…they came for your city.

Not to be an alarmist, but over the summer LGBTQ+ activists have been targeting cities in Johnson County to pass sexual orientation and gender identity ordinances (SOGI). These are the types of laws that have been used to target cakebakers, wedding photographers, t-shirt designers, and other business owners across the country. They silence debate and actually compel speech and action.

Cities like Shawnee, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, and Overland Park are currently on the target list for groups that want to force residents to agree with their sexual agenda. If you think it won’t affect you just ask Jack Phillips, a normal bakery owner, who has been sued three times for not giving into the demands of Colorado’s radical LGBTQ+ agenda. Or Baronelle Stutsman who owned a flower shop and is defending her right to live out her faith before the Washington Supreme Court for the second time.

These ordinance force women to use intimate spaces, such as bathrooms, alongside biological males in shelters, government buildings, and even some businesses. Some cities have forced women who have been abused to share living spaces in shelters with biological men. They force people in all areas of a community to use pronouns that do not fit the God-given biological identity of an individual.

These are not made up stories. These are real people whose lives have been radically changed by this agenda.

These ordinances claim to make narrow exceptions for religion by exempting religious institutions but how can a preacher preach, or a teacher teach parishioners who cannot take what they learned beyond the four walls of their church. Our faith informs every aspect of our lives – this includes treating people with dignity and respect. However, this doesn’t mean that dignity and respect require us to become complicit in behavior that violates our faith.

Christ is the true definition of love and respect. We can still love and love well without caving to the world’s redefinition of these terms.

If you live in one of the cities being targeted to pass a SOGI – please reach out to your city council members and let them know that you disagree with these policies. If you are in a city that hasn’t been targeted yet, start talking to your network and your local government leaders to warn them about these types of ordinances. This issue is just too important for us not to engage.

I invite you to join me in this battle and be a part of ensuring that all Kansans can live out their faith.

Standing with you,

Brittany Jones
Director of Advocacy

LGBTQ+ activists are pushing your city council members to pass a sexual orientation and gender identity ordinance (SOGI). Many of your council members have shown their inclination to vote for this ordinance. Last spring, LGBTQ+ activists were pushing your City Councilmembers to pass a sexual orientation and gender identity ordinances (SOGI). These types of ordinances will be used to undermine religious freedom in Kansas, and your voice is needed to stop it!

The measure is similar to laws in other states that have been used to punish business owners (such as bakers and florists) who decline to participate in same-sex weddings.  In some cases, those owners have been forced to close their businesses and have been hit with tens of thousands of dollars in fines.   These laws also cover “gender identity” and have been responsible for opening women’s bathrooms, showers, dressing rooms and other public accommodations to men and boys regardless of their biological sex.

These sorts of laws have been destructive in other states. This is not what we want for our state or our city.

The ordinance is known as a SOGI law because of its stated purpose to protect people based on their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

But what it really does is divide friends and give government the power to pick winners and losers based on their beliefs.  Consider two examples:

LGBT activists have been pushing similar ordinances around the state, including Prairie Village, Shawnee, and Roeland Park. And activists have been pushing Olathe’s City Council as well. Overland Park is already a kind and welcoming place. We don’t need a resolution or ordinance to tell us to treat each other well.

What can you do?

  1. Make your voice heard. It’s simple on our Action Center to reach out with just a click to the members of the committee that will hear this discussion.
  2. Please make plans to attend the committee meeting – Wednesday, September 4th, at 7 p.m. – at the City Hall, located at 8500 Santa Fe Drive Overland Park KS 66212. If you can attend it would be best to arrive by 6:30.
  3. Encourage your pastor to get involved as well. These are not just “political” issues but have great significance for families, for the ability to live out our Biblical beliefs, and for the fabric of our society as a whole.

We appreciate your respectful engagement on this issue and encourage you to spend earnest time in prayer for your city and its leaders.

 

Praying for Overland Park,

Brittany Jones, Esq.

We have learned that tomorrow’s hearing on CA AB 624 (about which we alerted you just a few hours ago) has been canceled.

CA AB 624 is legislation that could turn your child and your child’s school into advocates for the leading abortion provider in the country. This bill would require junior high schools, high schools, and colleges to place the phone number of a sexual health hotline like Planned Parenthood’s on student ID cards. This will even be a mandate for some private institutions.

While tomorrow’s Senate Education Committee hearing on CA AB 624 has been canceled, you can still send a message opposing this bill to the Senate Education Committee.

Instead of encouraging students to talk to their parents or even a trusted adult, the California legislature believes it would be better to funnel your children towards having these difficult discussions with organizations that want to co-opt their sexuality.

The government is incredibly concerned about ensuring that students are not coerced by religion in school, but instead seems fine coercing children and schools (supported with your tax dollars) to be advocates for Planned Parenthood’s sexual health agenda.

This bill has already been passed by the Assembly.

Please send a quick email message to members of the Senate Education Committee letting them know that you do not want your student or their school to be co-opted to spread Planned Parenthood’s message – it only takes a few seconds in our Action Center.

Thanks for making your voice heard!

The Family Policy Alliance Team

We need your help! The Oregon legislature has sent to Governor Brown a bill that would shoe-horn controversial content on sexuality into all school history and government textbooks and all history, geography, economics, and civics classes!

Oregon House Bill 2023 would require all history and government textbooks to include the “roles and contributions” of historical figures based not on their actual accomplishments but instead on their sexual preferences and perceived gender identity.

If enacted, this bill would require history textbooks to include people based on their sexuality or internal feelings about gender. This means teachers will be forced to teach radical identity politics in the classroom, whether or not it has anything to do with the subject being taught.

In addition, history textbooks that do not include mention of sexual identity will be censored from the classroom!

Take a moment to urge Governor Brown to veto radical identity politics in the classroom! Parents alone have the ultimate right to direct the moral upbringing of our children. This bill neither allows parents to opt their children out of controversial content nor does it require schools to notify parents of when it will be presented.

This is not education, this is indoctrination! House Bill 2023 fails students and their families!

Send a message to the governor today and urge a veto of HB 2023 – it only takes a few seconds to send your message in our Action Center.

Thank you for making your voice heard!

The Family Policy Alliance Team

 

 

 

We need your help! The Illinois legislature has sent to Governor J.B. Pritzker a bill that would shoe-horn controversial content on sexuality into all textbooks and all history classes!

Your quick action is needed to help stop it.

Illinois House Bill 246 would require all textbooks to include the “roles and contributions” of people based on their sexual preferences. House Bill 246 would also require every history class in every public school to teach of the “roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

If enacted, this bill would require all textbooks and all materials “necessary” to teach a course, to include people based on their sexual preference–even if that person’s sexuality has nothing to do with the material!

This is not education, this is indoctrination.

Teaching children a historical figure “was a woman born in a man’s body” is confusing, harmful to our children, and irrelevant to an individual’s historical contributions to our state and nation.

In addition, House Bill 246 does not allow parents to opt-out nor require that parents are notified of controversial lessons and forced representations of sexuality.

We cannot allow this bill to be enacted and force-feed sexuality and gender down our children’s throats!

House Bill 246 fails students and their families!

Send a message to the governor today and urge a veto of House Bill 246 – it only takes a few seconds to send your message in our Action Center.

Thank you for making your voice heard!

The Family Policy Alliance Team

 

 

Lots of trends begin in California – not only in culture, but also in public policy.

That’s why it’s wise for all Americans to be aware of an alarming new push from the California legislature.

Remember when California politicians tried to keep pastors from counseling about biblical sexuality? Well, the legislature is at it again, with a twist. Last year, the legislature tried to pass a bill that would have made it a consumer-fraud crime for nearly anyone to communicate in a way that 1) encouraged someone away from homosexuality or transgenderism, and 2) involved a financial transaction. A huge groundswell of opposition helped stop that bill.

But now the legislature is attempting to silence pastors again through a strongly worded resolution. The resolution (ACR 99) browbeats churches and religious leaders to get on board with the LGBTQ agenda.

Specifically, it badgers the Church to avoid efforts to influence a person’s sexual orientation, including their “sense of identity based on attractions, related behaviors and membership in a community.”

In doing that, the state is essentially telling the Church to avoid the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul specifically described homosexuality and other sins as disqualifiers for inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but then immediately followed that with these hope-giving words: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:11).

Yes, this is just a resolution – a statement of the legislature with no force of law. But last year’s bill (authored by the same legislator) would have had the force of law, and it nearly passed. In pushing the resolution this year, the LGBT lobby may have paused its push for enforcement. But the language of this year’s resolution is even more pointed, making the long-term intent of the LGBT lobby very clear: Silence the Church on matters of sexuality.

The resolution implies that the state knows best what pastors should be saying from the pulpit and in counseling sessions. It is a false compassion that the Church must resist.

This sort of resolution could set the stage for a law similar to the 2014 Houston subpoenas that required pastors to turn over sermons that mentioned the Houston sexual orientation and gender identity ordinance (SOGI). The mayor of Houston eventually backed down on her request, but the sentiment that drove it is alive and well.

In Canada, a pastor was actually arrested this month for preaching publicly against homosexuality – even though he repeatedly expressed Christ’s love for all. Is this where these sorts of bills are headed? Either agree with our definition of love or else?

If you live in California, please contact your legislators. There will be a hearing on this resolution today (Tuesday, June 18th), and your state senator and assembly member are likely to face votes on it soon. Let them know that the Bible should not be censored. Pastors should be able to speak freely about sin, the Gospel, and the power of Jesus in changing lives.

Send your message today – it only takes a few seconds in our Action Center.

If you don’t live in California, be aware that this is where the LGBT movement is headed. The right to freely live out our beliefs is daily under attack. We need to be prepared.

As Peter said in Acts 4:20 after being rebuked by the Jewish leaders, “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” The Christian message is that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but that God in His grace and love has provided a path to salvation and redemption. This is the message of love and compassion that we bring to the world – not the message that the state of California wants us to preach.

Speaking in grace and truth,

Brittany Jones

Last week the Supreme Court released a 7-2 opinion that not only protected a 94-year-old World War I war memorial that is in the shape of a Cross, but it also took major steps to secure religious freedom for all.

What happened?

As a way of memorializing those who died defending freedom in World War I, a 40-foot Latin Cross was erected in Bladensburg, Maryland in 1925. The Cross stood relatively unmolested until several years ago when a group of atheists decided that merely viewing the Cross was offensive.

The Fourth Circuit ruled that the cross was an unconstitutional means of “government establishing a preferred religion” under an arbitrary legal test known as the Lemon test. The arbitrary nature of this test was highlighted in 2005 when the Supreme Court issued rulings on two different sets of religious monuments or displays on the same day and came to opposite conclusions.

What did the Court say?

In last week’s opinion, the Supreme Court not only reversed the decision of the Fourth Circuit in order to save the Bladensburg Cross, but it also took a hard look at the Lemon test. The Court spent the majority of its opinion discussing all the problems with the test itself. Justice Gorsuch further pointed out in his concurring opinion how it hasn’t been useful in deciding anything having to do with deciding whether government is “establishing a state religion” – not when it comes to religious displays, mottos, monuments, religious accommodations, religious subsidies or tax exemptions, religious expression in public schools, regulations of religious speech, or interference in internal church affairs.

So how would the Court have us deal with these sorts of challenges going forward?

Essentially, the Court will presume the constitutionality of long-standing monuments and traditions based on our history. This is a much simpler and much clearer way to deal with these issues.

Justice Gorsuch eloquently extended and clarified the Court’s rule this way:

“What matters when it comes to assessing a monument, symbol, or practice isn’t its age but its compliance with ageless principles. The Constitution’s meaning is fixed, not some good-for-this-day-only coupon, and a practice consistent with our nation’s traditions is just as permissible whether undertaken today or 94 years ago.”

What does this mean going forward?

It opens a lot of doors to proactively advance legislation that protects our timeless history and beliefs. Prior to the Court’s recent ruling, when we worked on religious liberty legislation, we were inevitably asked about the Lemon test – which was normally just a way to try to kill whatever bill we were working on.

Now Lemon can’t be used as a threat to your religious liberties. We can work on laws that protect student and educator rights in schools, doctors’ religious conscience beliefs, tax exemptions for religious organizations, religious displays, and internal church decisions without the threat that the Court will arbitrarily use Lemon against the expression of our faith in these realms.

This decision could spell the beginning of the end of ridiculous lawsuits that certain groups who are bent on removing any reminder of God from our culture bring against many small towns or groups they view as vulnerable.

We are thankful for the Court protecting religious freedom in this case, and we look forward to working with state legislators and allies to advance policies that allow religious freedom to flourish for all.

Standing for religious freedom,

Brittany Jones
Policy Manager

Two flags have dominated this month. Two flags with very different messages.

As always, June 14 is Flag Day. And the Stars and Stripes are already being seen in abundance in advance of Independence Day.

But if you’re like me, you may have noticed the rainbow flag even more this month. If you live in a major metropolitan area, you may have spotted activists sporting rainbow apparel – or carrying rainbow flags or banners as a parade marches past.

But almost regardless of where you live, you’ve probably seen businesses displaying a rainbow flag in their store or online. Several major companies even incorporate the rainbow flag into their logo for the month of June.

They would say, if pressed, that they are simply supporting “equality for all.”

But we already have a flag for that – the one that hundreds of thousands of American soldiers have died to defend. The pledge to that flag underscores the “liberty and justice for all” afforded to every American.

The corporate marketers – who think they are being hip and inclusive by wrapping their company in the gay pride flag – need to know the message that they are sending to lots of perceptive Americans.

Here’s what I and millions of other potential customers see when we see the rainbow flag:

If you see similar things when you see the rainbow flag, please pass this along to others. And use this list – or make your own – to politely share with businesses that need to hear.

If corporations better understood that this is the message that many of their customers see, maybe more of them would ditch the rainbow flag and get back to the one flag that truly represents freedom.

Sincerely,

John Paulton
Mobilization Manager

 

 

I guess you could say that Nike just did it.

Ten days ago, I wrote about the growing prominence of the LGBT rainbow flag. In particular, I noted how big businesses are pushing it, sometimes even to the neglect of the American flag.

Then last week, Nike lived up to its motto. Though I wish they hadn’t, they proved my point.

As you may have heard, Nike pulled its Betsy Ross American flag shoes because they were just too controversial.

But lost in the kerfuffle was the fact that, a month earlier, Nike introduced rainbow flag shoes celebrating the LGBT movement. And those shoes are still on the market – not too controversial at all, in Nike’s eyes.

While Nike’s conduct was especially blatant, one big business after another is wrapping itself in the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement – even incorporating the Pride flag into their logos.

And it’s not just private businesses. Some government bodies have been hoisting the rainbow flag, flying it alongside Old Glory, claiming to support “equality for all.”

But, as I noted previously, “we already have a flag for that – the one that hundreds of thousands of American soldiers have died to defend. The pledge to that flag underscores the ‘liberty and justice for all’ afforded to every American.”

Whether it’s Nike marketers or progressive politicians – who think they are being hip and inclusive by wrapping their company (or their state or municipal government) in the gay pride flag – they need to know the message that they are sending is indeed very controversial to a big segment of America.

In my previous article, I summed up what millions of other taxpayers and potential customers see when we see the rainbow flag:

This rainbow banner that supposedly stands for “equality for all” is, in reality, an emblem of “special rights for some,” at the expense of anyone who disagrees.

It’s time that corporations get this message, and what better place to start than with Nike?

We’ve made it easy to send your message to Nike. It only takes 30 seconds, and you’re free to customize your message if you wish.

One flag truly represents freedom for every American. Thanks for making clear to Nike which flag that is!
Sincerely,

John Paulton
Mobilization Manager

President Trump’s Department of Labor has proposed a new federal rule that would protect an important aspect of religious freedom. But the rule is not yet finalized and needs public support to be implemented.

Under the rule, faith-based organizations that contract with the federal government to provide services would be able to “make employment decisions consistent with their sincerely held religious tenets and beliefs without fear of sanction by the federal government.”

While it may seem common-sense to allow religious organizations to act – and to hire – based on their faith, that has become a controversial notion in recent years. Left-leaning groups, particularly of the LGBT variety, falsely charge that allowing such practices by faith-based organizations that contract with the federal government promotes bigotry and discrimination.

That radical viewpoint is already well represented in public comments on the rule. Public comments are a critical part of the federal regulatory process, as every proposed rule must have a 30-day window for the public to express support, opposition, concerns or suggestions.

Thus, it’s very important that those who value religious freedom make their voice heard in support of this proposed rule before September 16. Click here to make your comment.

What do I say in my comment?

While simply indicating your support of the proposed rule is just fine, you may wish to add additional comments. Consider the following to draw from or adapt:

Many faith-based organizations provide valuable services to assist the homeless, the hungry, victims of sexual abuse, and more. These faith-based services are valuable to the government because they are effective and because, by contracting out rather than expanding the government bureaucracy, they save taxpayer dollars. Forcing religious organizations to hire people who disagree with the tenets of their faith would undermine the service and, in many cases, force the faith-based organization to withdraw from providing such services. This proposed rule protects the ability of religious organizations to continue providing their valuable aid to people in need.

Thank you for making your voice heard in support of religious freedom!

The Family Policy Alliance Team