The more time I spend in the political world, the more I am convinced that some of the most dangerous legislation for Christian families, businesses, and churches is in “simple” bills. These are bills that may appear to be very good ideas on the surface, but they often have one huge issue that can cause a mountain of problems: vagueness.

A prime example is the federal Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The essential part of the ERA is one sentence: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” So what’s wrong with that? Don’t we all want equal rights for men and women? Of course we do.

The problem is actually with its simplicity and endless ways it can be interpreted. ERA language offers “equal rights”, which leaves a blank slate for courts to erase protections for women from the law and make-up rights out of thin air. That may sound extreme, but it has already been happening.  A number of states have enacted their own ERAs and what have been some of the results of court interpretations?

You see the problem. Simple isn’t simple, or sometimes even good, when it has this much ambiguity. House Concurrent Resolution 3037, currently being considered by our legislature, would clarify that North Dakota’s 1975 ratification of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment is no longer valid (i.e., we no longer support the ERA). Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota supports and will again testify in favor of House Concurrent Resolution 3037 as it is considered in the Senate this week.

The ERA was proposed in 1972, that’s almost 50 years ago, a time when women dealt with obvious discrimination in various aspects of life. However, since that time, numerous federal laws have been passed ensuring equal protection and access for girls and women in school academics and athletics, juries, military service, family leave, protection against sexual harassment and domestic violence, and a host of other protections.

On a personal level, my wife and daughter have certainly benefited from all the anti-discrimination laws enacted over the past 50 years, and I’m very thankful for that. They have had equal job opportunities, equal academic opportunities, been protected from sexual harassment, and many more positives. However, this was without any ERA being in place! I would be the first to admit that there are areas of life where sex discrimination still exists, but the sweeping and ambiguous language in the proposed federal ERA is going to cause a significant undermining of pro-life and pro-family values as it is interpreted by activist courts.

Simple isn’t always simple when it comes to laws. Sometimes simple is actually bad, precisely because it is simple. The 50-year-old ERA is a solution looking for a problem, so please ask your Senator to vote “yes” on House Concurrent Resolution 3037 and let’s tell the federal government that North Dakotans don’t support this deeply flawed and harmful amendment.

In order to find the contact information for your State Senator, go to our Action Center and enter your zip code or address as prompted.

While you will initially see contact info for our federal delegation presented, you can then click on the North Dakota tab to view your state officials’ emails and phone numbers.

Sincerely,


Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

 

The Wounds No One Wants to Talk About

 

“Health first” helped me survive

The health of my patient will be my first consideration.”

Physician’s Oath

This simple line in the Physician’s Oath is what we expect from our doctors—that they will put our health first. As someone who survived a life-threating illness earlier this year, this pledge presented some challenges for me.

It meant that my desire to go home would not be adhered to. It meant that my requests for more pain medication, after multiple surgeries, would not always be fulfilled. It also meant that as much as I loathe needles, I would need to endure multiple IVs, shots, and blood tests so that my doctors could help me heal.

I endured all of this because my health–not my desires, whims or wants—was the primary concern of the doctor.

Yet, the radical left disagrees.

“Surgery won’t cure my self-loathing, but I want it anyway”

Recently, the New York Times published the article, “My New Vagina Won’t Make Me Happy”.

A man, “Andrea” (who identifies as a woman), declared he is entitled to a sex-reassignment surgery. He forcefully argued that his “grief, self-loathing, shame [and] regret” were a “human right” and genital-mutilating “surgery’s only prerequisite should be a simple demonstration of want.” “Andrea” believes doctors should be forced to make his body undergo a horrific process, by removing a functional, working body part and replacing it with a faux-part that will never work, and which will certainly not make him a woman. His body will treat this faux-part as a wound for the rest of his life because the body understands biology better than the Leftist agenda. This faux-part will need constant daily-care, and will be prone to rejection, a high risk of complications, and various infections (harboring harmful bacteria, fungi, mold and more).

But “Andrea” doesn’t want to be cured of his grief and depression, he wants a vagina, and at all costs.

There is a path to hope

What’s even more intolerable, is the Left demands children have access to these permanently sterilizing, genital-mutilating surgeries. These procedures do not alleviate pain—they cause it. They do not make it easier for the body to heal—they make it impossible.

“Andrea” has accepted all transgender people must live with hating themselves for life, even after surgery—piling deep emotional wounds on top of the physical ones.

Family Policy Alliance wants more for “Andrea” and others struggling with gender-identity, especially for children. We know they can find a path to complete healing. Studies show 80-95% of children struggling with gender dysphoria do not maintain these identities as adults. There is hope!

As compassionate Christians, we must oppose medical practices that undermine the health of patients and do irreparable harm to children. The most loving thing Family Policy Alliance can do is support policies that provide mental healthcare and emotional support, not open the door for a drastic and irreversible surgery that will compound the challenges they face throughout their life.

My friends, this topic is unpleasant. It’s not one that many would choose to think about or discuss around the dinner table. But, if we look the other way, we are rejecting the biblical mandate to love our neighbor.

Let’s lift those who are struggling up in prayer while working to establish policies that will provide truly compassionate and beneficial solutions.

Because we care,

Cole Muzio
President & Executive Director
Family Policy Alliance of Georgia


Stephanie Curry, Esq.
Policy Manager
Family Policy Alliance

By Stephanie Curry, Esq. Public Policy Manager for Family Policy Alliance®

In 2012, federal prison guidelines required prisons to start considering “gender identity” when placing inmates. This meant a man could be issued women’s clothing, use women’s showers or even be transferred to an all woman’s prison by saying he identified as a woman, without having had a sex change operation. Just as disturbing is that a woman could be transferred to an all men’s prison as well. Once these guidelines were passed and implemented, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was the target of multiple lawsuits from women who were threatened and abused as a result of the new policy.

The Women of Fort Worth

One group of prisoners who sued the BOP were female inmates in Fort Worth, Texas. Their lawsuits declared that it was dangerous and degrading for the Bureau of Prisons to allow men (who identified as women) into women’s bathrooms and showers. The behavior of the men caused the women to suffer “disgust, embarrassment, humiliation, stress, degradation, fear and loss of dignity.”

Certainly, prisoners live in a world very different than the one we’re accustomed to. But the Supreme Court has been very clear that prisoners have basic constitutional rights that belong to all citizens and cannot be taken away by the government. For example, prisoners have the right to be free from cruelty, inhumane treatment, and humiliation. This means even inmates retain the right to bodily privacy and dignity.

In a larger sense, the right to bodily privacy means that prisoners cannot be subject to physical humiliations, such as the refusal of clothing or showers. It also means being free from sexual violence and harassment and having the right to use a bathroom with privacy, especially and particularly from the opposite sex. This is not only to protect the prisoner’s safety, but also to protect their dignity.

The good news is the Bureau of Prisons recently updated their policies (in light of the multiple lawsuits and Trump Administration guidance) declaring prisoners’ safety to be paramount above gender identity considerations. Biological sex will once again be the first factor considered when placing prisoners.

But that leads us to our next question:

If bodily privacy is a basic right that belongs to prisoners, why doesn’t it also belong to our students in schools?

Standing for Students

The women of Fort Worth asked themselves that same question when the Obama Administration handed down the “Transgender Mandate,” a policy that would allow men and boys into girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools. These female inmates were horrified at the government’s willingness to compromise our children’s safety in schools. These women had experienced men in their bathrooms and found it to be a traumatic violation. The women rose up on behalf of students in Texas schools– from their prison cells. They requested to be intervenors in the lawsuit to stop the Obama administration rule from going into effect. (Intervenors are those who are not a party to a lawsuit, but they offer an important perspective on an issue.) They certainly had a unique perspective because they had lived through this policy being implemented and found it to be dangerous, fundamentally unfair, and a deep violation of their privacy and bodily integrity.

A Texas Federal Court did block the school Transgender Mandate.  The Trump Administration also issued a memo officially reversing the school Transgender Mandate from Obama’s era. But the damage had already been done.

Schools are still implementing policies that allow men and boys into girls’ bathrooms! Of course, it is absurd to think that prisoners have a more protected right to privacy than our children. Yet, that is what is happening across the country as schools implement “non-discrimination” policies or “transgender rights” policies.

Family Policy Alliance and our allied groups in over 40 states want to partner with you to protect your child’s privacy at school in your state. The government does not and cannot have the power to take away the privacy, safety, or dignity of our children. If you have children in schools, learn your school’s bathroom and privacy policies. If you have questions about the policy or if the policy violates your child’s privacy rights, please reach out to Family Policy Alliance or your state-based ally. Finally, please support candidates in the upcoming election who are willing to protect the privacy and safety of our children in schools!

 

A few weeks ago, Family Policy Alliance was proud to partner with state ally Cornerstone Action of New Hampshire in hosting a Legislative Briefing and Gender Identity Forum centered around the hot-button issue of gender identity. Stephanie Curry, Manager of Public Policy for Family Policy Alliance, spoke to legislators and the public on how changing the definition of “sex” in the law negatively impacts everyone. Shannon McGinley, Executive Director of Cornerstone, stated: “Stephanie’s information was a real eye-opener to everyone who attended Cornerstone’s briefing and forum on gender identity. She gave a clear and valuable explanation of how gender identity laws will affect education and public policy. Even after the forum was over, she was happy to stay and answer questions. We’ve been hearing ever since from attendees who appreciated her presentation.” Curry was joined by David Pickup, a licensed psychotherapist, who addressed what true healing looks like, and Rene Jax who shared her life-long struggle with gender identity, even after a sex-change operation.

Read more about how Cornerstone has spoken truth into the lives of hundreds of people, directly engaging decision-makers who will be responsible for laws that will impact our nation.

By Stephanie Curry, Policy Manager

He created them male and female and blessed them. Genesis 5:2 (NIV)

First Woman Mayor! Julie Lemieux elected “only female mayor in Tres-Saint-Redempteur’s 137 year history.”

Canadian headlines excitedly reported Julie’s “remarkable” accomplishment last month as the “first female mayor” in over a century. Yet, the sad reality is that a man who calls himself Julie and identifies as a woman was elected. Electing a male mayor in this Canadian municipality is not particularly noteworthy. And, a woman still has never been elected to this mayoral office.

Sadly, now a woman can never achieve the title of “First Woman Mayor” in Tres-Saint-Redempteur because a man stole the accomplishment. And, there are many more stories like this one. Allowing men to identify as women gives them permission to take opportunities (like scholarships, grants and clubs) and spaces (like locker rooms, showers, and restrooms) that have been specifically tailored for women. American law has put into place legal safeguards and protections to remedy centuries of preventing women from accessing the same opportunities as men.

With your help, Family Policy Alliance partnered with unlikely ally WoLF (Women’s Liberation Front), a radical feminist group, to make this very point. We submitted a brief to the Supreme Court together, helping the Court understand that erasing “woman” and redefining “sex” in the law is wrong and harmful to all. We may disagree with WoLF on many other issues, but we can join together when it comes to protecting women from being “legally erased” by gender identity politics.

Family Policy Alliance also works closely with our state allies to reinforce the truth that women are inextricably and historically linked to their biology, just as God designed us, and this reality cannot be appropriated by a man simply because he “feels” like a woman. This year, we tracked over 133 bills that would change the meaning of “sex” in the law and in society. These bills are all directly related to questions like whether men can enter female spaces such as bathrooms and locker rooms, be entitled to public funding for drastic surgeries to make their bodies more feminine, or take advantage of jobs intended for women all based on their feelings instead of biology. The good news is that with your partnership, our efforts to educate and equip families to stop these harmful bills, the hard work of our state allies advocating for families at capitols across the country, and with families like yours speaking out, only 5 of those 133 bills became law!

We, like you, believe women and men both reflect the image of God, have their own unique purpose in creation, and should remain free to pursue their purpose without fear of oppression or being erased by “gender identity politics.”

Thank you for partnering with us as Family Policy Alliance seeks to bring compassionate truth to this politically and emotionally charged issue so near to God’s heart and who He designed us to be.

Verse: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27

This week, I encountered many who were doing everything they could to destroy their reflection of the image of God. As I attended the Decatur City School Board meeting regarding the district’s transgender policy, my heart broke over those who were overtly embracing a lifestyle so counter to God’s design and so eager to cast aside the gender the Lord gave. It was truly disheartening!

That’s why I had such joy when I came home and my sons wanted to do their favorite thing in the whole world – fight Dad! They quickly were charging at me, wrestling and tackling me without fear.

After the experience I had at that school board meeting, it was so refreshing to spend time with my boys – both embracing joyously (as well as violently and rambunctiously) the gender the Lord gave them. Even my son’s playful punch to the face was fun for me as I gave thanks to a God who intentionally made my boys to be boys.

Now, there are some people who are genuinely hurt and confused. However, as Christians, we know that there is no flaw in the design or the Designer, and we know that there is no solace in embracing the confusion. Hope can only be found in Jesus Christ, His overwhelming love, and joy in His creation!

The Decatur School Board is now considering what the policy should be toward transgender students. While we all must show compassion, my prayer is that the school board develops a policy that cherishes the privacy and dignity of its students, and, in doing so, honors our Lord. After seeing the way that meeting was engineered, I am not optimistic, but I am praying in hope.

The state of the debate: It was abundantly clear Tuesday evening that, as Christians, we are losing this debate. The phony definitions put forward regarding “gender identity” or “expression” have become largely accepted, the unscientific idea of “transgenderism” is embraced, and even the faith community is lacking unity on how to respond (thus, the need for the Nashville Statement). This is not a fight that we can ever neglect, because we have a lot of work to do to change the cultural conversation and debate.

So what can we do: We CANNOT stop articulating God’s design for gender. So, we must: 1) commit to prayer – for Decatur schools, for all Georgia schools, for every student, and that the Lord will use us to be salt and light to reveal His purpose, 2) urge your pastor to discuss gender and sexuality. Frankly, your pastor is ignoring Scripture if he doesn’t talk about these issues, and 3) support political leaders who speak up for students’ privacy and dignity concerns. We need leadership here in Georgia that will be a voice for our young people!

In His Service,

Cole Muzio
Executive Director

In a win for families and small businesses, the Parkersburg, West Virginia, City Council rejected an ordinance that would have violated the privacy rights of moms and daughters. The ordinance would have created special rights to four new classes, including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

If passed, the privacy and safety of Parkersburg’s women and girls would no longer have been protected, as any male willing to assert that he “identifies as female” would have had free access to girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and showers. In addition, Christian employers would have been open to lawsuits over hiring practices.

But families and business owners arrived four hours early and filled the chamber. Then they boldly shared their concerns with the council. Allen Whitt with our ally Family Policy Council of West Virginia was actively engaged in helping city leaders understand the issue.

“The message: Our third biggest city is on to you,” he explained. “We know the truth about SOGIs, and we courageously move to protect privacy, and defend businesses against the intentionally vague ordinance.”

After the vote, he heard an activist yell “I hope you die early!” at a Democrat council member who voted for women’s safety.

While the defeat of the ordinance is good news for the people of Parkersburg, the vote reminds us that people in cities large and small are wrestling with such laws and ordinances. State battles have garnered much attention, like in South Carolina and Texas, making it easy to forget city-councils are often at the front-lines of promoting a nation where God is honored.

Scottsdale, Arizona, is another city where a stand for truth is taking place at city hall. A small group of activists are trying to stop the city from partnering with a charter school to build a park and athletic facilities that would be open to the public. The reason: The school maintains that boys are boys and girls are girls.

The local level is where we can be most effective in protecting our families, schools, and small businesses. Let’s continue to stand together for liberty and truth both in the state house and city hall.

LEARN MORE
Ask Me First is a place to hear the stories of women and girls who have been affected by these misguided ordinances. And we invite you to share your own story.

by Autumn Leva

I’ve always loved talking with my husband, but one thing that’s surprised me most in our eight-month-long marriage is how much there is to talk about — from lively discussions over the household budget to negotiations over who washes the dinner dishes to choosing a home church. Since we’re both lawyers, that probably contributes to the length of our conversations.

We talk about kids fairly regularly — and if we were to forget to discuss this, my in-laws helpfully remind us. We wonder whether our kids will love football as much as my husband — or if they’ll defy us both and choose baseball. But mostly we talk about our deep desire for our kids to follow God and to love Jesus.

But you know what kid-related topic never has come up? We’ve never discussed what we would do if the state took our kids away.

It turns out this is something we, and other Christian parents and future parents, need to discuss. Up in Canada, the Ontario Legislature just passed a law (with minimal opposition) that would allow child protective services and judges to consider factors such as a child’s “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” when deciding whether to strip parents of custody.

Let me explain how this new law would play out in the real world using my husband and me as an example: Say we give birth to a baby girl whom we raise in the church, praying with her and reading her Bible stories every night. We send her off to kindergarten, and she comes home one day telling us she wishes she were a boy. My husband and I lovingly explain that God created her to be exactly who she is, that both male and female are made in His image, reflecting His nature. Our daughter returns to school and informs her teacher we won’t let her dress or act like a boy. From there, the state takes over, questions my husband and me about our faith, and removes her from our home. We then enter into a long legal battle to regain custody of our child.

For anyone who may be thinking “that’s just Canada,” this is already being discussed in the U.S. For example, the Massachusetts Legislature has a bill (SB 62) that would put counselors at risk of losing their licenses for helping a little girl understand how God has fearfully and wonderfully made her female (and not male), and, even worse, would label parents as “child abusers” when they affirm their little girl’s wishes to seek counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction or gender-identity issues.

The most haunting quote I’ve seen from Canada about their new law was directed at the Catholic Church:  “Why has the most powerful spiritual body in this province, (the Church), not lifted a finger nor raised a voice to oppose this tyranny against Christian families, and those from other faiths? The lack of spiritual leadership is killing us… We hear nothing but silence from the Church. This has to stop.” (emphasis added)

Ouch.

We’ve reached a place where parents have to think about what to do if our government labels us “child abusers,” because of our faith, and takes away our kids. No parent should have to worry about this. Churches may be nervous or unsure about wading into political issues, but surely when Christian parents are at risk of losing the right to parent according to their faith, the time has come for churches to reclaim their bright lights and saltiness.

May we as believers in the Only One True God never be accused of being silent here in America.

If you and your church are ready to flood a thirsty culture with the Living Water, Family Policy Alliance and our network of 40 state-based family policy groups are ready and eager to help! Our Alliance can make sure you have the latest news on what policies, like the one in Massachusetts, that may affect your family in your state. We’d love to help train you and your church how to be salt and light on the “mission field” of your state capitol. And, if you feel called, we can even get you training in how to talk to the media and testify before the legislature.

Please let us know how we can help at mail@familypolicyalliance.com!

President Trump has sent a letter to public schools rescinding the “bathroom mandate” put in place by the previous administration. The move sends a clear message that privacy and safety is the top priority for our kids.

Autumn Leva, policy director at Family Policy Alliance, tells us there’s much to be grateful for in Trump’s latest action.

TAKE ACTION:

Tell President Trump ‘Thank You’ for Stopping the Bathroom Mandate.

 

Maybe you’ve noticed, but today’s political climate is making for some unlikely friendships.

At a recent event hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation titled Biology Isn’t Bigotry: Why Sex Matters in the Age of Gender Identity, women from different backgrounds and political persuasions came together out of shared concern of the threat that transgender ideology poses to their identity as women.

The first speaker, Kaeley Triller Haver, is a rape survivor and advocate for women’s privacy and safety. Haver told the story of working for the YMCA and being informed they were imposing a policy of opening their bathrooms and locker rooms based on “gender identity.” Her personal experience with male violence made her vigilant about the threat of predators and she needed to speak out. Suddenly, women were “coming out of the woodwork” to share their own experiences and fears.

“When gender identity wins, women always lose,” Haver said.

Another panelist, Miriam Ben Shalom, made history by being the first person reinstated to the military after being discharged for being openly gay. To characterize her perception of those who have deceived themselves about basic gender norms, Ben Shalom opened with a quote from Thomas Paine. “To argue with a man who has renounced reason is like giving medicine to the dead.”

“Transgender issues are not our issues,” she argued. Despite a life spent fighting for gay rights, she told stories of vicious harassment and threats from transgender activists and of being denied the right to serve as Grand Marshal of Milwaukee’s pride parade because of her position on transgender issues.

Ben Shalom is “sick and tired of being disappeared and being told that my words have no value.”

The panel also included Mary Lou Singleton, a board member for WoLF, the radical feminist group that has partnered with Family Policy Alliance in fighting the bathroom agenda at the U.S. Supreme Court. And a statement was read from Emily Zinos, a Minnesota mom who heads up Family Policy Alliance’s Ask Me First campaign in her state. I highly recommend you watch the entire event.

It’s not often groups like Family Policy Alliance and Heritage Foundation find common ground with lesbian activists and radical feminists, but we agree that being a woman is a meaningful thing that must be cherished and preserved. Here in Kansas, we’re doing this by advocating for the Student Privacy Act. Will you join us?

By joining together with unlikely allies, we can make a difference and protect the privacy and safety of our children.


Eric Teetsel
President

PS
No doubt about it, there is important work for us to do. Would you take a moment and contact your elected officials about the Kansas Student Privacy Act? We’ve made it easy through our Action Center.