There are many issues that do not neatly fit into a particular economic or policy category, but they are critically important because they help define who we are as a people, and what we stand for. While people can reasonably disagree on these issues, they represent cultural touchstones that reflect our values and morals.

 

    I serve as Chairman of the General Assembly Prayer Caucus. On a regular basis, I call willing legislators together to seek wisdom and godly counsel through prayer.

 

    While I respect every person’s right to disagree with me, I do not hesitate to share my perspective on these issues, because they are so important to our society.

    I am unashamedly pro-life when it comes to defending the defenseless and innocent among us. I believe that our nation forfeited the moral high ground when we declared unborn children to be disposable. Since 1974, 40 million babies have been killed for the false god of choice. As a legislator, I have unwaveringly endeavored to lead our state and nation away from this self-indulgent carnage.

 

    My position on abortion is motivated by my religious, ethical, and moral beliefs. While some will argue that this issue does not matter to the average voter, I believe that it reflects and defines who we are as a society. This is the greatest moral challenge of our time—not unlike slavery was 150 years ago.

    Although the most innocent among us are currently deemed “disposable” by choice, the guilty beyond a reasonable doubt are showered with opportunities to flaunt justice. I believe that capital punishment is just and fitting for the most serious of offenses. As indicated in the Constitution, I believe it should be applied with due process. Today, that means that every available means should be used to exonerate an accused person. But once proven guilty of a heinous crime, punishment should be swift and sure.

    While I recognize the right of every citizen to choose the relationships they wish to participate in, I will not sanction redefining marriage as anything other than the joining of one man and one woman. This single issue has far-reaching and potentially devastating consequences.

 

    Families are the basic building block of our society. While many homes lack a traditional mother and father, that formula has proven over time to offer the best opportunity for our children to succeed. The State has no right to impose that choice on people who feel differently, but it is not required to endorse an alternate definition of marriage. In 2004, the people of Kentucky made their voice heard on this issue, and in spite of continued assaults by the Left, I will hold the line on this important issue.

 

    Significantly, after the people of Kentucky indicated their will in 2004, our leading public universities attempted to flaunt that will and give same-sex relationships marriage status. The claim that same-sex relationships must be legitimized to attract qualified professors is an insult to the overwhelming majority of educators who do not incessantly promote a liberal social agenda. State adoption policy even endorses same-sex couples in the way it promotes their ability to care for and adopt children in the state foster care and adoption system. In an era when our some elected leaders ignore the public will on this issue and citizens wonder if anything is still sacred, I will consistently defend traditional marriage.

    This is an issue where people often disagree, and even argue over the economics involved. Having listened carefully to all the debate on this issue, I am convinced that regardless of the income it offers to government, gambling is a net loser for the people of Kentucky. This is because people have to lose millions of dollars for the State to gain the windfall it is promised. Not only is this bad for individual Kentuckians, it is bad for local businesses. And, as other “gambling states” have learned, the costs involved often exceed the promised revenues.

 

    I call this a moral issue because gambling violates one of the principles we aspire to teach our children. Instead of working or investing to grow the wealth of our Commonwealth, gambling holds out the hope of quick and painless riches. It is the equivalent of a get-rich scheme, with the result being that many get poorer while a few—primarily State government —get richer. That is not the way to grow an economy, and it is not a good investment for Kentucky.

    Simply put, gambling only transfers wealth—it does not generate new wealth. In the end, the Kentucky Constitution does not give the Legislature the authority to unilaterally expand gambling. But, it does require that the Legislature endorse any suggested Constitutional amendment. Although the Legislature has clearly indicated its opposition to expanded gambling numerous times over the years, there will always be some who are determined to support gambling agenda - eating up precious time and energy that should be used more productively.

 

    Regardless of the eventual outcome regarding this issue, I will continue to advocate growing Kentucky’s economy with business and industry that legitimately expands our wealth. And, I will continue to work with other legislators to find economically sound ways to encourage and promote all our industries in Kentucky—including our “legacy” industries like horses and racing.

    Continuing with the theme of protecting the innocent in our society, we must not allow anyone to prey on our children. Convicted sexual predators must not be allowed to ruin other lives. I will bear any burden to insure that our children are not victimized by the deviant few in our community. Through increased jail sentences and lifetime limitations and monitoring, I will insure that Kentucky protects and serves the young and innocent instead of the guilty.

 

    In addition, I intend to strongly advocate protecting our children from online predators and innocence-shattering filth. If we can aggressively defend our children from underage drinking, we can aggressively protect them from internet-based pornography and victimization.

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ethical, and moral beliefs. While some will argue that this issue does not matter to the average voter, I believe that it reflects and defines who we are as a society. This is the greatest moral challenge of our time—not unlike slavery was 150 years ago.

 

     Whether individual citizens owned slaves or not, our nation has carried the disgrace of labeling other human beings as property—disposable at the will of an owner. I don’t believe the Creator who endowed us with “certain inalienable rights” looks favorably on our slaughter of the unborn any more than He did on slavery.

 

   In 2007, I resurrected and lead the bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus—made up of Senators and Representatives who are passionate about defending life. I continue to be one of the most outspoken members of the General Assembly when it comes to standing in the gap for the most innocent among us. And, just this year, I led the Pro-Life Caucus to become an official caucus of the Kentucky General Assembly - something that was not allowed when the Democrats controlled the House. Subsequently, my colleagues elected me to serve as Chairman of the Pro-Life Caucus.

 

     For many years, that same Democratic House majority would kill every Pro-Life bill. They gloated over their ability to send those bills to the one committee whose chairman guaranteed its defeat, and to defeat efforts to force a vote on the floor of the House. But, the very first bill passed by the Republican-controlled House in 2017 was a Pro-Life bill. That commitment to Life will continue as long as Republicans remain a majority.

 

    Make no mistake, I will continue to aggressively pursue laws that recognize the value of innocent human life and appeal to our better angels. While few will remember most of the issues that we deliberate over and legislate about in a few years, our willingness to protect the unborn has lasting implications for our society and our humanity.