Your Action Needed as LGBT Agenda Hits the Capitol

The 2019 Idaho legislative session is well underway, and Family Policy Alliance of Idaho is working hard to represent your values at the capitol on a host of key issues related to life, religious freedom, education reform and more. There are good things developing, and I’ll have more to report on a variety of bills and issues.

But the biggest issue so far has been a renewed threat to religious freedom.

First, LGBT activists have twice come to the capitol — last week for a rally and this week for a lobby day – demanding passage of an “Add the Words” bill. As you may recall, “Add the Words” is their term for adding civil rights protections based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI).

Around the country, SOGI laws have been the impetus for bathroom privacy issues (allowing men into women’s restrooms and locker rooms) and attacks on small business owners (like cake baker Jack Phillips in Colorado and florist Barronelle Stutzman in Washington State.) The good news is that we should have the votes to stop this attack.

Second – and a cause for greater concern – is that there is also a push by some for a “compromise.” The compromise would consist of giving civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, while giving some exemptions to attempt to protect religious freedom.

While no details have been released, it appears that any bill would be modeled after other proposals, all of which fail to give meaningful protections for religious freedom. For example, churches and clergy may be protected, but not the average citizen or small business owner – the real victims of SOGI laws. The bottom line is that giving civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity is an attack on freedom that no compromise bill is going to adequately mitigate.

Any “compromise” bill that does come forward is likely to be heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee. Will you take a moment to send the Republican members on that committee a note? We’ve made it simple on our Action Center, as you can reach all seven members with just a click.

Thank you for taking action!  And it would be very helpful if you would share widely!

Sincerely,

John Paulton
Director of Advocacy

Dear North Dakotans,

We need your help! The House Human Services Committee is holding hearings on Monday, January 21st, on two very important pro-life issues.

They must hear from you!

  1. Chemical Abortion Reversal Information (House Bill 1336) is being sponsored by Statesmen Academy Alumni and State Representative Daniel Johnston. This bill would require that a woman considering a chemical abortion be given information about how she can save her baby’s life, if she changes her mind part-way into the process. But to reverse the process, she must get immediate medical attention. Therefore, it’s vital that a woman knows all of her options prior to having a chemical abortion. Over one-third of early-stage abortions take place with two doses of chemical abortion pills over the course of two or three days. After the first dose, over 55 percent of women who have changed their minds and sought immediate medical attention were able to successfully deliver a healthy baby. We believe all women considering chemical abortion as an option have the right to know that if they change their mind, they may have a chance to save their baby.

Please click here to urge the Human Services Committee to Vote “Do Pass” on House Bill 1336 — because women have the right to know!

  1. The Human Dismemberment Abortion Ban (House Bill 1546) is the second bill we need your help on! During an abortion procedure, if a baby is too large to remove in one piece, abortionists tear off the baby’s limbs and crush the head. It’s hard to believe North Dakota still allows dismemberment abortions in the later stages of pregnancy on a live baby. Representative Luke Simons, also a Statesmen Academy Alumni, is sponsoring this important bill that would require the baby to be euthanized prior to this procedure taking place. Dismemberment of any living human is barbaric and inhumane. It’s time for our North Dakota legislators to take a stand and ban this practice now!

Please click here to urge the Human Services Committee to take a stand and ban this procedure on living babies!

Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is proud to stand with North Dakotans across the state and protect life and a woman’s right to know. We’ve made it easy for you to contact your legislators with just one click on issues that are important to you. Thank you so much for taking action to protect life!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

 

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” –Proverbs 22:6

Dear Friends:

North Dakota ranks near or at the bottom in public education when compared to other states. Last year, Education Week magazine gave North Dakota a D+ rating for K-12 Achievement. Meanwhile, we are in the top half of per-pupil spending in the nation. So, what is the solution to this problem?

The solution is school choice. In last week’s email, I discussed why Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® believes that parents know best what type of education their children need to succeed, and Education Saving Accounts (ESAs) are an excellent option to consider when it comes to school choice.  These accounts would allow parents to have direct control over public-funds (already designated for their child’s public-education) to be used for educational opportunities like private school tuition, tutoring, alternative curriculums and more!

Almost 30 empirical studies have shown again and again that increased school choice saves taxpayers money, improves academic outcomes for participants and public schools, moves students into more integrated classrooms, and strengthens their shared civic values!

If you agree that ESAs can be an important option for your child’s education, please contact the members of the Senate Education Committee and urge them to support Senate Bill 2142, with amendments that include home-school families!

This committee will be a key decider on the fate of the ESA bill. Their vote could happen any time, so please make your voice heard NOW! It can make all the difference when it comes to protecting family values and school choice in North Dakota.

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

Dear Friends:

On Tuesday, our state government leaders gathered at the State Capitol in Santa Fe to begin the 2019 Legislative Session. The decisions made over the next two months will likely impact New Mexico families for generations to come, and, as Christians, we have a responsibility to pray for our leaders and ask the Lord to guide them in their decision making.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the Apostle Paul says, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior…”

As a Christian organization, we believe in the power of prayer. Therefore, from today through March 16, I am asking you to pray daily for our elected officials while they are in Legislative Session. Please feel free to use the following prayer points if you wish.

  1. Pray for them by name.

Pray for Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham
Pray for Lt. Governor Howie Morales (President of the Senate)
Pray for Senator Mary Kay Papen (President Pro-Tempore of the Senate)
Pray for Representative Brian Egolf (Speaker of the House of Representatives)
Pray for your State Senator*
Pray for your State Representative*

*If you do not know the name of your State Senator and/or Representative, click here to find out.

  1. Pray for their health. Long and grueling hours combined with a high-stressed environment can wreak havoc on the body. Please pray that our officials experience and maintain good health throughout the Legislative Session.
  1. Pray for their families. Over the next two months, the majority of our officials will spend most of their time away from their families. Please pray for their family members during this time, especially their spouses and children.
  1. Pray for their decisions. Every legislator will cast numerous votes on hundreds of bills covering a multitude of issues. Meanwhile, the Governor will consider every bill passed before deciding whether to sign or veto them. Please pray that our legislators and the Governor would execute their duties with fairness and wisdom, and, in accordance with Micah 6:8—that they would do what is good in the eyes of God; that they would act justly and with kindness; and that they would serve with humility.

 Thank you for heeding this call to prayer. May the good Lord hear our prayers and bless our efforts, for His glory and the benefit of our state!

In the Lord’s service,

Vince Torres
President and Executive Director

 

Heavenly Father—we come before You and we lift up our elected leaders in New Mexico, especially our new Governor, Michelle Lujan-Grisham. During this time of serious and often difficult decision making, we pray that You would restore a spirit of cooperation and civility in the hearts of those called to lead our state. Please give them good health, wisdom, humility, discernment, empathy, and a willingness to put the good of our people above politics. Protect them and their families from harm and unrighteousness scrutiny, and give them boldness to stand for righteousness, even when it will not be popular or well-received. This we pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® testified on two important bills this week: one for infants that can’t be cared for by their mothers (often referred to as a “Safe Haven” bill) and another on Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). Together, these bills cover our children’s lives from birth to when they are young adults.

The Safe Haven expansion bill (House bill 1285), increases options for newborn infant drop off points, while at the same time increasing the likelihood of the abandoned infant’s survival and ensuring he receives the highest quality of care – a goal that you and Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota strongly support. Though this bill poignantly highlights the need to address the results of a pervasive culture that continues to devalue life, we have an abiding belief in the worth and dignity of every human being and we must protect those who cannot protect themselves. If this bill helps rescue the life of even one child, the effort will be entirely worthwhile and certainly worth the support of our Legislature.

Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota also testified in favor of the Education Savings Account bill (Senate bill 2142) with some proposed amendments. We firmly believe that parents have the God-given responsibility and right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. Toward this end, we believe that ESAs are an excellent option to consider when it comes to school choice.

Education Savings Accounts allow parents to control public-funds (that are already designated for their child’s public education) and use those funds for things like private-school tuition and textbooks. ESAs allow parents to fully tailor their child’s entire educational experience. Families know best what type of education their children need to succeed, and ESAs give families the keys to unlock that experience for their children. Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota wants to help launch children to success and access educational opportunities best suited for them to lay this critical foundation.

As always, thank you for your prayers, responses to our Action Alerts, and financial support. Together, these two bills will further ensure that our North Dakotan children are not only cherished, but given even more opportunities to realize their God-given potential!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

It’s that time of year. In days, the 2019 legislative session will begin, and the ability to advance the vision of a Georgia where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished begins in earnest.

I’ll be wearing out shoes racing between meetings and working to build the coalitions needed to pass legislation that will make our state better for families. Because of your efforts, we have already made a difference in electing the personnel and shaping the policy that will be at the heart of this session.

But now I am asking that you join me in earnest prayer. Success requires the mighty work of our Lord, and, over the next 3 months, I am calling for faithful Georgians to pray all-the-more for our state. Here are some requests:

Over the course of this legislative session, I will send you regular updates about the bills we are promoting and how you can get involved. However, as we begin this session, I humbly ask that you commit to bathing these efforts in prayer.

With hope,

Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota 2019 Meet and Greet for Legislators

Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® hosted a “Meet and Greet” reception for legislators this past Tuesday, at the Heritage Center. There were over 50 individuals in attendance, and it was a great time of sharing on important policy priorities you have told us are important to you—policy advancing school choice, education on reversing the effects of chemical abortion pills, and anti-pornography measures. It was a great time of providing information, exchanging ideas, and encouraging our elected officials to stand-firm in leaving a legacy of pro-life and pro-family values.

Today’s legislators can be role models for how to integrate faith into the political arena. But to do this, they must speak bravely for what is right and not be silent, because if they do not speak up, who will safeguard this world that the next generation will soon inherit?

In addition to the “Meet and Greet,” I also testified in favor of House Bill 1052 –legislation that will expand and better define parental rights in homeschooling. North Dakota has the most restrictive homeschooling laws in the nation, and this bill will offer parents access to more individualized educational opportunities for their children. Our son Chris also testified in favor of House Bill 1052. We homeschooled Chris for a number of years and he was able to share with legislators, first-hand, about the numerous educational opportunities that were available to him in Maryland – opportunities that weren’t available to him in North Dakota because of the restrictive laws. His testimony was compelling, and the House Education Committee really appreciated his perspective on the subject.

Ruth and I are very proud that Chris decided to testify (without my urging, I might add). Chris is part of the generation that will inherit North Dakota. I am encouraged that he decided to testify for a few reasons, but most importantly because Chris still believes that the political system works and that one person, when compelled by their convictions, can make a difference.

That gives me hope. Hope for the political direction here in ND. Hope against cynicism that can easily creep into the political process. And hope that the next generation feels strongly that politics is a substantive way to make their voices heard. The political future of North Dakota is bright, as long as we are shining role models the next generation can follow.

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director