First California March for Life to be held

Crowds at the March for Life in Washington DC on Jan 27 2017 Credit Jeff Bruno 2 CNA The March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 27, 2017. | Jeff Bruno.

Pro-life advocates will gather Wednesday at the state capitol in Sacramento for the first California March for Life to show support for the unborn and to learn what they can do to advance their cause in the state.

“The march is an opportunity for California pro-lifers to unite and encourage state legislators to craft policies that respect the rights of the unborn,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Defense and Education Fund, said in an Aug. 4 announcement.

The Aug. 25 event is organized in a partnership between the national March for Life organization and the California Family Council, a pro-life policy group which is the state affiliate of Focus on the Family.

The event will begin with an 11 a.m. rally at the state capitol steps, followed by a march at noon.

Mancini will be among the speakers at the event, as will Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council​.

Keller said that despite California’s progressive reputation, “when it comes to treating every human life with dignity and respect our Golden State has a tarnished record.”

“We invite all people to join us in celebrating God’s gift of life from conception to its natural end. Let us all recommit ourselves to liberty and justice for all – born and unborn.”

Lea Kalinowski, Northern California regional director with Students for Life, will also speak, as will Assemblyman James Gallagher and State Sen. Shannon Grove, both Republicans.

Large pro-life events have taken place in several major California cities. Walk for Life West Coast has been held in San Francisco for 17 years, while OneLifeLA has been held in Los Angeles since 2015.

Mancini said the California March for Life is the first of its kind in the state. The March for Life website said the Sacramento event will help teach effective lobbying, address specific current issues in California, and inform attendees “what you can do right now to champion pro-life policies to your California elected representatives.”

At the Aug. 25 rally, the opening prayer will be delivered by Greg Farrington, pastor of Destiny Christian Church. The national anthem will be sung by a singer from the same church.

Destiny Christian Church, located in Rocklin, Calif., about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento, made the news in late 2020 for allegedly violating public health measures that barred in-person indoor gatherings to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, ABC10 News reported. A city spokesperson said multiple people filed code complaints against the church.

The church held a large indoor wedding on New Year’s Eve, with entertainment including a Ferris Wheel, CBS13 News reported. Though indoor gatherings were barred under governor’s regional stay-at-home order, the church held the event indoors while following guidelines regarding social distancing, temperature checks, sanitation stations and other means, it said in a statement.        

In mid-August the church handed out to attendees hundreds of religious exemption letters for any vaccine requirements, though a church letter is not required to qualify for an exemption, ABC 13 News reports.

Under California law, some government employees must present proof of vaccination. If they cite medical or religious exemptions, they must take regular tests for COVID-19. Other employers have their own policies. Though limited religious accommodation is required, refusing to be vaccinated could cost some employees their jobs even if they claim a religious exemption, KCRA 3 News reports.

Farrington recently endorsed from the pulpit the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a possible test of IRS rules that bar political campaigning inside churches, the Sacramento Bee Reports.

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