By John Paulton, mobilization manager for Family Policy Alliance®
It all came down to one vote.
The country’s biggest religious freedom battle so far this year was taking place at the Kansas capitol this month, and it had all the makings of a bad sequel to other religious freedom tussles that haven’t turned out well for people of faith.
The president of the largest LGBT lobbying group in the nation had just been in Topeka, and his well-funded group was running full-page newspaper ads to confuse the people and scare the politicians. They were joined by the ACLU and all the usual forces in opposing a common-sense bill protecting the religious freedom of faith-based adoption providers.
Family Policy Alliance of Kansas staff were working the Capitol hallways, persuading legislators and imploring them to hold firm. Statesmen Academy™ alumnus Rep. Susan Humphries, as lead sponsor in the House, was strategically maneuvering the bill to give it the best shot at passage. But still, the bill had earlier come up a few votes short of the 63 votes needed to pass it.
But thousands of emails and phone calls from Family Policy Alliance supporters in Kansas – many of them targeted to key legislators – helped write a good ending. The bill passed with exactly 63 votes and was later signed into law by the Governor.
That’s just one of dozens of legislative battles that Family Policy Alliance team members like you have been engaged in all around the country this year. Late last week, Family Policy Alliance team members like you reached a milestone for 2018 – more than 100,000 messages emailed or faxed to elected officials through the Family Policy Alliance online Action Center! That’s the fastest since we launched the Action Center several years ago. And it doesn’t count untold numbers of phone calls, emails and other communications not sent through the Action Center.
Most importantly, it makes a difference. As former U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen was known for saying, “When I feel the heat, I see the light.” When you click to send a message through the Action Center, you may not be able to tell if it’s making an impact, but Family Policy Alliance staff often get to hear the comments by legislators about the calls, faxes and emails that they are getting from back home – and see the impact in legislators’ words and votes.
In some cases, those messages directly change votes. But those messages can also make a difference by emboldening elected officials who are already supportive of the pro-family position. Likewise, legislators who are hostile to pro-life and pro-family values can become less proactive in their opposition.
“These numbers and these stories show the team effort that is really making a difference,” said Paul Weber, President and CEO of Family Policy Alliance. “Team members in the capitol working with Statesmen – combined with folks back home providing the “air cover” of calls and emails – that’s a powerful combination that, with God’s grace, is making an impact.”
Take Action: Check the Action Center to speak up on key bills, such as supporting this bill in Congress to protect adoption and opposing these bills in Congress that attack religious freedom.