ACLU should consider Choice for Men
and equal rights for all people
to be a subject worthy of their attention.
I am not on any list of deadbeat
Dads; my interest in this subject
is from the perspective of an
American citizen who is actively concerned
with the issue of civil rights.
It is my most sincere desire to live
in an America that has rights
for people, all people, instead of
just certain classes of people.
There is a false public perception
that Choice for Men is just a
bunch of Deadbeat Dads who are trying
to get out of their child support
obligations. This kind of public image
makes support of men’s rights
politically difficult. The real issue
is equality for all people-women
and men alike.
Both the ACLU and the Planned
Parenthood Federation are dedicated
to preserving and enhancing women's
rights including their right
to choose parenthood. Much to their
shame, these organizations have
not supported the same rights for
men. These two organizations have
tremendous influence in American politics,
and could present a formidable
opposition, but it may be possible
to shame them into supporting
equal rights for all people instead
of just certain groups.
Problem: Choice for Men When
the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that
women have a fundamental right
to control their reproduction, men
became a separate and inferior
class-A class denied the right to
choose. In 1992, the Supreme
Court reaffirmed the Roe v Wade decision.
The opinion of the court was
"The ability of women to participate
equally in the economic and
social life of the nation has been
facilitated by their ability
to control their reproductive lives"(ACLU).
The problem is that the ability
of men to participate equally in the
economic and social life of
the nation has been hindered by their
inability to control their reproductive
lives. Currently, the law dictates
that a woman is free to choose
an abortion, and the father has no
right to intervene. If, on the
other hand, the woman chooses not
to have an abortion, then the
father is obligated to eighteen to
twenty one years of child support
with no choice in the matter. In
1963, President Kennedy presented
a stirring public speech on
the state of civil rights in Alabama.
In that speech he said, "It ought
to be possible, in short, for every
American to enjoy the privileges
of being American without regard to
his race or his color"(Kennedy).
The same American privilege ought
to exist without regard to sex.
Equality, by definition, can never
be achieved unless it is for everybody.
Choice for Men is about giving all
men and women the same rights
The thirteenth amendment to
the Constitution provides that involuntary
servitude shall not exist within the
United States (United States,
"Constitution"). The 1973
Roe v Wade decision gave women
the rights to control their parental
responsibilities, but men have
been excluded from this right.
The thirteenth amendment to
the United States Constitution reads,
"neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, except as punishment
for crime whereof the party shall
have been duly convicted, shall
exist within the United States, or
any place subject to their jurisdiction"
(United States, "Constitution").
The pro-choice people hold that
sex is not a crime, and that it would
be involuntary servitude to
force a woman to have an unwanted
child. However, in today's-no
Choice for Men-world, men are held
in involuntary servitude to
the product of a woman's free choice.
In 1991, a Kansas State Court
ruled that a seventeen-year-old babysitter
was guilty of statutory rape when
she had sex with the thirteen-year-old
boy she was caring for. The absurd
thing is that the Kansas Courts
also ruled that the thirteen-year-old
rape victim was required to
pay child support for the baby that
resulted from his rape. The
appeals court affirmed the decision
of the lower court and ordered
the young boy to pay the portion of
the child support that the lower
court had forgiven (State of Kansas).
The baby sitter could have chosen
an abortion, but the victim of rape
has no choice if he is a male.
This is not an isolated case; in fact,
this ruling has become a precedent
for many similar cases. In Indiana,
a man agreed to help a female coworker
have a baby. They had a written
agreement that he would not be liable
for any support, but the courts
ruled that fathers must support any
child that a mother chooses
to give birth to-fathers have no choice
(Lambert). According to the
Friends of Choice for Men, government
figures indicate that each year
500,000 unwed fathers are ordered
to pay child support. It is
mind boggling to realize that at the
equivalent rate of nearly one
per minute, men are forced-without
choice-into two decades of financial
responsibility because of a woman's
constitutional right to choose ("Keep
Your Pants On").
Causes: Class Structure
America has had a long history
of talking about equal rights; unfortunately
equal rights have usually been for
a particular group instead of
being for all people. When the Supreme
Court handed down the Roe v
Wade decision, they created a separate
right for a separate class-women.
With knowledge of the entire world
history of class struggle, America's
highest court still creates classes
of people with separate rights.
The current U.S. abortion laws
represent a despicable example of
separate and unequal rights. In
a futile plea for justice in a North
Carolina Court, an attorney points
out that women have the right to choose
either to be or not to be a
parent. Men have the right to
be a parent (State of North Carolina).
According to current law, when
a mother says that a man is the father
of her child, the man is guilty as
charged until he is proven innocent.
If the man chooses to go to court,
the case is declared a civil
matter, denying the man the right
to counsel if he can not afford
it, even though the woman is given
free representation by the state
attorneys. After the court rules on
paternal responsibility, the case
becomes a criminal action and the
man is subject to criminal prosecution
for non-payment (State of North Carolina).
Paternity laws are enforced
by their own police forces with special
police powers similar to those of
the IRS. The special police force,
Child Support Enforcement Offices,
is present in every state of
the nation and is staffed with tax-supported
attorneys and enforcement officers.
These special officers are empowered
to demand all personal and financial
records from the defendant and any
member of the defendant's household.
In addition, these special officers
can require a defendant to make
periodic personal appearances before
the court, and require the payment
of a cash deposit or performance bond.
Noncompliance can result in
imprisonment for contempt (State of
Effects: Unequal Rights
In much the same way as minority
groups have been treated through
much of our less than ideal history,
men have become victims of inequality.
Historically, unequal rights
have allowed one segment of the population
an unjust domination over another
segment. Unequal rights often
result in un-American systems such
as slavery, no voting rights for
women, and no choice for men.
As many as one half million
men per year are being subjected to
the Child Support Enforcement
Offices. Since they are facing seizure
of assets, garnishment of wages,
loss of professional and driving licenses,
unemployment, extradition, and imprisonment,
it would be an understatement to say
that national productivity is being
Solution: Restoration of Equal
According to Lawrence Ehlenberger,
a psychiatrist and men's rights
activist, Choice for Men would involve
the man being served with papers
when the woman learned she was pregnant.
He could relinquish parenthood,
losing all rights to visit the child
as well as obligations to pay
child support, or he could accept
paternity, and have all rights
and obligations of fatherhood. Either
way the decision would be irrevocable
and give men the same freedom of choice
that women enjoy (Sine).
Over one hundred
and fifty years ago, the first Women's
Rights Convention was held in
Seneca Falls, New York. At that convention
the idea that "All men
and women are created equal, and are
endowed by their creator with
certain unalienable rights?"
was adopted (Rynder). This ideal,
although considered radical at the
time, was reasonable then and
now. If men and women were equal under
the law, Choice for Men would
is at the very core of the democratic
system of government, the most
effective system of government ever
devised. Equal rights, equal
choices, and equal pay, equal responsibility,
equal whatever, presents a far
more effective system of government
than inequality ever could.
ACLU. Briefing Paper, Number
15. The Right to Choose: A Fundamental
Liberty. Winter 1999. 10 June 2000
. Ireland, Patricia.
"Women's less than full equality
Under the U.S. Constitution."
Online Posting. National Organization
for Women. 11 June 2000 <www.now.org/issues/economic/cea
"Keep Your Pants On! (On
All Day, On All Night)." 1994-1995.
Online Posting. Friends of Choice
for Men. 10 June 2000
Kennedy, John Fitzgerald. "Radio
and Television Report to the American
People on Civil Rights." 11 June
1963. Online Posting. John Fitzgerald
Kennedy Library. 11 June 2000 <www.cs.umb.edu/jfklibrary/j061163.htm<
/A. Lambert, Wade. "Child
Support:." Wall Street Journal
5 January 1994:B8. "9
Reasons Why Abortions are Legal."
March 1989. Online Posting.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America,
Inc. 10 June 2000
Rubin, Sam. "Civil Rights
Leaders and the President." Online
Posting. John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Library. 11 June 2000
Rynder, Constance. "All
Men & Women are created Equal."
American History April 1999.
11 June 2000
Sine, Richard. "Revenge
of the Deadbeat Dads." Metro
November 1996. 5 June 2000
State of Kansas. Supreme Court
of Kansas. Colleen Hermesmann,
appellee, Vs. Shane Seyer, a minor,
and Dan and
Mary Seyer, his parents, Appellants
No. 67,978. 5 March 1993. The National
Center for Men. 10 June 2000 <www.nas.com/c4m/rape_case.html
State of North Carolina. County
of Sampson. Zella C. Shumaker
vs. James G. Hamilton, M. D. File
Number: 86CVD690. 9 January
1998. 10 June 2000
United States. "Constitution
for the United States of America."
Online Posting. USConstitution.net.
10 June 2000
Copyright © 2000 Ronald Duane
Ronald Burke is a 48 year old
hippy, farmhand, bus driver, business
owner, entrepreneur, and student.
After a disabling injury in
1997, he returned to school through
state vocational rehabilitation
program. His goals are to sharpen
writing skills and fine tune
his business knowledge.
Gregory Romeo <firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Campaign continues to gather
True Equality.org in North
Carolina has now signed on to our
Resolution, making us 25 organizations
strong – welcome aboard, Terri!
I’m attaching the current Resolution,
in case you want to share it
with others or post it on your website.
KRights Radio has just signed
a syndication deal. Our first
2 interviews will be featured. Richard
writes, “We are sending the
first two interviews in a consolidated
show to our syndicators. They
are going to be running on 24 am and
fm talk radio stations.”
Our lobbyists hit Capitol Hill
today, visiting members of the House
Judiciary Committee, asking them to
hold hearings to investigate
restraining order abuse. We met with
11 legislative assistants today.
This is how the LAs responded:
Hostile to our concerns: Louie
Gohmert, TX (his LA said it didn’t
bother her that so many restraining
orders were being issued because “verbal
abuse can easily escalate into physical
Polite and willing to listen:
Mike Pence, IN; Dan Lungren,
CA; Conyers, MI; Goodlatte, VA
Concerned about our issues and
likely to be supportive: Steve
Chabot, OH; Darrell Issa, CA; Mark
Green, WI; Jeff Murray, FL;
Bob Inglis, SC; Steve King,
So in this coming Monday’s Alert,
we will be targeting Sensenbrenner,
chairman of the Judiciary Committee,
and Steve Chabot, chairman of
the Constitutional Subcommittee. Chabot
is really the key person in
Also, as we get further into
our Campaign, I will be asking groups
participating in the Campaign
to help us work with key elected officials.
Dennis Avery <email@example.com
From: Dennis Avery <firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 21:49:09
Hi Gregory, Today I called the
Massachusetts arm of the ACLU and
also faxed them a brief that
outlined the arguments for Men's Choice
and for the discrimination against
men in courts. The ACLU person on
the line stated that the Men's
Choice issue that wanted addressed
was an issue he was unfamiliar
with. He suggested that I fax a letter
stating the issues and why I
thought the ACLU should pursue legal
action to remedy the condition.
You seem to have a large following
and a large voice in the men's community,
why don't you encourage all the men
on the mailing list to contact
the ACLU? You could put forth a boiler
template for all to use when
they write to the ACLU.