PIKEVILLE—A Frankfort lawyer and a state representative were recognized by Kentucky Baptists for their work in promoting pro-life legislation and leading adoption reforms.
Kentucky pastor Tom Troth, a lawyer and retired deputy director of the Legislative Research Commission, and State Rep. David Meade Meade were presented the "Guardian of Life Award" during the recent Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Pikeville.
Troth represents the Kentucky Baptist Convention as a lobbyist at the state Capitol in Frankfort; Meade, R-Stanford, led a legislative review of Kentucky's adoption and foster care system, ushering needed reforms through the House and Senate this year.
"Tom is a strong Christian leader who knows the ins and outs of the Frankfort political system like few others," said KBC Executive Director Paul Chitwood, in presenting the award. "Lobbyists are the norm for organizations working against the interests of people of faith, and to my knowledge Kentucky Baptists had never had a lobbyist representing them before Tom stepped up.
"For too long, we didn't have a significant voice on many of the most crucial issues of our day. That has all changed," Chitwood added.
Since his appointment in 2015, Troth has labored on behalf of Kentucky Baptists, helping to get new laws passed banning late-term abortions, requiring ultrasounds for women seeking abortions, requiring face-to-face consultations with medical professionals, not allowing public funding to support Planned Parenthood, and outlawing an abortion procedure that involves dismemberment.
"There are times when the job is very rewarding," Troth said. "There are times when it can be frustrating because you just don't see a lot of forward movement. But we've been fortunate, especially in the area of life, to do some very significant things."
In presenting the award to Meade, Chitwood said, "It's important to recognize and honor those who take initiative to fix that which is broken, and Kentucky's foster care system was terribly broken.
"Rep. Meade worked tirelessly to reform the system on behalf of helpless children who, through no fault of their own, found themselves languishing in a bureaucratic quagmire," he said. "On behalf of hundreds of thousands of pro-life Southern Baptists in Kentucky, we say thank you for what you have done."
Meade said the changes to the system was a victory for the thousands of children who have spent time in state care. The reforms require social service agencies and the court system to shorten the length of time children are in foster care and reduces the amount of bureaucratic paperwork required for adoptive parents and social workers. (WR)