It can be easy to focus on all the things that need fixing – and there’s a lot that needs our attention, given today’s woke Left agenda! But the truth is, there’s also so much good to celebrate – especially in the states! In fact, much of what is happening at the state level is directly responding to the issues that concern us most – and protecting families in the process.
That’s why every year, Family Policy Alliance awards the states that did the most to protect families. Our 2023 “Craig’s List” results are in! (And no, this has nothing to do with the website where you sell your old couch – it’s named after our CEO, Craig DeRoche!)
We just announced the awards LIVE online – you can still watch the full awards show on-demand on YouTube, Facebook, SoConReport.com or right here on this page. Watch to hear from the people who made the victories possible in their states and walk away encouraged!
Prefer to read? All the winners are also listed below – read all the way through to see who won the top award, Most Pro-Family State of the Year!
Cutting Edge Award:
Florida has truly been on the “Cutting Edge” of protecting children and families, paving the way for other states to do the same. This year, Florida passed a law protecting children from exposure to sexualized performances (such as drag performances), a law protecting children from dangerous and irreversible transgender procedures, a law expanding their well-known “Parental Rights in Education” law, and a bill protecting the lives of children in the womb from the time a heartbeat can be detected. This was a banner session that set the standard for states around the nation – a victory due in no small part to Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Florida Family Policy Council.
Honorable mention: Virginia
This year, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin established model policies for Virginia schools that affirm parental rights by preventing a school from “transitioning” a child without parental consent. The model policies also remove aspects of dangerous gender ideology from schools. This is an important step that other states should consider emulating. Family Policy Alliance is grateful to its state ally, The Family Foundation, for their bold leadership in Virginia that makes wins like this possible.
Best Team Effort:
This session, Nebraska lawmakers introduced two bills that protected children at different stages of life. The first protected some of the youngest Nebraskans in the womb from the tragedy of abortion, while the second protected children young and old from the dangerous and irreversible effects of transgender procedures. Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Nebraska Family Alliance, worked together with courageous lawmakers to bring both bills through the legislative process.
But, as Nebraska’s legislative session came toward a close, neither bill had yet crossed the finish line – and the pro-life bill had failed to pass by just one vote. It was then that conservatives in Nebraska had an idea: what if they paired the bills together? Both bills were aimed at protecting children and allowing them to grow up unharmed – and the name of one was even, “Let Them Grow.” In a bold team effort, the lawmakers paired the bills and passed them together with just minutes left on the clock till the session ended – gaining not one, but two victories for families through an all-out team effort.
Idaho was among the states with a law in place that protected babies from abortion in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturn. But what really set Idaho apart? The Abortion-Trafficking Act, which prevents Idahoans from driving kids out of state to get abortions. This comes at a time when many states are advertising their abortions for out-of-staters – serving as a sort of advertisement for traffickers or others who may want to cover up a teen pregnancy, or who simply see a minor’s new baby as an inconvenience to be quietly killed. Idaho’s law takes a bold stand for both the lives of those babies, and for the wellbeing and safety of their mothers, by preventing such “abortion trafficking.” Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Idaho Family Policy Center, played an important role in making this law a reality.
Victory of the Year:
While the title of this award is “victory” of the year, it could easily be “victories” of the year in Kansas. This year, Kansas passed two key laws, overriding their governor to do both. The first was the Women’s Bill of Rights, making Kansas the first state in the nation to pass such a law. Importantly, this law defines “sex” as a person’s biological sex, which stands as a stark contrast to the woke Left’s agenda of allowing men to gain privileges and opportunities meant for women simply by claiming a female identity (or vice versa). Additionally, Kansas joined the ranks of the states with a Save Girls’ Sports law, ensuring that girls’ sports are reserved just for female athletes. This victory was long- and hard-fought. Kansas legislators had to override their governor to achieve this win.
But the victories don’t stop there. Kansans also managed to get a Democrat vote for every pro-life bill in Kansas – sending a strong message that life is not and should not be a partisan issue. Each of these victories was made possible through the work of Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Kansas Family Voice.
Defensive Player of the Year:
While it’s easy to see and understand pro-family wins on the offense, it’s important to also recognize defensive victories where they happen. This year, Family Policy Alliance’s state ally in Connecticut, Family Institute of Connecticut, opposed 17 dangerous pieces of legislation. Of those, they were able to completely stop 14 and partially stop 2 – meaning the pro-family side won in nearly every instance. Among the bad bills were an assisted suicide bill, major pro-abortion bills, anti-religious freedom legislation, a bill establishing comprehensive sex-education, and even a bill that defined single males as being “infertile.” That’s a lot of “bad” that the citizens of Connecticut won’t have to face thanks to courageous pro-family warriors in their state!
Help Not Harm Award:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah
Transgender procedures leave children sterile, missing healthy organs, and often facing years of regret. That’s why states across the country have worked to pass Help Not Harm laws, which protect minors from these procedures until they reach the age of majority. Help Not Harm also offers victims of childhood transition an opportunity to sue the surgeons or other professionals who harmed them.
This year marked a major milestone for Help Not Harm, with the law being passed in its 20th state! The first Help Not Harm law was passed just two years ago in Arkansas, and most of the 20 states passed their laws in 2023 – making this a true watershed year for protecting children. In recognition of that, Family Policy Alliance is honoring all 20 states with some version of a Help Not Harm law, and extends special thanks to the many Family Policy Councils and alumni of Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy who made these victories possible.
Most Pro-Family State:
North Dakota and Montana
For the first time in Craig’s List history, Family Policy Alliance is awarding two “Most Pro-Family State” awards. It’s a testament to what an incredible year 2023 was for the pro-family movement around the nation: it was impossible to choose just one winner! Both North Dakota and Montana had exceptional pro-family victories throughout the year.
In North Dakota, Family Policy Alliance’s state ally North Dakota Family Alliance supported 50 bills. Of those, an astonishing 83% were put into law. Many of the bills were focused on protecting families from the effects of radical gender ideology. For example, North Dakota passed a law that prohibits drag shows in public where children could see the event, and another law prohibits obscenity in children’s sections of public and school libraries. The state also joined the ranks of those protecting children from transgender interventions and female athletes from competing against male competitors. North Dakota also made important strides in protecting life, religious freedom, and more. It was a phenomenal year for North Dakota!
In Montana, Family Policy Alliance’s state ally Montana Family Foundation supported 34 bills and opposed 11 bills. Overall, they had a 77% success rate (including both bills they wanted to pass and bills they wanted to fail). Among the bills they successfully defeated were a bill that would have introduced comprehensive sex education into schools, and a bill that would have allowed partial-birth abortions and undone decades of pro-life work. On the offensive, Montana’s wins covered a sweeping variety of issues, from education and adoption tax credits, to religious freedom protections, to pro-life and parental rights protections. Montana was also among the states that passed a Help Not Harm law (protecting minors from transgender procedures). This was a well-earned award for Montana!
Congratulations to these states, and to all those around the nation who have made a difference to protect children and families! If you’re inspired and want to know how to get involved in your state, you can connect with your state’s Family Policy Council at www.familypolicyalliance.com/allies
And, if you don’t already, be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our emails. We’ll keep you abreast of the latest wins, issues, and opportunities for action. Just use the buttons at the bottom of this email to connect.
That’s a wrap on Craig’s List 2023. Thanks for joining us!
Every year, Family Policy Alliance awards states that go above and beyond in their work for families in the “Craig’s List” awards. This not the Craig’s List where you sell your old couch—this Craig’s List is named in honor of our President & CEO, Craig DeRoche.
For the first time ever, the 2022 Craig’s List Awards were announced during a live awards ceremony and awarded to states that show true grit and determination to make their states a place where families can thrive. We had a great time announcing the winners and hearing from our allied state family policy councils who accepted the awards on behalf of their state!
These are the 2022 Craig’s List Awards winners—read all the way through to see the top award Most Pro-Family State of the Year:
Thirteen states banned nearly all abortions in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. And, they are fighting to defend their strong pro-life laws in any court challenges. Thank you for your life-saving work!
Honorable Mentions: IOWA, UTAH, WYOMING
These states have strong pro-life laws on the books that are currently not being enforced. But, the states are defending their pro-life laws in the midst of court challenges.
In 2020, Idaho trailblazed the very first law in the country to save girls sports by ensuring that only girls (and not boys who self-identify as girls) can compete in girls’ sports—a very common-sense law.
In 2021, we awarded the “Save Girls’ Sports Award” to eight states (including Idaho) that passed laws to save girls’ sports.
Now, in 2022, 10 more states passed new “save girls’ sports” laws—bringing the total to 18 states that now have laws to protect girls’ sports from being taken over by woke ideologies! So, the “save girls’ sports” award this year goes to these 10 new states fighting to protect our female athletes.
Indiana, Louisiana and Utah receive extra recognition for having to override their governors in order to ensure that Save Girls’ Sports became law in their state.
Iowa’s primary election was a clean sweep for families! Our state ally, THE FAMiLY LEADER, backed six pro-family candidates in the primaries, including candidates challenging powerful pro-abortion and anti-school choice Republican incumbents.
On election night, all six pro-family candidates won! This clean sweep paves the way for more pro-family, pro-life and pro-school choice efforts in Iowa.
In 2012, Lincoln, Nebraska’s city council passed an ordinance that attempted to permit men who self-identify as women to enter women’s locker rooms, restrooms, and showers; control speech by holding people liable for not using a person’s “preferred pronouns”; punish counselors who would help individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction or struggles with gender identity; control the speech of even pastors who guide their flock according to biblical truths on human sexuality; and much more.
In response, Lincoln citizens successfully petitioned the city council to rescind the sweeping ordinance or put it on the ballot for the people to vote—but they never did. So, the ordinance sat there on the books but unenforceable.
Instead, in February of this year, the Lincoln city council again adopted the same kind of ordinance. Clearly, Lincoln’s city council wasn’t getting the message.
So, led by the hard work of the team at Nebraska Family Alliance, they gathered four times the number of signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot in only two weeks! Volunteers over 300-strong helped with the effort. And 71 Lincoln churches got involved in the effort.
Lincoln city council saw the writing on the wall, and they rescinded the harmful ordinance!
Lincoln, Nebraska, is an incredible story of a group of grassroots volunteers and the Body of Christ who faced the giants (the strength and funding of the LGBT lobby) and won!
Our state ally, Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI), has been helping parents understand how harmful and graphic the “comprehensive sexuality education” curriculum in schools really is. As a result, parent coalitions have formed in about 30 municipalities. Thousands of children are being opted out of sex education classes that use graphic curriculum. In Worcester alone, the second largest city in Massachusetts, over 3,400 students (more than 13% of district families) have been opted out of sexual content and classes.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. The Opt-Out Movement is also growing support for alternative education in Massachusetts. MFI has helped parents start 25 private church schools or learning pods. They also won in a city that was refusing to allow a local congregation to open a private, religious school.
MFI also filed a lawsuit on behalf of parents against school officials when both their son and daughter were encouraged to “transition” by a queer-identifying librarian and hid what was happening with their children from the parents.
Keep up the good work, Massachusetts parents! No one will protect your children better than you can. You are in great hands with MFI!
Virginia’s parents had enough. They fought school boards over implementing gender ideology and critical race theory in their children’s schools—with many of those fights making national news. Sadly, a male student sexually assaulted two young girls in female restrooms in two different schools, both of which were initially denied by the Chair of the Loudon County School Board.
Around this same time, at the behest of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the FBI opted to investigate concerned parents as potential threats. Apparently the NSBA determined parents concerned about harmful curriculum and assault against their children in schools were more of a threat than school policies creating an environment for assault against young girls.
The Family Foundation Action in Virginia spent months supporting parents at school board meetings and helping them rally to make a difference in Virginia’s November 2021 election. They knocked on 133,000 doors, texted 100,000 people, and called 135,000 people. Of the 133,000 homes they visited, 22,000 people voted in the governor’s race who had not voted before. Ultimately, the pro-parent, pro-family candidate, Governor Youngkin, won by only 64,000 votes. The hard work of Virginia parents and The Family Foundation Action paid off in a big way for their state!
Delaware did an outstanding job of stopping a bill that would’ve endangered children and kept them away from the watchful protection of their parents.
The Democrat-controlled legislature was dead-set on passing a bill that would have permitted children to consent to their own abortions and gender transitions—without even notifying their parents. The bill was so egregious that Tucker Carlson even covered it on his show.
The bill made it through the committee process, but once it reached the full floor for consideration, it was completely removed from the agenda. Even the extreme Left lawmakers feared the assault on parental rights.
Delaware children are safer because of your efforts stopping this bill! A big shoutout to our state ally Delaware Family Policy Council for championing parents!
Honorable Mention: MAINE
Maine also had to play a tough defensive game this year. They had to stop a big effort to enshrine abortion and “gender identity rights” in the state constitution. But, by engaging parents across the state, speaking out in the media, and equipping state legislators, the Christian Civic League helped kill the bill.
Congratulations, Maine–this would have been disastrous policy for your state!
Florida has scored some amazing victories in making their state a wonderful place for families! Chief among those wins was passing a law—spearheaded by Rep. Joe Harding—protecting kindergarten through third grade children from sexualized content in their classrooms and ensuring transparency for their parents into the curriculum. The law is wildly popular—garnering the support of a majority of Florida’s voters—including Democrat voters. Gov. DeSantis did an exceptional job defending the bill, even after Disney attempted to wield its woke corporate power to attack the law and DeSantis himself. Our state ally Florida Family Policy Council also did an outstanding job shepherding the bill through the legislature.
Florida’s Department of Health also issued treatment guidelines for children struggling with gender dysphoria, clarifying that any form of “gender transition” on children comes with high risk of harm and should not be practiced. And, in the latest smart play, Gov. DeSantis suspended a state attorney who publicly stated he would not prosecute abortionists or enforce a law that criminalizes gender transition on minors.
Way to run the pro-family ball down the field, Florida!
Honorable Mention: KENTUCKY
Kentucky also had an amazing year protecting families! They passed a law to save girls’ sports and another one protecting religious organizations from government discrimination. They also signed into law a huge package of pro-life protections. And they stopped a very harmful bill that would’ve made it illegal for counselors to help individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction or struggles with gender identity.
Kentucky families are blessed to have Kentucky’s Family Foundation representing them at the state capitol.
There’s really no contest here. The top Craig’s List award this year has to go to Arizona. This is the most pro-family state of 2022 because they passed seven important and groundbreaking laws this year that champion your family’s values.
- They passed a universal school choice law, ensuring that Arizona children can access an education best suited to their needs to give them the best opportunity for the future.
- They banned dangerous and irreversible “gender transition” surgeries on children.
- They prohibited discrimination against faith-based foster and adoption agencies.
- They passed a law to save girls’ sports.
- They passed a law ensuring that religion is an “essential service” even in times of crisis like a pandemic.
- They banned late-term abortions after 15 weeks.
- They gave parents the right to sue when their parental rights are violated, guaranteed parents’ access to educational and medical records of their children, and required parental consent for any survey given to children at school.
All of these amazing pro-family laws passed, despite conservatives holding only narrow majorities in both the Arizona House and Senate.
It’s worth noting that in his eight years as governor, Gov. Ducey has signed into law nearly 70 of the pro-life, pro-family bills supported by our state ally, Center for Arizona Policy (CAP)! Congratulations, CAP—and an even bigger congratulations to the families in Arizona! Your state is a strong pro-family state, and you are well represented at the Arizona capital!
We encourage you to support your state family policy ally advocating for families in your state! They make these incredible wins possible.
If you do not have a state family policy ally in your state, or if your state did not win a Craig’s List award this year, prayerfully consider joining in the fight for families. Help your state start a family policy council to represent your values in your state’s capitol. Prayerfully consider giving and volunteering with an existing family policy council. Help to make your state one that can earn a spot on next year’s Craig’s List.
God bless you,
The Family Policy Alliance Team
There’s no denying it: 2022 has been a year for the books.
The Biden Administration introduced a host of dangerous policies. Title IX turned 50. Gas prices reached an all-time high. And of course, Roe v. Wade was overturned!
But even as all of that was happening on the national front, leaders in states around the nation were hard at work to protect life, promote parental rights, and make their states places where families could thrive.
That’s why this week, we’re pleased to announce the winners of our annual Craig’s List Awards – an award series named for our CEO and President Craig DeRoche and given to states making valiant pro- family efforts around the country. And this year, for the first time ever, we’re inviting YOU to join us for the awards ceremony, where we’ll publicly announce the winners! Receiving the awards on behalf of each state will be leaders from family policy councils, premier pro-family organizations in the states. Family Policy Alliance is pleased to host the alliance of family policy councils!
TOMORROW, we’ll announce the winners of:
- Life Champion Award – given to states that banned or nearly banned abortions following the historic overturn of Roe v. Wade
- Save Girls’ Sports Award – these states passed laws ensuring that girls’ sports are just for girls!
- Clean Sweep Award – given to a state where pro-family candidates won across the board in this year’s primary election
- Best Team Effort – given to a state whose parents banded together to protect their children!
- Biggest Upset Award – awarded to a state with one of the most surprising and attention-grabbing wins of the last year!
- Facing the Giants Award – awarded to a state that fought back against a dangerous ideology and won!
- Defensive Play of the Year – awarded to a state whose leaders admirably stopped an effort that would have endangered children.
- Victory of the Year – given to a state with a win so notable it had mainstream media upset for weeks!
And of course, come to learn which state is the 2022 Most Pro-Family State of the Year, a title given to a state whose leaders made significant across-the-board progress for families. Is it your state? Or think you know which state it should be?
JOIN US TOMORROW TO FIND OUT!
Thursday, August 18
11:30 a.m. ET / 10:30 a.m. CT / 9:30 a.m. MT / 8:30 a.m. PT
Join us tomorrow to learn about the good news coming from around the nation! Get ready to be encouraged, and send in a virtual “cheer” if your state is among the winners!
We can’t wait to celebrate with you!
Meet the winners of the 2021 “Craig’s (Best) List” awards! These states went above and beyond to protect families in the past year, from significant pro-life wins to educational choice for families and even protecting people of faith. Read to the end to find out which state received our “Most Pro-Family State” award! Is it your state?
10. Best Team Effort: Virginia
This year, Virginia schools have exposed to children to a variety of bad curriculum and school policies, ranging from concerning “transgender guidelines” to critical race theory. But this award isn’t for the policymakers who made those decisions: it’s for the many Virginia parents, policy advocates, and our friends at Virginia’s Family Foundation who showed up in force to speak out against them. Way to go, Virginia! Keep speaking up for what’s right!
9. Cherishing Life Award: Arizona
Arizona is a state with only slim pro-life majorities – meaning it can be difficult to pass pro-life protections. Despite that challenge, pro-life Arizonans were able to pass several important protections. Among them were prohibiting abortions that occur because of genetic abnormalities and mail-order abortions. The state also took steps to promote adoption as a loving option, and passed a law protecting the aged and those with disabilities in health emergencies like COVID. And, that’s not to mention many other ways that Arizona protected families outside of the life issue! Well done!
Honorable mention: Arkansas. We’d be remiss if we did not give an honorable mention to Arkansas, which successfully passed a whopping sixteen pro-life and medical ethics protections in their state. Outstanding work, Arkansas! Keep reading to see another hard-earned award we gave to Arkansas this year.
8. Save Girls’ Sports Award: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, West Virginia
Last year, Idaho led the way as the first state to #SaveGirlsSports and ensure that girls’ sports were reserved for biological females. This year, each of the other states listed above followed suit and passed similar protections. Thanks to the courage of these leaders, female athletes in these states can compete on a level playing field. We also applaud the work of the many states whose lawmakers introduced #SaveGirlsSports legislation this year and will resume that battle in the next legislative session!
7. Facing the Giants Award: Florida
While each of the “Save Girls’ Sports Award” recipients took significant steps to protect athletes in their state, Florida deserves an award all its own. As #SaveGirlsSports began to sweep the nation, the NCAA seemed to suggest that it might pull major events from states with laws protecting female athletes. But Florida’s governor signed #SaveGirlsSports in his state and said, “…in Florida, we’re going to do what’s right. We’ll stand up to corporations, they’re not going to dictate the policies of this state.” Well said, Governor DeSantis, and way to stand up to bullying threats. (And, for the record, the NCAA has so far not acted on its threats).
6. Defending Religious Freedom Award: Kansas
COVID made the last year-and-a-half quite a battleground for religious freedom in some states. In Kansas, the fight became particularly intense when the Governor restricted church services to just 10 people. She even compared church services to a Kansas University basketball game! But Kansans wouldn’t stand for it. Bold churches filed a lawsuit against the Governor, and the side of religious freedom ultimately won. Well done to those who fought hard, even going to court against a Democratic governor, to keep church doors open.
Honorable mention: Massachusetts. Massachusetts faced a similar plight in their own state – twice. Each time, pro-family leaders and pastors worked together to file suit against the governor, and each time the governor relented within days. Well done to those leaders!
5. Wide Open Future School Choice Award: West Virginia
This was an incredible year for school choice, and we’re celebrating all the states who saw wins in this area! But one state especially made waves: West Virginia. The state’s new law has been described as the “broadest” and “most expansive school choice program in the country.” What is it? It’s a universal education savings account. If a child is entering kindergarten or was previously enrolled in public school, they are eligible to take the amount that the state would have spent on their schooling and apply it for other educational choices like private school tuition or home tutoring. What a big win for West Virginia children and families!
4. Groundbreaking Family Policy Award: Arkansas
Arkansas has been busy passing many good laws, from a range of pro-life laws to legislation to protect girls’ sports. But the one that stands out the most? The Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act. This truly groundbreaking law was the first in the nation to protect minors from dangerous transgender “treatments” including cross-sex hormones and mutilating surgeries. This is hugely significant, not only for Arkansas children but also for other states as Arkansas has paved the way for other states to follow suit. We are grateful for the courageous work of our friends who made this win possible.
3. Defensive Player of the Year: New Jersey
If you read Craig’s (Worst) List, you know that one of the worst policies pushed this year was a New Jersey bill that would legalize abortion up to birth. With the governor’s backing for the bill, and a generally liberal political climate, you might expect that the bill would have become law already. But here’s the amazing news: the people of New Jersey have been fighting hard to prevent this bill from becoming law, and so far they have been successful in that effort. That’s no small feat, and it’s worth celebrating. We heartily applaud the people of New Jersey for speaking out, and the lawmakers who have chosen not to support this bill.
2. Offensive Player of the Year: Iowa
Iowa protected families in many ways this year. In addition to two critical pro-life wins, Iowa was hard at work for families and students, too. The legislature expanded tax credits for parents who choose private school and allowed homeschooling parents to receive the credit for the first time. They also ensured parents who choose public school can send their children to the public school of their choice. And, the legislature prohibited government-mandated training or teaching on critical race theory as a fact. As a cherry on top, our state ally, the FAMiLY LEADER, reports that they defeated every bill they opposed this session. Well done, Iowa!
Honorable mention: New Hampshire. New Hampshire also had a great set of successes this year, including establishing education freedom accounts to promote educational choice, protecting children from critical race theory in schools, and banning abortions at 24 weeks. Great work, New Hampshire!
1. Most Pro-Family State: Montana
What state has the most pro-family new laws? In 2021, we had to say Montana. Lawmakers in Big Sky Country passed a #SaveGirlsSports law, tax credit education scholarships, and several pro-life protections including preventing abortions when the baby is capable of feeling pain. They also required parental permission for sex education and succeeded in many important religious freedom protections (including the hard-fought Religious Freedom Restoration Act). All told, our state ally, Montana Family Foundation, reported 17 wins. Montana, “Most Pro-Family State” was a well-deserved title!
That’s a wrap for Craig’s (Best) List 2021! Well done to each of these states, and to the people in every state who worked to protect children and families. This work makes our vision possible: a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.
Policy and Communications Strategist