With The Hartford Courant stoking speculation about New Britain mayor Erin Stewart’s political ambitions, we think it’s a good time to remind supporters and opponents alike of the Connecticut GOP’s “rising star” that Stewart’s socially liberal policies are not family-friendly.
In 2012, members of New Britain’s Board of Education voted to distribute condoms to students without parents’ permission. Stewart, on her Facebook page, boasted about her support, saying that “as a Catholic and a Republican…” she was “proud of [her] vote.” She followed it closely with the astounding claim that parents give their consent when they register their children with a school-based health clinic — implying, we suppose, that these clinics are an all-or-nothing offer. Earlier in the year she had indicated she was fine with all of this as long as Planned Parenthood picked up the tab.
The vote she wears as a badge of honor was done over the objections of some 480 parents who opposed the condom handouts. New Britain City Journal reported vocal disagreement at the Board meeting:
“I am opposed to this offensive proposal,” said Carmelo Rodriguez. “As a parent and having nephews and nieces in the school district I believe this proposal is a personal attack against our family values and religious beliefs.”
No kidding! Voices of reason also included a high school counselor and members of the divided Board, themselves:
“Passing out condoms is a band-aid to a gaping wound,” said [New Britain High School guidance counselor Edwin] DeJesus.
“I think it’s a cop-out to say if only my school gave out condoms, I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant or I wouldn’t have gotten my girlfriend pregnant,” said [school board member Paul] Carver. “That is just not taking responsibilities for your actions.”
This incident still may not be common knowledge outside of New Britain. We know of parents who, initially happy to see a young woman on the Republican ticket, renounced their support after learning what happened.
We can all agree that New Britain’s high rates of teen pregnancy are concerning, but the solution is not to drive a wedge between loving parents and their children — encouraging secrecy and dishonesty, undermining entire value systems, and utterly misrepresenting the teachings of a major religion. And then there’s the Planned Parenthood problem: after the #PPsellsbabyparts scandal and given its long history of apparently doing what’s in its own interests even at the expense of the vulnerable, like abduction victims, we can’t imagine what parents in their right minds would want Planned Parenthood anywhere near their kids. So, it ought to be radioactive to sensible politicians in either party. Would a Republican candidate really have the chutzpah to stand with them now or in the near future?
In what is supposedly the year of the anti-establishment, nothing says establishment like Stewart, who, not satisfied to tactfully redirect on hot-button issues, passes up no opportunity to trumpet her “moderate” (read: liberal) bona fides on marriage and abortion. That may unfortunately be all too typical in the blue Northeast, but when it comes to our kids and our faith, she’s crossed a line we won’t soon forget.
**UPDATE** Newsmax thinks Erin Stewart is a more influential young Republican than Lila Rose. She tops their list of “30 influential Republicans 30 and under who are making strides to bolster the values near and dear to the heart of the [conservative] movement.” If they only knew what we know. If you visit the blog I linked in the post above and scroll down to the comments, you will find Erin Stewart herself saying, “I never claim to be a staunch Republican, never have.” You will also find an anonymous supporter chiming in, “I’m a Democrat and Erin Stewart will always have my vote.” Hint: that’s because she is not conservative. We have our work cut out for us getting the facts out. Please share this post widely.