Wednesday, May 04, 2005

AB 1307 Update: Shared Parenting Bill Defeated in Assembly Judiciary Committee

I am copying this verbatim from an email I received:

AB 1307 Update: Shared Parenting Bill Defeated in Assembly Judiciary Committee

May 3, 2005

Despite the massive support we generated for AB 1307, the new California Shared Parenting bill, children and the parents they love and need were defeated today in the California Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Two thousand of you called, faxed or wrote Sacramento in support of AB 1307. By contrast, the opposition, led by the California National Organization for Women, the California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, the California Judges Association, the State of California Commission on the Status of Women, and the California State Bar Family Law Section, had no discernable popular support. Nevertheless, they successfully attacked the bill by claiming that a rebuttable presumption of shared custody puts women and children in danger of abusive men. They also claimed that fathers who fight for custody are usually abusers.

As my listeners and readers know, these claims are spurious. Mothers are far more likely to abuse children than fathers are, and women are as likely to commit domestic violence as men are, though women's injuries tend to be more serious. Moreover, AB 1307's presumption of shared custody applies only to fit parents, not abusers.

The California Shared Parenting Alliance's presentation at the hearing was impressive, particularly the testimony of family law attorney Denise Placencio. The highlight of the proceedings came near the end of the testimony when Assemblyman Mervyn M. Dymally, the bill's principal author, said "here's my final witness"--and held up a box with almost 2,000 of our letters in it!

Our defeat represents the triumph of special interests over children and families. The California Shared Parenting Alliance won the endorsements of dozens of mental health professionals and family law experts, as well as veterans and retirees groups. These were backed by popular support vastly beyond anything the special interest groups opposing us could muster.
CSPA has plans to continue this fight, and Dymally says he will be bringing the bill back next year.

A Personal Note to the Sackson Horde
This is our sixth
His Side with Glenn Sacks Listener Campaign and our first defeat. I thank all of you for your support and faith in us, and I'm sorry we were unable to deliver another victory. I knew from the beginning that this one would be tough, but I also believed that we had to fight the good fight regardless of the odds.

Special credit goes to CSPA lobbyist Michael Robinson, who spearheaded both AB 1307 and SB 1082 in Sacramento, and was one of the heroes behind our successful campaign to preserve the LaMusga move-away decision last summer. To donate to support CSPA and Michael's lobbying efforts, click here. Thanks also to the American Coalition for Fathers and Children for its support.

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

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