Arkansas voters are being bombarded with misleading and confusing information regarding Ballot Issue 3.
Our allies in Arkansas at the Family Council Action Committee have provided the information below, and we wanted to forward it to you because it is important to cut through the misinformation and get to the truth.
Issue 2 has been endorsed by religious freedom proponents from across the nation and it is supported by our Arkansas Allies at The Family Council Action Center.
Please read the message below to learn more and then and share it with your friends and family. For more information please reach out to Family Council Action Committee.
Autumn Lava, Esp
Director of Strategy
Family Policy Alliance
Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth even gets its pants on.”Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with religious freedom amendment Issue 3: Gossip and lies about the measure have made the rounds on social media much more than the truth has. Here is the truth about Issue 3: Issue 3 is a good amendment that will protect the free exercise of religion in Arkansas. That is why attorneys at Focus On The Family, Family Research Council Action, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Liberty Counsel have endorsed Issue 3, and that is why liberals at the ACLU and atheists at the Freedom From Religion Foundation oppose Issue 3. The Arkansas Baptist State Convention and Family Council Action Committee also have endorsed the amendment. Unfortunately, some conservatives—including a few of our friends—on social media have claimed that Issue 3 will give the government more power to restrict religious freedom. A self-proclaimed constitutional expert from Florida has posted videos online making that claim. But stop and ask yourself: If Issue 3 makes it easier to restrict religious freedom, then why would the Freedom From Religion Foundation oppose Issue 3? They attack the free exercise of religion every time they have the opportunity. What seems to bother some people is that Issue 3 says the government may burden the free exercise of religion if it has a compelling governmental interest at stake and if it behaves in the least restrictive manner possible. I understand why some people would ask questions about this language, but here’s why Issue 3 contains that exception: Over the past 200 years, courts have had to address situations where cult leaders wanted to commit crimes in the name of their religion, where cities and counties denied building permits to churches, and where conscientious objectors wanted to avoid military service during times of war. In situations like these, courts traditionally asked two questions: First, does the government have a “compelling interest” at stake in this situation—like providing for national defense or protecting people from violent crime? And second, can the government protect that compelling interest while burdening the free exercise of religion as little as possible? Under this test, cult leaders who broke the law went to prison, conscientious objectors in the military were assigned to non-combat duties, and churches that were denied a building permit typically were allowed to build anyway. In the 1980s and 1990s courts began abandoning that standard and issuing rulings that made it easier for the government to run roughshod over religious freedom—even when it did not have a compelling interest at stake or could operate in a less restrictive manner. In response, states began passing laws like Issue 3 to protect religious freedom. In fact, Arkansas passed a religious freedom law similar to Issue 3 in 2015. Issue 3 simply improves on that good law, and it writes the protections into the Arkansas Constitution. If Issue 3 fails to pass this year, it probably will be because conservatives who did not understand the amendment sided with the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation in voting against the measure. Normally when we disagree with our friends, we simply agree to disagree. In this case, I have to tell you why I am standing with the growing list of highly credible, Christian organizations that support Issue 3 and why I am voting for Issue 3 and urging everyone else to do the same. If you have questions about Issue 3, please feel free to reach out to me or my staff.
Sincerely,Jerry Jerry Cox Family Council President
414 S. Pulaski, STE 2Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 375-7000
Today is the 49th anniversary of Title IX, the federal law that has helped girls have equal access to their own sports teams and other school-related opportunities.
But as males who identify as female are increasingly participating in girls’ and women’s sports, states must decide: will we protect our female athletes?
Overwhelmingly, leaders across the states are saying “yes!”
Last year, Idaho became the first state to pass a law saying that girls’ sports should be reserved for females. Now, 30 states have introduced similar legislation and 8 states have passed their #SaveGirlsSports bills into law!
Join us TONIGHT to hear from five leaders on the front lines to #SaveGirlsSports. Each one has worked tirelessly to defend female athletes, and we’re honored to have them join us.
Saving Girls’ Sports, State by State
Come join us and learn about
- What Planned Parenthood has to do with girls’ sports
- What you can do to protect athletes in your state and nationwide
- Advocates in one state who were under such intense attack that they took steps to protect their physical safety
Meet our speakers!
In light of Father’s Day on Sunday, we’re highlighting some of our guests here with their daughters — one reason these leaders are fighting to #SaveGirlsSports!
|John Stemberger is President and General Counsel of Florida Family Policy Council and Florida Family Action. John is a nationally known figure, and we’re grateful for his leadership in Florida’s recent fight to #SaveGirlsSports! Join us to hear how Florida stood up to the NCAA.|
|Jerry Cox is Founder and President of Arkansas’s Family Council. This year, Jerry has been on the front lines as Arkansas passed laws to #SaveGirlsSports AND protect minors from transgender medical experiments. But it wasn’t easy. Jerry has some great stories to share!|
|Gene Mills is President of Louisiana Family Forum. His work has ranged from pro-life causes to criminal justice reform, to working on Louisiana’s #SaveGirlsSports effort! We are blessed to have Gene join us as he shares about the lessons learned from his own state’s recent battle.|
|Blaine Conzatti is Executive Director of Family Policy Alliance of Idaho. Blaine was at the forefront of making Idaho the FIRST state to #SaveGirlsSports! Join to hear him share about what it was like being the first state to protect girls in sports.|
|Jeff Laszloffy is President of Montana Family Foundation. He has been a true leader and friend in the pro-family movement. While there’s much we could say about Jeff, today we’re especially excited for him to share about just how unfair it is when males compete in female sports.|
|Craig DeRoche is CEO and President of Family Policy Alliance. In his 30 years of experience, Craig has served as Speaker of the House in Michigan and president of Justice Fellowship (founded by Chuck Colson). Join us as he leads an engaging discussion with these state leaders!|
Don’t miss it – and be sure to spread the word!
See you tonight!
Policy and Communications Strategist
Every day, American children are the subject of a dangerous – and potentially deadly– medical experiment. The experiment involves stopping the natural progression of puberty, introducing cross-sex hormones, and potentially removing or preparing to remove healthy body parts.
Among the potential long-term side effects? Sterilization, and even higher rates of suicide.
This is not medicine; this is manipulation, malpractice, and abuse.
That’s why we at Family Policy Alliance are so grateful for the work of our friends in Arkansas who successfully got the first-in-the-nation Save Adolescents from Experimentation (“SAFE”) Act into law! This law protects minors from these dangerous medical experiments, while leaving open real health care options.
Watch below as Family Policy Alliance CEO Craig DeRoche discusses the Arkansas SAFE Act with Arkansas state Representative Robin Lundstrum (House sponsor of the SAFE Act) and Jerry Cox, President of Arkansas’s Family Council.
Get the inside scoop on Arkansas’s groundbreaking new law, hear the TRUTH about this critical issue, and learn what YOU can do NOW to protect children!
A little about our guests:
Rep. Robin Lundstrum, the House sponsor for the SAFE Act, is an alumna of Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy, an elite training program for Christian legislators. In addition to her public service, Rep. Lundstrum is a local small business owner, holds a doctorate in Health Sciences, and was formerly an assistant professor at John Brown University. She has been the recipient of awards from both the Family Council (AR) and the Little Rock Division of the FBI!
Jerry Cox is President of Arkansas’s Family Council, which he founded in 1989. He has led successful efforts in Arkansas to prevent the use of public funds for abortions, define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and pass the Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act. He and his wife reside in Little Rock and are the parents of four sons. We are grateful for our friendship with Family Council!
Be sure to share with friends using the buttons below!
Just today, the Arkansas legislature succeeded in easily overriding Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a critical bill to protect the state’s children. The bill was authored by Senator Alan Clark and Representative Robin Lundstrum, a Christian legislator who is an alumna of Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy℠—our sister foundation’s premier training program for Christian elected leaders.
Because the legislature succeeded in overriding the veto, Arkansas became the first state in the nation with the SAFE Act, a law that prohibits anyone from performing sex-change interventions on children. The law passed with bipartisan support.
The SAFE Act makes clear that the drugs used in these interventions are being used off-label and are entirely experimental. What’s worse, the cross-sex hormones that are used leave children sterile, and the surgeries remove children’s healthy breasts and/or healthy genitalia.
In Arkansas, as in most states, children are not permitted to work in mines, get tattoos, or purchase alcohol or drugs like NyQuil—all for their own protection. Rep. Lundstrum and Sen. Clark simply recognized that if a tattoo is potentially harmful for a child, then certainly sterilizing children or surgically removing their healthy body parts is harmful as well—regardless of whether these procedures are politically popular.
The SAFE Act is wonderful news for Arkansas’s children! But, it shouldn’t stop there. Other states are considering similar laws, including in South Carolina where the bill is sponsored by a Democrat. We say CONGRATULATIONS to Rep. Lundstrum, Sen. Clark, and our good friends at Family Council in Little Rock! And we thank those of you in Arkansas who responded to our alerts and sent thousands of messages to Arkansas legislators. We pray other states follow your state’s bold lead in protecting their own children.
If you’d like to join the effort to protect children from politicized medicine and harmful transgender ideology, consider joining the Promise to America’s Children movement. Arkansas’s Rep. Lundstrum already signed and then led the way to passing the nation’s first SAFE Act!
The Promise unites parents, concerned citizens, and lawmakers who agree that protecting our children’s minds, bodies, and hearts—especially their relationships with their parents—should be a top priority. Our children deserve protection, not politics and experimentation. You can sign the Promise and share it on social media with others as well.
Thank you, Arkansas, for leading the way in protecting your state’s children! But the movement can’t stop there.
Vice President for Strategy
The Arkansas Legislature will likely vote today on overriding the veto of H.B. 1570, the bill to protect children from abusive and permanently damaging “gender-reassignment surgeries.”
A total of 65 Arkansas legislators have sponsored or co-sponsored the SAFE Act, and – as key Arkansas leaders have shared with us – it’s critical that those legislators remain steadfast in supporting the bill today.
Will you take a moment to send a message to those 65 legislators? We’ve made it easy on our Action Center. With just a click you can send a pre-written note to all of them – thanking them for co-sponsoring the bill and urging them to vote to override the Governor’s veto.
Thank you for speaking up! And please share this email or the Action Center link with others so they can also make their voices heard today!
Dear Arkansas Friend,
Family Policy Alliance joins with our allies at Family Council in calling on legislators to override Gov. Hutchinson’s veto of H.B. 1570, sponsored by Statesmen Academy alum, Rep. Robin Lundstrum.
H.B. 1570 is critical legislation that is needed to protect children from abusive and permanently damaging “gender-reassignment surgeries.”
Will you please take a moment to speak up to your legislators? Here’s a message from Jerry Cox at Family Council with details on making your voice heard:
Please call your state senator and state representative right now, and urge them to override Governor Hutchinson’s veto of H.B. 1570, the SAFE Act by Rep. Robin Lundstrum and Sen. Alan Clark.
You can leave a message for your senator at 501-682-2902.
You can leave a message for your representative at 501-682-6211.
H.B. 1570, the SAFE Act, prohibits sex-reassignment procedures on children in Arkansas.
Gender-reassignment surgeries can leave children sterilized and scarred for life. Medical researchers do not know the long term effects these procedures and therapies can have on kids. That is why many people equate them with experimenting on children.
The Arkansas Legislature passed this bill, but on Monday Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed it.
It is impossible to overstate how much pressure your lawmakers face from national groups on this bill.
Please contact your legislators right now — especially your state representative — and urge them to override the governor’s veto on H.B. 1570, the SAFE Act.
You can leave a message for your senator at 501-682-2902. You can leave a message for your representative at 501-682-6211.
Again, please urge your legislators to override Governor Hutchinson’s veto of H.B. 1570, the SAFE Act by Rep. Robin Lundstrum and Sen. Alan Clark.
Thank you so much for speaking up and for spreading the word about this urgent matter!
by Jerry Cox, president of Family Council of Arkansas
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Family Council of Arkansas. They are part of our alliance of 40 state-based family organizations. For more information, or to find one in your state, go to familypolicyalliance.com.
The other day as I was reviewing a slate of bills that have been proposed at the Arkansas Legislature, it occurred to me that there are so many ways that a church can be a force for good in a community. Churches serve their neighborhoods – especially the poor and needy. Churches are often some of the first to provide for the victims of natural disasters, such as floods and tornadoes.
I think we would all agree that Bible-believing churches share the gospel with nonbelievers and make their communities better. But what if I told you even a church building itself can make a community more wholesome? What if I told you those four walls do more than give believers a place to meet – they actually keep certain types of evil out of our neighborhoods?
Under Arkansas law, adult-oriented businesses cannot operate within 1,000 feet of a church. Liquor stores, likewise, cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a church. Penalties for certain crimes – such as illegal drug deals and drug use – are enhanced if they occur within 1,000 feet of a church. “Medical Marijuana” stores cannot operate within 1,500 feet of a church, and marijuana farms cannot operate within 3,000 feet of a church.
I realize the “church” is more than just four walls and steeple. Believers are the true church. I also realize you can’t completely rid a community of sin. However, just having those four walls and steeple in your neighborhood repels some types of evil. It keeps certain vices away from our children and our neighbors. It makes our communities more wholesome – often without anyone noticing.
I believe most people probably take good things churches bring to Arkansas for granted. But if the churches disappeared – along with all the good things they bring to the table – people would notice.
Our world is wrestling with some serious questions right now. From top to bottom, many days it feels like our nation is losing its mind. It reminds me of the prophet Amos, who wrote, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12,KJV).
Now more than ever we need churches to engage the culture. Churches are already a powerful force for good simply by being present in our state. Many churches run food pantries that help families facing physical hunger. We need believers to help those starving for the Truth of God’s Word as well.
Now more than ever we need churches to engage the culture. In the past six weeks Family Council has issued more calls to action than I can count. We have asked people to call their state representatives and senators time and time again. That’s because our lawmakers need to hear the truth about the important issues they are voting on. They need to hear it from Family Council, but they also need to hear it from their neighbors back home.
Jerry Cox is president of Family Council of Arkansas. Family Council is a conservative education and research organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Their mission is to promote, protect, and strengthen traditional family values found and reflected in the Bible by impacting public opinion and public policy in Arkansas.