On Friday, a GOP congressman from Utah introduced a bill that is fashioned as a grand compromise between the LGBT movement and proponents of religious freedom.
The backers of the bill, who have titled it “Fairness for All,” may be well intentioned. But as famed economist Milton Friedman once stated: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
And the results of “Fairness for All” would be very similar to its close cousin, the so-called “Equality Act” that is being pushed by LGBT activists. Just like the Equality Act and similar SOGI laws in 21 states, “Fairness for All” enshrines “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into civil rights laws, alongside race.
One would expect a meaningful compromise to include, at the very least, a religious exemption for wedding vendors who have been targeted by LGBT activists. But no, the only religious exemptions are for churches and other religious non-profits – the very groups that least need them, as they are already protected under longstanding legal precedents.
Though this bill is put forward by a Republican, it’s reminiscent of the Obama doctrine of “freedom of worship”: What you believe inside the four walls of your church is just fine, but don’t expect “freedom of religion” to live out your beliefs in everyday life.
“Fairness for All” also punishes parents who believe in biblical marriage and sexuality – in some cases requiring that children be placed in homes that affirm liberal views on sexual orientation and gender identity. And if a child is a ward of the state, only counseling that affirms the child’s transgender identity is allowed.
What are the roots of this mostly one-sided compromise?
Some believe that the LGBT movement’s SOGI laws are inevitable, so we just need to get whatever protections we can now. But there are big problems with this view:
- Other than Utah, no state has passed a SOGI law in nearly a decade. And Utah was a unique situation in which a compromise was pushed through by the LDS (Mormon) church, whose leadership has been increasingly accommodating of the LGBT agenda.
- Even at the local level, the LGBT lobby’s progress in passing SOGIs has slowed, as they have already achieved most of their “low-hanging fruit” – big cities, university towns, etc.
- Plus, we are beginning to win in the courts, with more wins likely. This is no time to raise the white flag in order to “get what we can.”
Encouragingly, only a handful of Republican members of Congress have co-sponsored this legislation. In addition to the primary sponsor, Chris Stewart (UT-02), the following Republicans are co-sponsors: Mark Amodei (NV-02), Rob Bishop (UT-01), John Curtis (UT-03), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), David Joyce (OH-14), Mike Simpson (ID-02), Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Fred Upton (MI-06).
Still, it is very important that other Republicans (and Democrats as well) hear from their constituents who are opposed to this one-sided compromise.
Thanks for making your voice heard and spreading the word.
For religious freedom,
How would you react if an employee at your favorite restaurant cursed at you because of your beliefs and forced you to leave?
This just happened to a team member who works for our Nebraska state allied group, Nebraska Family Alliance. Marilyn handled the situation in her favorite coffee and crepe shop with all grace, a true example of what it means to be salt and light in today’s culture.
But the story is much bigger than Marilyn’s experience at a local coffee shop in Lincoln, Nebraska. The real story is about what we believe America should be and the legacy we hope to leave to our children.
As Marilyn said so well in her letter, Americans “will inevitably disagree on political and policy issues.” Even deeper, Americans who carry the flag for the LGBT movement will inevitably hold different worldviews from Americans who are Bible-believing, Christ-followers—and those competing worldviews will lead to disagreements in law and culture.
Yet the America we envision is one where all are free to hold their own beliefs, without the government forcing anyone’s beliefs on someone else. We envision an America where every person is shown respect, yet free to voice their opinions.
In other words, we believe that the barista’s behavior toward Marilyn was wrong, but we also wouldn’t support a Christian barista yelling at an LGBT patron and forcing her to leave a coffeeshop. We believe that a Christian bakery owner shouldn’t be forced to create a custom-made cake for a same-sex wedding, but we also believe that an LGBT bakery owner shouldn’t be forced to create a custom-made cake for our Christian ministry’s anniversary.
We invite you to read Marilyn’s story from Lincoln, Nebraska below, and we hope you’ll agree with her that the bigger story about the kind of Nebraska—and America—she envisions is indeed possible.
Read Marilyn’s story: I Was Cursed Out of a Coffee Shop for My Views. We Can All Do Better.
~The Family Policy Alliance Team
We can give House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this—she doesn’t hide her priorities. True to her word, this week Pelosi and Representative David Cicilline, an openly gay Democrat from Rhode Island, introduced H.R. 5, the so-called “Equality Act.” The bill adds the classifications of “sexual orientation and gender identity” as special protected classes in federal Civil Rights statutes—giving those classifications the same level of protection in law as “race” or “religion.”
House leadership typically reserves the top ten bill numbers (H.R. 1 – H.R. 10) for bills they consider to be highly important. That means that Pelosi and House Democrats believe that enshrining “sexual orientation and gender identity” into Civil Rights law is in their top five priorities for the whole country.
Pelosi, Democrats, and leading national LGBT activist groups believe H.R. 5 is essential to prevent “discrimination” against individuals identifying as LGBTQ+. For most of us Americans who aren’t busy advancing a radical sexual ideology, “discrimination” means we don’t want anyone being made fun of or physically assaulted, denied a table at a restaurant (unless their own bad behavior warrants it), being told to sit in the back of the bus, or forced to attend a separate school.
That’s probably why, according to polling released by Public Religion Research Institute, faith groups of all denominations, including white evangelicals, support “nondiscrimination protections” for LGBT-identifying individuals.
But here’s the rub. To quote The Princess Bride—that word doesn’t mean what you think it means.
To Pelosi and supporters of H.R. 5, “discrimination” means something entirely different. “Discrimination” means that your Christian beliefs about sex, sexuality, marriage, parenting, education, and your calling to live out your faith are the same as Nazism and lynchings in the South—and must not be tolerated.
And that is why H.R. 5 is, in our opinion, the most dangerous piece of legislation put forward by Democrat leadership.
Since H.R. 5 is at the top of the Democratic agenda, we have 5 practical ways the bill could seriously harm all of us:
States with laws or regulations similar to H.R. 5 already require men and boys to have access to girls’ locker rooms, restrooms, and athletic teams. Girls will also likely be forced to compete against boys for female scholarships and awards.
We are also seeing states with language similar to H.R. 5 forcing LGBT-specific sexual education curriculum on every public school in the state, requiring LGBT lessons to be woven into all curriculum (e.g., history, social studies, math, etc.), and even allowing schools to keep private files on students who identify as LGBT that not even parents can access.
In most cases, parents do not have the option to opt-out their children from the curriculum. And, children themselves who are uncomfortable with sharing private spaces with the opposite sex or who don’t want to be forced to refer to a “her” as a “him” will likely be punished and subject to “LGBT sensitivity training.”
Perhaps most disturbing of all, states and countries with language similar to H.R. 5 are stripping parents of custody when they do not want their children to undergo experimental hormone regimens for the purpose of “gender transition.”
Supporters of H.R. 5 believe that children must have access to gender transition services—and that parents who are uncomfortable with altering their child’s natural sexual development, even to the point of causing sterilization in their child, are child abusers!
Parents in Ohio recently lost custody of their biological daughter for refusing to consent to gender-transition hormones.
A Canadian father was also told he can’t object to his daughter taking testosterone, he must refer to her as a “him,” and he must not try to persuade her to consider other options besides gender transition. Doing any of those things would be a form of child abuse under Canadian law.
H.R. 5 carries very serious risks to parents and their ability to act in their children’s best interests.
H.R. 5 will likely require employees and business owners to refer to one another with a person’s “preferred pronouns.” In other words, if a female employee identifies herself as male, all employees may be forced to refer to her as a “him.”
Business owners will also likely be forced to open up bathrooms to the opposite sex, opening the door to serious privacy violations or even sexual assault for female employees and patrons.
Business owners may even be forced to provide “gender transition” medical coverage for employees.
And the punishment for business owners and employees who don’t comply with these forced speech or policy changes? Risk losing your job or facing heavy fines. In states that already have a state version of H.R. 5, some business owners even risk criminal charges.
H.R. 5 puts even nonprofit, faith-based ministries at risk. Ministries will likely be forced to affirm same-sex marriage, open up their restroom or other private facilities to the opposite sex, require their employees and those they are serving to affirm gender transition, and much more.
And, if ministries can’t comply because of the teachings of their faith? They risk their nonprofit status, being sued for “discrimination,” and even their ability to serve at all.
Faith-based adoption agencies were already forced out of several states with laws similar to H.R. 5. Ministries risk their license to operate and their ability to work with the state to provide services such as placing foster children in forever homes.
5. Medical Professionals
H.R. 5 will likely have a devastating effect on medical professionals. Counselors, even Christian counselors, will be forced to provide therapy guiding a young person toward same-sex attraction or gender transition—while being forbidden by law to provide counseling to help young people manage unwanted same-sex attraction or affirm God’s design for their body’s sex.
Doctors will likely be required to provide gender transition hormones and even sex-change operations, regardless of the doctors’ religious beliefs or even their professional judgment that such changes would not be in the best interest of their patients.
The punishment for doctors who don’t comply? They risk being sued for “discrimination,” losing their professional license and their career, and even being labeled as “child abusers.”
Pelosi’s H.R. 5 would be the most sweeping and devastating legislation to impact children, parents, schools, businesses, ministries, the medical profession, and people of faith as a whole (regardless of denomination) that our country has ever seen. The importance of stopping H.R. 5 cannot be overstated.
So what can you do?
We are asking each one of you to contact your U.S. Representative now to ask them to VOTE NO on H.R. 5. This bill needs to stop in the House right now. American families need to send a strong message to our leaders that this type of legislation has no place in our country.
Standing together in faith,
Autumn Leva, Esq.
Vice President of Strategy
Barronelle Stutzman, great grandmother and Washington State florist, was prosecuted and could lose everything, simply for declining to create custom flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding. A similar law is about to be voted on in Helena, and your action is needed.
Montana is neighborly and welcoming – a great place to raise a family and to live out your faith.
But now, some legislators are pushing a bill that would punish people for their ideas and beliefs. This is a battle that needs the attention of all Montanans. A vote is possible on Friday, so your action is needed today!
The bill (House Bill 465) is known as a SOGI law because it offers special protections for “sexual orientation and gender identity” classes.
Do you remember Jack Phillips? He is the Colorado baker who recently won a Supreme Court case, after being prosecuted under a SOGI law for declining to bake a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding.
Do you remember Barronelle Stutzman? She is the florist in Washington State (pictured above) who is also being prosecuted under SOGI laws for declining to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. She, like Jack, is at grave risk of losing her home and business from fines and legal costs.
Over and over again, SOGI laws have been the leading tool used by the Left to attack religious freedom. And the gender identity component puts the privacy and safety of women and girls at risk by opening women’s bathrooms, showers, dressing rooms and other public accommodations to men.
This bill will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Friday morning. You can send a message to each of the committee members – urging them to vote NO – with just a click on our Action Center.
Please make your voice heard for freedom! Thanks for taking action and spreading the word!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
In association with our state ally, Montana Family Foundation
By Autumn Leva – Vice President of Strategy
The top LGBT activist groups in the country have a well-coordinated plan.
Their “golden calf” is to add the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” to every state’s and our federal so-called nondiscrimination laws so that anyone who identifies themselves with those classifications gets special protections under the law—just like we intentionally have for the classifications of race, national origin, religion, and others.
To be clear, it’s a big deal to add a new group’s classification to nondiscrimination laws—and it should be.
There are times when special protections for a group are necessary and right. Our country’s history of systemic and deeply-rooted slavery, racism, exclusion, and even violence toward the Black community is a clear example of one of these times. The federal Civil Rights (nondiscrimination) laws protecting individuals from discrimination simply because they belong to a particular racial group provided critical—and even life-saving—protections for Black Americans. Prior to the Civil Rights laws, it was legal for not just a private business owner, but even a government office, to deny a person employment simply because of the color of his skin.
The point is that we reserve creating “special protected groups” in the law for the most serious and compelling reasons like systemic racism.
This is why the LGBT lobby has found it difficult to convince lawmakers to add their preferred groups of “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the states’ nondiscrimination laws—because the LGBT advocacy groups haven’t been able to show state-sponsored systemic and deeply-rooted discrimination against their preferred groups.
State lawmakers are right to reject adding the LGBT lobby’s special groups because the “sexual orientation group” is based upon behavior, which makes it very hard to define. And the “gender identity group” is based upon a person identifying on a spectrum of boy to girl, or seemingly infinite other possibilities anywhere between (or not identifying on the spectrum at all)—again, making that group hard to define and therefore hard to determine how to protect in the law.
But the LGBT national groups are undeterred. They’ve instead shifted their focus from state Capitols to targeting vulnerable towns and cities across America—passing “sexual orientation and gender identity” special classifications at the city level. This means that in some states, the college towns and most liberal cities list sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes, but the rest of the state does not. This causes confusion in the law and creates problems for well-meaning citizens—especially business owners—in those targeted cities.
But here’s the encouraging news…some states are successfully pushing back, protecting their individual cities and maintaining consistency in their state’s protected classes. Arkansas is one state that has successfully pushed back, with the help of our state ally, Arkansas Family Council!
Several years ago, Arkansas Family Council helped state legislators successfully pass a law that makes clear that an individual city cannot add any new “protected class” that is not a protected class listed in the statewide statutes. Despite this good law, Fayetteville, Arkansas attempted to add “sexual orientation and gender identity” as protected classes in 2015. After years of legal battles, at the end of January the Arkansas Supreme Court finally ruled that Fayetteville cannot enforce their “sexual orientation and gender identity” ordinance because it violates Arkansas state law regarding protected classes. Congratulations, Arkansas!
So far, only a few states (Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee) prevent their cities from adding “sexual orientation and gender identity” as new protected legal classes. We need more states to follow their lead!
So what can you do?
- Be a light in your city!
Know what’s going on in your city, and let your local state family policy council know immediately if your city is considering adding new protected classes. We’ll need your help to rally others who will join together to help city leaders understand why adding new protected classes is a bad idea.
- Contact your state lawmaker!
Ask your state lawmakers to pass a bill like Arkansas’ that prevents cities in your state from adding new protected classes! Find your state lawmakers HERE.
Standing for Truth with you,
Vice President of Strategy
There are many reasons to vote this fall – from candidates to ballot measures. Voters in Massachusetts just got another reason, and the rest of America had better pay attention.
A few weeks ago, a man – who says he’s a woman – asked a Massachusetts spa for a full-body wax, including a Brazilian wax, which is the removal of all hair in the private and buttocks areas. Except the spa only provides intimate beauty services by women, for women. For this reason, the spa had to turn the man away, but referred him to a men’s spa.
Any reasonable person would agree that the spa had every right to refuse to force one of their female employees to provide intimate services to this man. None of us would say that’s bigotry; it’s simply biology — and decency.
Yet, this man decided he had been discriminated against, and he enlisted the help of attorney Mason Dunn to file a complaint.
Interestingly enough, Mason Dunn is co-chairman of the LGBT’s radical ballot measure campaign, “Vote Yes on Question 3” in Massachusetts.
In 2016, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law to give special legal protections to people who claim to be transgender. Among other impacts, it allowed men into the public-private spaces of women such as pool locker rooms and bathrooms. Women who object to a man in their private space can face legal action. Under the law, a mom could be fined for asking a man to leave a pool shower room, even if her young daughter is present!
Massachusetts cannot and should not be allowed to violate the constitutional rights of men and women in the name of false equality. There is a reason we have sex-segregated spaces in our culture. We have designated spaces exclusively for women and men to protect their natural and constitutional rights to privacy, dignity, and safety.
The demand for a Brazilian wax is a logical – though perverse – application of the new law’s requirement that there be no discrimination against those who claim to be transgendered.
This is why Family Policy Alliance is a major supporter of the efforts of Keep MA Safe and Massachusetts Family Institute. These organizations have partnered to mobilize thousands in Massachusetts to force the new law onto the ballot. On Nov. 6, if a majority of Massachusetts voters reject Question 3, the new law will be removed from the books.
These developments in Massachusetts are a shot across the bow to the rest of the nation, showing yet another place where the transgender agenda will lead.
But it’s also a reminder of the critical importance of voting – on ballot measures and on the elected officials who pass such destructive laws in the first place.
Gov. Sununu is about to decide whether two dangerous bills become law in New Hampshire. Your voice is needed to urge him to veto them.
We told you last month about one of them, HB 587. It would push many minors toward transgenderism – by allowing counseling that encourages them toward sex change, but banning counseling that helps them identify with their birth sex. The same would apply to kids with unwanted same-sex attractions. This bill would create a one-way street for New Hampshire kids – towards transgenderism and homosexuality.
The other bill is HB 1319, which creates a special class of civil rights based on “gender identity.” As our friends at Cornerstone Action observe, all New Hampshire residents are already protected under anti-discrimination law. This bill simply creates special rights for a few people on the basis of “gender identity.” If this bill becomes law, any man who claims to be a woman will be allowed to use women’s locker rooms, showers and bathrooms. It will also create inequities in sports, scholarships, etc.
Here’s what you can do:
- Please send a note to the Governor, asking him to veto both of these bills. You can reach him with just a click at our Action Center.
- Please pass this email along to friends so they can make their voice heard as well.
Thank you for taking action!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
Your state representative could vote any day now on a bill that would seriously attack religious freedom – even putting the livelihoods of some Massachusetts business owners on the line. The state House is likely to vote on this soon, and your voice is needed to help stop it!
H.767 would prevent corporations from claiming certain religious exemptions – stripping away the protections for many business owners that were affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby decision.
If H.767 passes, business owners who decline business for religious reasons would be subject to fines and penalties up to $50,000 for repeated violations, not including damages and legal fees. This could include a baker who declines to bake a same-sex wedding cake.
It could also go much further. For example, as our allies at Massachusetts Family Institute have observed, this bill could be used against a Muslim sign maker who refuses to print a “Go Crusaders” banner for the Holy Cross football team. The potential reach of this bill is widespread, and the consequences for affected businesses could be devastating.
Should Massachusetts business owners be forced to choose between living out their faith and providing for their family?
If you believe the answer is no, please take a moment to urge your state representative to vote against this bill. It only takes a moment at our Action Center.
Thank you for making your voice heard!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
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.
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.