Senator John R. Lewis, Vice Chairman, Rules Committee, 33rd District, California State Senate "While the divoce of married parents must, by definition, greatly disrupt the family, it need not destroy it. Yet too many times the courts place the noncustodial parent at far too great a legal distance from the children. Current California law discriminates shamelessly against noncustodial parents to the detriment of parent and child alike. In California, noncustodial parents are often second-class citizens and are not considered 'real' parents by the custodial parents, the courts, or sometimes by their own children. This must change. And will change. There is a strong moral imperative for change.
Equal Parents' Week provides an opportunity to recognize the importance of truly equal parenting with all that implies...to enforce the 'joint' in joint custody and make the term real, not just lip service. I commend every Californian to investigate the issues surrounding post-divorce parenting so that this state's children may benefit from proper custodial and child support reform."
Bill Morrow, Vice-Chairman, Assembly Judiciary Committee, Assemblyman, 73rd District "It is critical that parents act with respect towards each other when exercising their parental rights and responsibilities. Kids need both parents in their lives, whenever possible, and children should never feel they have to choose between one parent or another. I strongly believe a [nationwide] week of focus on the inequities and barriers suffered by noncustodial parents with respect to exercising their parental rights will be tremendous benefit to millions of innocent victims--namely the children of divorced parents."
Rod Pacheco, Vice-Chairman, Committee on Education, Assemblyman, 64th District, California State Assembly "'Equal Parents' Week' supports the importance of both parents playing an integral role in their children's lives, enabling them to achieve equal rights and responsibility. Civil rights for parents and children should never be taken for granted in our society."
Bill Leonard, Vice-Chairman, Utilities and Commerce Committee, Assemblyman, 63rd District, California State Assembly "I share COPS' commitment to a system of family law that promotes equal rights for all parents. Children benefit from intact families, but where that is not possible, it is important for the children to enjoy solid relationships with both their mother and father. Both parents should be emotionally, physically, socially, and financially involved in their children's lives. Equal Parents' Week is a tremendous opportunity for people to learn about the problems created when families break up. It is my hope that your event succeeds in educating the public and in working toward a fair, equitable family law system."
Senator Cathie Wright, Vice-Chairman, Budget and Fiscal Review and Toxics/Public Safety Management Committees, 19th District, California State Senate "It is a pleasure and an honor for me to acknowledge Equal Parents' Week, a nationwide event to recognize the contributions, the rights and responsibilities of noncustodial parents. It is important that we as a society acknowledge and protect the rights of the noncustodial parent just as we protect those of the custodial parent and the child. Our justice system should not discriminate against men in divorce cases any more than it should discriminate against women in civil cases. My primary focus when reviewing legislation in this area of the law is what is in the best interests of the children. Certainly the love and support of two parents, regardless of their marital status, is better for a child than one."
James F. Battin, Assemblyman, 80th District, California State Assembly "The members of the Coalition of Parent Support strive for inclusion of the noncustodial parent in the child's life. A child needs the love and support of both parents, especially during a time of change, or trauma. By seeking involvement in their children's lives, COPS members are setting a good example to many parents who actually choose to be delinquent in their roles as parents. I believe that a child's life is enhanced when both parents are able to take responsibility and participate in that child's life positively."