIA RELEASE

OPPOSITION STATEMENT OF THE HOME SCHOOL LEGAL DEFENSE ASSOCIATION TO
RATIFICATION OF THE UN CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN -- July 18, 2002

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is deeply concerned
that the Senate is taking up CEDAW. This treaty wrongly advances the
government into the most private of family and education decisions.

Tom Washburne, Director of HSLDA's National Center for Home
Education, had the following comment: "Why would we transfer any
issue of our domestic policy away from our elected officials and give
it to a UN committee of 'experts'? Senators who vote for this treaty
are saying that they lack the ability to govern this segment of
public policy. The proper remedy is for them to find a new job, not
to transfer domestic policy to the UN."

HSLDA takes issue with numerous aspects of this treaty, including:

1. Home and private schools would be required to eliminate UN-
perceived stereotyping of women in both textbooks and practices.

Article 5 calls for governments to eliminate all "practices which are
based ...on stereotyped roles for men and women." What is a
stereotype? Is not normalcy today the stereotype of tomorrow? United
States law already prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Are
we now asking for OSHA to dictate how each family washes dishes?
Having women at home as unpaid home schooling moms could be
considered by them as discriminatory.

Article 10 calls for the elimination of "any stereotyped concept of
the roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of
education by encouraging coeducation and other types of education
which will help achieve this aim and, in particular, by the revision
of textbooks and school programmes and the adaptation of teaching
methods." The UN would get to define the meaning of stereotype.
Moreover, many home schools teach and respect the traditional family.

2. Unelected international bureaucrats, not elected American
officials, would decide issues of family policy.

Article 16 provides that governments should ensure women the "same
rights [as men] to decide freely and responsibly on the number and
spacing of their children and to have access to the information,
education and means to enable them to exercise these rights." What
does "responsibly" mean? Who decides? What is the right
"information"?

In sum, anything good in this treaty the Senate is free to enact as
legislation already.

Having over 70,000 member families, HSLDA is the largest national
home school advocacy group in the United States. For further
information, contact Robert Ziegler at 540-338-8663.

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There are numerous other implications to CEDAW that may concern many
HSLDA member families:

1. Abortion could be protected by treaty. If new Supreme Court
justices desired to reverse Roe v. Wade, they would be unable to do
so. In fact, the "experts" who oversee implementation of the treaty
actually were concerned with the nation of Andorra's laws outlawing
abortion in light of the health provisions of Article 12.

2. Women could be required to serve in combat. Article 7 requires
countries to "ensure women...the right to: (b) perform all public
functions at all levels of government."

3. Churches could be forced to have women pastors and elders.
Article 2 declares: "State Parties... agree to pursue by all
appropriate means and without delay...take all appropriate measures
to eliminate discrimination against women by any person,
organization, or enterprise." Churches certainly fit this definition
and would be subjected to UN-backed harassment and lawsuits.

Visit HSLDA's web site for more information on CEDAW:
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/issues/U/UN_Women.asp

HSLDA thanks you for all your efforts to stand for freedom.

Very truly yours,

Thomas Washburne
Director of the National Center for Home Education

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