As an Anchorage voter, you have a chance to shape the nation with your vote on or before April 3.
That’s because leaders around the country are watching to see what Anchorage voters will do on Prop 1, the Protect Our Privacy measure.
As you may know, in September 2015, the Anchorage Assembly passed a new law – Ordinance 96 – that gives men the right to enter women’s intimate facilities such as locker rooms and restrooms simply by claiming a “gender identity” different from their biological sex. This intrusive and dangerous ordinance forces everyone – even private facilities like athletic clubs – to open their restrooms, changing rooms, and showers to members of both biological sexes. Similar laws have been passed in other cities and states – opening a Pandora’s box of problems.
That’s why Family Policy Alliance has invested significantly in Prop 1, which was initiated by our allies at Alaska Family Action to overturn that dangerous policy.
Ballots have been mailed, and your YES vote on Prop 1 will help to accomplish the following:
- Ensure that in city-owned or operated buildings, all intimate facilities (locker rooms, showers, restrooms, etc.) will be designated for use by persons of the same sex, if the facility is intended for use by multiple persons at the same time. Simple: one room for women, one for men.
- Authorize the municipality to provide special accommodations for those who may need it — including, for example, persons who experience gender dysphoria. But the privacy rights of others must be respected. Simple: protect everyone’s rights.
- Repeal the “one-size-fits-all” mandate on every Anchorage business, church and charitable group that prohibits them from protecting the privacy and safety of staff and customers, by not allowing them to reserve access to intimate areas (locker rooms, etc.) based on a person’s physical sex. Prop 1 replaces this unfair mandate with a common-sense provision that allows a church, charity or business to set a policy that takes into consideration the nature of their operations and the desires of their staff and clientele.
Family Policy Alliance has invested in this critical project by making a $10,000 matching grant to help encourage Anchorage citizens to vote YES on Prop 1. Protect Our Privacy is also using two of our Ask Me First videos on their website.
Nobody bothered to ask women in Anchorage before they passed Ordinance 96. Prop 1 is giving all Alaskans, but especially women and children, their voice back.
For more information, please visit the Yes on 1 – Protect Our Privacy website.
And click here if you need more information on the voting process.
Thank you for making your voice heard with your vote!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
P.S. Please also forward or share this information with others, as every vote is critical! If you live outside of Anchorage, please share with Anchorage voters.
By John Paulton, Mobilization Manager
On Tuesday, Texans went to the polls for the state’s Primary Election. By the time the votes were counted early Wednesday morning, it was evident that voters had sent a strong message in support of religious freedom and protecting student privacy.
Perhaps the most notable race on these issues was Lisa Luby Ryan’s defeat of incumbent Rep. Jason Villalba in the Dallas area. Villalba was one of the most vocal opponents of the Texas Privacy Act, which would have ensured that students use the bathrooms and showers of their biological sex.
In addition, Villalba was one of two House Republicans to vote against a religious freedom bill that protects the conscience rights of faith-based adoption agencies, a bill that was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2017. Outgoing Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (a moderate Republican who killed the Texas Privacy Act) donated money to Villalba’s campaign.
Ryan took a strong stand in support of student privacy and religious freedom, and voters rewarded her with a victory over Villalba.
Family Policy Alliance was pleased to work with our ally Texas Values Action to spread the word about where the candidates stood – even providing a substantial grant that was used for tens of thousands of mailers, phone calls and digital ads.
“Last night proves that, by and large, candidates and voters who stand by Texas values win,” said Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values Action. “Congratulations to all of our endorsed candidates on some hard-fought races – all of which show the importance of faith and family in Texas.”
Jonathan added: “Every Texas Values Action-endorsed candidate in the Texas House that supported the Texas Privacy Act won their election.” This should send a powerful message to Texas legislators and lawmakers in other states—families want leaders who will stand strong for their values, especially protecting their children’s privacy in schools.
Other notable victories, among many, included pro-family Sen. Bob Hall fending off a strong challenge from state Rep. Cindy Burkett. And in East Texas, Thomas McNutt will go to a runoff after a strong showing in a seat vacated by another state representative who played a key role in defeating last year’s Texas Privacy Act.
Even some pro-family challengers who faced very long odds against entrenched incumbents did surprisingly well.
Paul Weber, President of Family Policy Alliance, expressed thanks to supporters who made this week’s victories possible. “This wouldn’t have happened without the good people who give, work and pray to support Family Policy Alliance and our allied state groups like Texas Values Action.”
Remember When Bathrooms Were Just Bathrooms?
By Autumn Leva, VP of Strategy
Remember not so long ago when bathrooms and locker rooms were just bathrooms and locker rooms, instead of the Left’s battleground for social experiments?
We do too—and so does President Trump’s Administration.
In 2016, President Obama’s Administration radically reinterpreted a federal law called Title IX. Ironically, Title IX was designed to give equal access to educational opportunities to girls—but the Obama Administration used Title IX to force schools to permit men and boys (who self-identify as female) to access girls’ locker rooms, showers and bathrooms—or vice versa. This mandate turned Title IX and its accompanying regulations on its head, prompting several states to sue the Obama Administration.
You may remember that Family Policy Alliance partnered with a radical feminist group, and together we also took our argument to the Supreme Court. We argued that if even a pro-family, Christian conservative group and a radical left feminist group can agree that the Obama Administration’s new interpretation of a longstanding law is wrong—then it must be wrong. Check out the video where we explain the arguments we gave to the Court.
When President Trump came into office and appointed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, they decided that they would not follow the Obama Administration’s interpretation of Title IX—freeing schools from Obama’s “bathroom mandate.”
Just yesterday, President Trump’s Education Department also announced that they would not investigate any claims of “discrimination” because a student identifying as transgender was not permitted by a school to use the showers or bathrooms of the opposite sex. This act restores the original purpose of Title IX and prevents children’s locker rooms and bathrooms from being used as battlegrounds for the Left’s political agenda.
Thank you, to President Trump and Secretary DeVos!
But, as the family of Believers, we need to know that the “bathroom issue” isn’t going away. Sadly, many individual schools or states have been passing policies to permit men and boys access to girls’ locker rooms and bathrooms out of fear of being called “discriminatory.” Our responsibility to protect all children’s privacy and safety should be bigger than any fear of being labeled as a “discriminator.”
Please let us know if your school has passed a bad “bathroom” policy, risking children’s privacy and safety. We want to partner with you to fight for good policies that will protect all children. And, please be alert to the kinds of policies your state may be considering on this issue—let your friends and family know that Family Policy Alliance can provide state-specific alerts when state legislatures are considering harmful policies like a “bathroom mandate.”
“There is no way that my state would threaten my daughter’s safety by allowing boys in her bathroom.”
Many parents in Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota probably thought the same thing. Yet, these are all states where the state Department or Board of Education has decided to issue a rule mandating that schools in the state change their policies on gender, at the risk of the privacy and safety of all students in the state. This is typical tactic of the Left. Activists know they would not be able to properly pass legislation changing the rules on gender through the state legislature, so they look to administrative departments, like Departments of Education, to issue directives with minimal public input from parents and families.
Just this summer, the Minnesota Department of Education released a “Transgender Toolkit,” guiding schools to allow students to use the bathroom or shower facility of whichever sex they identify with, regardless of their actual sex. The Toolkit also comes with implications to freedom of speech, directing schools to stop referring to students with sex-specific pronouns like he, she, him or her. A decision to use a pronoun other than the ones preferred will likely be considered verbal harassment.
John Helmberger, President & CEO of Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Minnesota Family Council, shared how they’re working hard to help families in his state: “No student should ever be pressured to undress, shower or share a bedroom with someone of the opposite biological sex, or be forced to use language that’s false and contradicts their sincerely held beliefs – nor should parents ever be threatened with investigation for abuse if they don’t affirm their child’s gender confusion – yet these are exactly the kind of situations the Transgender Toolkit promotes. We’re encouraging parents to watch their school districts closely to ensure student privacy, free speech and parents’ rights are protected.”
Delaware’s Department of Education is now considering a new regulation that would also force schools to allow students to use the bathroom or shower facility of their choosing, regardless of sex, and permit boys to access girls’ sports teams. The Delaware rule would also permit students to select their own sex and race — without requiring that parents give consent or even be notified!
Nicole Theis, president of Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Delaware Family Policy Council, warned parents: ““It’s a safety and privacy concern when any student of any age, at any time, can claim or self-identify as the opposite gender and have access to the locker rooms, showers, restrooms, overnight accommodations, and any school activity, such as sports teams, that is gender specific. No federal law requires school districts to grant students access to facilities dedicated to the opposite sex.”
Even beyond the important privacy and safety concerns for students, these policies that change the rules on gender could subject teachers, staff, and even students to disciplinary actions or censored speech if they use the “wrong gender” pronoun when referring to a student or express a Christian view of gender and sexuality. Some of these policies go so far as to require teachers and staff to have “sensitivity training.”
Here’s the bottom line: Every child, including children struggling with gender identity, deserves to be safe and valued at school. Local school districts can work to accommodate the needs of these individual students without issuing state-wide mandates that violate the privacy and safety rights of all students.
The question is—do you know what’s going on in your state that will impact your children’s or grandchildren’s schools?
This information is not meant to scare, but rather is meant to encourage you to stay involved and not allow similar policies to slip into your child’s school. If you haven’t had a chance yet to update your information with us, please make sure we have your address (not just your email), so we can send you alerts and information about what’s happening specific to your state!
And, if you don’t mind, please forward this message to friends who would want this information too so that they can sign up for state-specific alerts!
Thank you for joining our alliance to protect life, families and religious freedom in your state — and every state!
TAKE ACTION Update Your Information
Our allies at Alaska Family Action celebrated a huge success recently by gathering enough signatures to put a “bathroom-privacy” initiative on the 2018 ballot. The measure—originally named the Protecting Our Privacy Initiative—would protect the dignity, safety and privacy of women and girls in showers, restrooms and locker rooms by requiring intimate spaces to be segregated by biological sex as determined at birth rather than how individuals “identify.”
Supporters of the Protect Our Privacy initiative gathered close to 8,500 signatures — thousands more than the number required to certify a place on the 2018 ballot.
The ballot measure aims to blunt one of the many dangerous effects of a so-called nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the city of Anchorage almost two years ago that included “gender identity” as a protected class. The ordinance allows boys and men who identify as transgender to use women’s restrooms and other facilities designated only for females.
“That’s obviously a huge privacy and safety issue for women and girls,” said Jim Minnery, executive director of Alaska Family Action, one of Family Policy Alliance’s state-based allies. “Everyone is made in the image of God and should be respected and loved but not everyone should have access to any intimate space they want because of how they feel. It’s common sense.”
The Human Rights Campaign says there are more than 100 cities in the U.S. that have similar “public accommodation” ordinances that allow men who identify as transgender to use women’s bathrooms. That means privacy measures to protect women and girls—like the one championed by Alaska Family Action—are needed now more than ever.
Minnery said despite facing marked opposition from transgender-activists who threatened and harassed their signature gatherers, the effort enjoyed a large and ethnically-diverse coalition of support from people and churches across Anchorage.
If passed, the privacy initiative would protect against, for example, a boy using the girls’ locker room at a sporting event. Don’t think that could happen? Check out this Ask Me First video about how Alaska girls already were forced to compete against a young man who says he identifies as female in the 2016 girls state track competition.
Voters will have a chance to approve the privacy measure in April 2018. Congratulations to Jim and the entire Alaska Family Action team!
President Trump has rescinded the “bathroom mandate” put in place by the Obama administration. That order was sent to schools around the country in a “Dear Colleague” letter and directed public schools to open all girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and changing areas to boys who say they identify as girls.
Moms and daughters objected, but the previous administration stood firm by their redefinition of the term “sex” in Title IX to include gender identity. Title IX was passed in order to give girls educational and athletic opportunities previously denied them.
“What we were taught in kindergarten, boys use the boys room and girls use the girls room, was made old fashioned by liberal bureaucrats,” said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. “Thanks to the Trump administration, parents and schools will remain free to protect the privacy and well-being of every student.”
Family Policy Alliance has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with radical feminist group WoLF in a case involving transgender bathrooms in schools. The Gloucester case will be heard by the high court on March 28th.
Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance, said the executive branch does not have the authority to change laws passed by our elected representatives in Congress.
“Of course, Congress never intended for a statute meant to help women access educational opportunities to be used to violate women’s privacy,” she said. “We applaud President Trump’s administration for undoing that nonsensical and unconstitutional ‘bathroom mandate,’ and we look forward to the Supreme Court upholding children’s basic privacy and safety rights in the Gloucester case.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Visit Ask Me First to learn more about our work to preserve privacy and safety.
Even though a judge has halted the implementation of transgender bathroom policies for now, you still need to be armed with the right information should another court put their stamp of approval on the issue.
Our friends at The Family Leader of Iowa, one of Family Policy Alliance’s nearly 40 state-based policy groups have written a wonderful piece that will help no matter where you live.
This article first appeared on The Family Leader website.
Signs of hope are springing up all over the country, thanks to your support for Family Policy Alliance and your network of state allies. While Washington, D.C., remains mired in gridlock, encouraging victories continue to roll in at the state level. Here are a few of your victories achieved through Family Policy Alliance.
Pushing back on gay “overreach”
While the radical agenda of the homosexual and transgender lobby has rocked the nation in recent years, the “pushback” is gaining real steam. It started in Houston last November with the overwhelming defeat of a SOGI (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity) special- rights ordinance—a victory in which you played a major role through your support of this ministry.
The momentum continued in Indiana this winter. The top goal of gay lobbying groups this year was to pass a SOGI special-rights law in the Hoosier state—completing their 2015 assault on religious freedom in Indiana. Top Republican legislators joined with Democrats and the media in an all-out push to pass the SOGI bill. But Family Policy Alliance reached out to thousands of Hoosiers with phone calls and emails targeting key legislators. Meanwhile, our state ally, Indiana Family Action, organized committee testimony and worked the capitol hard—resulting in a resounding defeat of the SOGI.
And in North Carolina this spring, the momentum became a trend. After the Charlotte City Council passed a SOGI ordinance, Family Policy Alliance and our state ally, North Carolina Family Policy Council, called for a special session to overturn that measure. On March 23, the legislature passed and the governor signed a law to do just that. It also stopped other localities from similar mischief that would, among other things, allow men to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms. Nebraska Family Alliance also worked this spring to stop a SOGI special-rights bill for the 16th year in a row.
The theme in all of these victories? Homosexual activists are overreaching with their radical policies, and lawmakers and the public—with the help of Family Policy Alliance—are pushing back and winning!
The Obama Administration continued its overreach on Friday by issuing an edict declaring that all public school restrooms, locker rooms and showers should be open to members of either sex, based on a student’s declared gender identity. The statement included a threat to withhold federal funds from states that do not give in. It’s one more salvo in the ongoing push to force transgender policies into the school system.
Thanks to the bravery and integrity of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in the face of great opposition to that state’s bathroom protection policy, more elected officials are standing up to the pressure from activists. We’ve compiled a list of those who support commonsense protections for women and children. If you’re state isn’t one of them, consider sending an email to your governor. We’ve made it easy through the Family Policy Alliance Action Center.
Encourage your elected officials to support commonsense privacy laws to protect women and children in public accommodations through the Family Policy Alliance Action Center.
A federal appeals court ruled in favor of a transgender teen. It’s the first time a court has ruled that the term “sex” no longer applies to the biological differences between men and women, but rather how a person feels about their “gender identity.”
Victoria Cobb is president of The Family Foundation of Virginia, one of Family Policy Alliance’s nearly 40 state-based groups. She says the ruling simply puts women and children at risk.
“Even for most adults, preferring to shower or dress in the most private atmosphere possible is completely rational,” she wrote in an op-ed for the Richmond Times. “Remarkably, that natural desire for physical privacy in public restrooms, locker rooms and showers shared by the overwhelming majority of Americans is being attacked as unreasonable, discriminatory — even bigoted. Worse, some are attempting to force our school children into vulnerable interactions with kids of the opposite sex in restrooms, locker rooms and showers, in addition to those who have suffered sexual abuse.”
Target’s decision to publicly share a long-standing policy allowing men entrance into women’s restrooms and changing rooms brought a chorus of opposition from parents and concerned citizens.
The American Family Association has more than 600,000 signatures on a petition pledging to boycott because of the policy.
“Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims,” AFA wrote on their website. “And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?”
Izzy Avraham talked to his young daughter about Target’s policy and suggested they go to the store and speak to the manager about it.
“We kept talking and I explained to her that we should be kind and loving to everyone,” he said, “because everybody is a person with a heart and feelings. But that you can also disagree with the way they’re acting, and think it’s weird.”
The Avrahams were disappointed with the manager’s response, but thousands of people on Facebook shared his post and used his hashtag, #byetarget.
The Pennsylvania Family Institute, Family Policy Alliance’s allied group in that state, shared a video from Defend My Privacy showing a mom and her daughter cutting up their Target REDCard because of the announcement. The video has gotten thousands of views and shares and continues to make the rounds on social media. You can view it through the link below.
By some estimates, one in 10 women have been the victim of sexual abuse. That leaves them particularly vulnerable to situations that make them feel unsafe. Stephanie, an adoptive mom of two girls in Virginia, says her daughters are at risk because of their abusive background.
“A particular risk to my daughters is exposure to the anatomy of the opposite sex,” she said. “To my daughters, the male anatomy is a weapon by which they were assaulted. But the risk extends to even being in the presence of biological males in situations where my daughters feel vulnerable, such as when they are using the bathroom, changing clothes, or showering.”
Despite the pushback, homosexual activist groups continue to push for bathroom policies that are uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.
“The privacy rights and safety of vulnerable school children shouldn’t be cast aside or used as a political pawn for special-interest groups that desire to impose a genderless society,” Cobb wrote. “Hopefully, a reasonable court will step in and reaffirm that our children have the dignity of basic privacy rights in bathrooms and showers. Anything short of that will put vulnerable children at tremendous emotional, physical and developmental risk.”
Sign the petition asking Target to rethink their policy or see less of us in the future!
If you use Twitter, please use the hashtag #iexpectmore in your tweets.
You can see the Defend My Privacy video on our Facebook page.