Family Policy Alliance joins Texas Values in advocating for the “Save Chick-fil-A”
bill that became law in Texas this year
Like millions of families across the nation, my family stood in line in the Phoenix hot summer sun, waiting patiently to get into our locaL Chick-fil-A. Hours passed while polite, caring patrons stood in support—not to “Eat Mor Chikin,”—but rather to stand firm for truth. As hours passed, umbrellas for shade were brought and shared, water appeared and was distributed, hats passed down the line and…no one left. It was a grassroots movement for something greater and a memorable moment for Americans holding traditional values.
The occasion for solidarity was that Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy had just been vilified by the press and “right wing watch-dog” groups—like the ones that call Family Policy Alliance® a hate group—for saying in passing that he supports marriage between one man and one woman. This prompted self-appointed radicals to descend upon Chick-fil-A stores where they hoped to intimidate young, service-minded employees and catch them in “gay hate.” Instead, what they found were well-trained young Americans responding to intolerance with grace.
It also turned out to be the best sales day in history for Chick-fil-A, and a loyal, nationwide Christian following was galvanized…until last week.
By now you know the Chick-fil-A Foundation made the decision to bend the knee to the Baals of political correctness and cut funding to groups who hold to a biblical definition of marriage, family, and faith. At the end of this note, I am including some links that provide the context around the story, including the people involved: Tim Tassopoulos, Chick-fil-A’s President and COO; the Chick-fil-A Foundation Director, Rodney Bullard, and his ties to a leftist organization; a statement from Chick-fil-A Owner, Dan Cathy, through Franklin Graham; and an article about Chick-fil-A Founder, Truett Cathy’s values.
Rather than restate what is in public, you can decide for yourself. However, I would like to share a few other observations:
- Family Policy Alliance supports our free market system. As a result, private business owners have the right to make decisions about who they serve and what to do with their profits. Notice, the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A is never about their actual business—selling chicken! It’s about their values (and ours!) and who they financially support as a result of those values. Chick-fil-A can support who they wish, and we will stand for their right to do that. Just as we stand every day for the rights of the parent, the photographer, the wedding planner, and the Christian counselor who, because of their values, are being persecuted by radicals with the government’s help.
- We understand that this announcement to defund certain Christian charities came as a surprise to the local Chick-fil-A owner-operators around the nation, many of whom are Christ-followers and supporters. We are hearing that they, too, are equally frustrated with “corporate.” Over the years, Family Policy Alliance and many of our allies have benefitted from their generosity, so rather than boycott our local Chick-fil-A restaurants, how about we all double down and support them even more? In fact, you can click on the “letter of local support” below, take it with you, and hand it to your local owner. This letter encourages local owners to make their voices heard to their corporate leadership directly—perhaps a better way to encourage a course correction.
- Lastly, Christians—and Christian business owners in particular—need to recognize the times. Capitulating to the radical Left’s demands is not enough for them. They will not be satisfied until we renounce our faith and withdraw completely from the public square, or be persecuted. Instead of capitulation, how about we became more vocal for truth—not with malice and “finger pointing,” but out of love for neighbor. Isn’t that what we are called to do?
Just a few months ago, Family Policy Alliance proudly stood by Texas Values, our Texas ally, who led the way on the “Save Chick-fil-A” religious freedom bill that passed through the Texas legislature and was subsequently signed by Governor Greg Abbott. As quoted in the Dallas News, “The bill was born out of the city of San Antonio’s vote to boot Chick-fil-A from the airport based on its charitable donations to certain Christian organizations.” The new law ensures that state and local governments cannot punish individuals and businesses because of their membership or association with a religious organization, or because of their donation to a religious organization.
Our legislative advocacy prevailed – and in so doing we protected everyone (not just Chick-fil-A) from religious discrimination. We did not sue anyone as the Left does. Instead, we did what the constitution requires. We promoted legislation to remedy actual constituents’ problems, which was debated and advanced by local elected officials who are held accountable by their own voters. This is how we can, together, stand firm and advocate for good laws that support our values.
If you would like to support a local organization that is standing for you, your values, and the values that the Cathy Family says they hold, please check out our state Allies Page, click on your state organization, and send them a gift today! Together, we are your voice in the public square and in the statehouses across America.
Standing (in long lines and for a lifetime) for Family Values,
President & CEO
By John Paulton, Mobilization Manager
On Tuesday, Texans went to the polls for the state’s Primary Election. By the time the votes were counted early Wednesday morning, it was evident that voters had sent a strong message in support of religious freedom and protecting student privacy.
Perhaps the most notable race on these issues was Lisa Luby Ryan’s defeat of incumbent Rep. Jason Villalba in the Dallas area. Villalba was one of the most vocal opponents of the Texas Privacy Act, which would have ensured that students use the bathrooms and showers of their biological sex.
In addition, Villalba was one of two House Republicans to vote against a religious freedom bill that protects the conscience rights of faith-based adoption agencies, a bill that was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2017. Outgoing Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (a moderate Republican who killed the Texas Privacy Act) donated money to Villalba’s campaign.
Ryan took a strong stand in support of student privacy and religious freedom, and voters rewarded her with a victory over Villalba.
Family Policy Alliance was pleased to work with our ally Texas Values Action to spread the word about where the candidates stood – even providing a substantial grant that was used for tens of thousands of mailers, phone calls and digital ads.
“Last night proves that, by and large, candidates and voters who stand by Texas values win,” said Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values Action. “Congratulations to all of our endorsed candidates on some hard-fought races – all of which show the importance of faith and family in Texas.”
Jonathan added: “Every Texas Values Action-endorsed candidate in the Texas House that supported the Texas Privacy Act won their election.” This should send a powerful message to Texas legislators and lawmakers in other states—families want leaders who will stand strong for their values, especially protecting their children’s privacy in schools.
Other notable victories, among many, included pro-family Sen. Bob Hall fending off a strong challenge from state Rep. Cindy Burkett. And in East Texas, Thomas McNutt will go to a runoff after a strong showing in a seat vacated by another state representative who played a key role in defeating last year’s Texas Privacy Act.
Even some pro-family challengers who faced very long odds against entrenched incumbents did surprisingly well.
Paul Weber, President of Family Policy Alliance, expressed thanks to supporters who made this week’s victories possible. “This wouldn’t have happened without the good people who give, work and pray to support Family Policy Alliance and our allied state groups like Texas Values Action.”
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Texas Values, one of our 40 state-based allies.
In the only case of its kind, and in a major victory for Texas Values and Houston taxpayers, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the City of Houston’s request to review whether Houston taxpayers may challenge the city’s policy of providing spousal benefits to the homosexual partners of city employees.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Houston taxpayers Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks may proceed with their lawsuit challenging the city’s policy, and the high court’s action leaves the state supreme court’s ruling in place.
The Texas House Speaker who consistently stood in the way of efforts to protect the privacy and safety of women in restrooms, locker rooms and showers, now says he will not seek re-election.
Dubbed a “moderate Republican” by the news media, Joe Straus was out of step with the people of the reliably conservative state. As well as stopping the bathroom bill, he also put the brakes on a school-choice plan to help families provide their children a better education through a private or Christian school.
Jonathan Saenz, president of our ally Texas Values, said a key committee chairman, Byron Cook, also announced he was stepping down.
“After 50-plus county Republican parties have censored or issued statements criticizing Speaker Straus and Chairman Cook, it seemed only a matter of time before the mounting grassroots and electoral pressure was too great for them to continue in office,” Saenz said. “Straus and Cook were the main opponents who held back the priority bills of a majority of Republicans in the House, including the Texas Privacy Act.”
Texas Values is one of 40 state allies that Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside.
Legislation designed to allow faith-based foster homes and adoption agencies to keep operating according to their faith-based principles (HB 3859) was signed today by Gov. Greg Abbott.
The new law, called the Freedom to Serve Children Act, protects faith-based providers from being targets of discrimination or litigation if they do not refer girls for abortion or if they only place children in homes with a married mother and father.
One-fourth of all foster care agencies in Texas are faith-based, but there has been a trend nationally of religious placement organizations closing as the result of being forced to deny their beliefs. Because of the crisis in state-run foster care, faith-based providers have been asked to do more to help care for foster children. Many faith-based providers want to do so, but Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, said state law previously did not protect them from being targets of grant discrimination or litigation.
“The signing into law of the Freedom to Serve Children Act is a major victory for children and for religious liberty in Texas. Faith-based providers across Texas are now free to recruit foster families and place children with loving families,” he explained. “HB 3859 ensures that there’s a place at the table for everyone at a time when Texas children need everyone at the table.”
Learn more about Texas Values.
This message must ring loud and clear to our seniors, and those with disabilities or terminal illnesses: “We will not abandon you to assisted suicide.” And, because of you, this message is being heard at state capitols across the nation.
Through your support, CitizenLink (soon to be Family Policy Alliance), our national ally Focus on the Family and our state ally Colorado Family Action worked to stop Colorado’s Assisted Suicide bill in its tracks. CitizenLink’s state allies in Minnesota, Maryland and Hawaii also stopped Assisted Suicide bills. Christ calls us to walk with those who suffer, not abandon them without hope—because love lifts life up. Thank you for sharing this message through your support of CitizenLink and our allies.
With your help, this spring CitizenLink was also a voice for women and children at the U.S. Supreme Court. Along with allies Susan B. Anthony List and Students for Life of America, CitizenLink led a friend-of-the-court brief in Whole Woman’s Health, the most significant abortion case to reach the Court in 25 years. And that brief was drafted by the legal arm of our Pennsylvania ally. The Court is expected to release its decision in June.
The case arose when abortionists in Texas didn’t like the commonsense regulations the Texas Legislature passed, with the help of our ally, Texas Values. The law required abortion facilities to meet the same standards as other outpatient surgical facilities. CitizenLink’s brief informed the Court that abortion businesses shouldn’t get a free pass on basic health standards, simply to keep them in the market.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who argued in defense of Texas’ pro-life law, said: “The amicus brief cosponsored by CitizenLink was a critical part of the overall argument presented to the Supreme Court, and I am very grateful for those that stood with my office in defense of women’s health.”
Thank you for partnering with us to tell the Court that we must protect both women and their babies!
“The Obama administration has demonstrated it cannot be trusted…”
Merrick Garland is President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia.
Pro-family groups want the Senate to wait until after the presidential election to take any action on a nominee.
“This changes nothing,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser with Susan B. Anthony List. “We do not know this nominee but we do know Barack Obama. Anyone he nominates will join the voting bloc on the Court that consistently upholds abortion on-demand.”
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“The Obama administration has demonstrated it cannot be trusted to respect the rule of law, the Constitution and the limits of its own authority,” said attorney Casey Mattox with Alliance Defending Freedom. “So it should be no surprise that the American people would be highly skeptical that any nominee this president puts forth would be acceptable.”
“President Obama has already appointed two judicial activists to the Court,” said Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values,” that have voted to redefine marriage and have opposed religious freedom and protecting life in the Hobby Lobby decision.”
Senate Republicans continue to say they will not hold hearings on any nominee. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor after the announcement.
“It is the president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court Justice and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on the president, and withhold its consent,” he said. “Our view is: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.”