We regard it as such a respite from the troubles of the world that we often call the auditorium a “sanctuary.” How do we talk to our friends and the young people in our lives when a madman brings so much pain and death to a church?

Gen. Patrick Caruana is chairman of the board for Family Policy Alliance. As someone who served in the U.S. Air Force and is a Texan, he offers some insights into what to say and how to pray.

We invite you to join with us as we pray for the families who are suffering in the aftermath of the church shooting.

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.”

With the devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey still ongoing, Gov. Greg Abbott proclaimed Sunday, September 3, a “Day of Prayer.”

“It is right and fitting,” he wrote in the proclamation, “that the people of Texas should join with their fellow residents and with others from across the country and around the world to seek God’s wisdom for ourselves and our leaders and ask for His merciful intervention and healing in this time of crisis.”

The governor specifically asked for prayers for “first responders, public safety officers, and military personnel, healing of individuals, rebuilding of communities and the restoration of the entire region struck by this disaster.”

Would you share this request for prayer on your Facebook and Twitter? And then join us from wherever you are on Sunday as we all pray for God to abundantly bless Texas.

The battle for student privacy in locker rooms and bathrooms continues in Texas. Today was the first day of a special legislative session called by Gov. Greg Abbott to deal specifically with several key issues, including legislation to keep men out of girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms and other intimate facilities.

Earlier this year, the Texas Senate passed the Texas Privacy Act that guarded Texans’ privacy in areas such as showers, locker rooms and restrooms. But Speaker Joe Straus blocked the bill from even receiving a vote in the Texas House. With Texas only holding legislative sessions in odd-numbered years, it’s paramount that this commonsense legislation is passed now.

Of course, the usual opponents – from the LGBT lobby to the ACLU to big business – are out in force with warnings of grave financial losses if Texas chooses to protect its children.

That’s why it’s critical that Texans – the vast majority of whom support privacy – raise their voices in great numbers this week. Family Policy Alliance has made it easy. Send a message to your state senator and representative – urging them to support privacy for all Texans in this special session.

And whether you live inside or outside of Texas, please share this message with Texas friends and family and encourage them to take one minute to stand up for privacy and protect Texas children.

Thanks for making your voice heard!

 

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.

common-sense

The bathroom issue will be front and center in many states this year, and Texas is no exception.

Right now, the state Senate is considering SB 6, the Texas Privacy Act, that would stop men from getting access to women’s bathrooms, locker rooms and changing areas.

“Texans overwhelmingly oppose these attacks on women’s privacy and safety,” said Jonathan Saenz with Texas Values. “Our Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst are to be commended for introducing this legislation.”

A recent Texas voter survey found a majority of Texans agreeing that public restrooms should be restricted by gender.

“This bill is written not to bring a controversy,” Kolkhorst said. “The Texas Privacy Act is a thoughtful solution to a sensitive issue. It preserves an expected level of privacy for our public schools and buildings. At the same time, it also allows for schools and universities to make personal accommodations for those requesting an alternate setting. The responsibility falls on all of us to protect citizens and ensure that their personal and private rights are secured.”

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a commonsense Texas law that requires abortion facilities to meet the same standards as other surgical centers, putting the lives of women at risk.

Autumn Leva tells us the effects of the decision may be felt far beyond the Lone Star State.

2016-06-27-SupremeCourt

Five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas law today that required abortion sellers to meet the same level of medical safety standards as other similar surgical centers.

Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen Breyer described such basic requirements as an “undue burden.”

The three conservative justices stood against the decision. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “Our law is now so riddled with special exceptions for special rights that our decisions deliver neither predictability nor the promise of a judiciary bound by the rule of law.”

Family Policy Alliance filed a brief with the high court in support of the commonsense law. President Paul Weber said women deserve better than today’s ruling.

“All abortionists and abortion facilities should be held to the same basic standards of care we expect in other surgical centers in our country,” he explained. “Is this ruling really considering the best interests of women? Likely not.”

Jonathan Saenz, president of our ally Texas Values, said the five justices care more about profits for abortion clinics than safety for women.

“Our main concern is the protection of innocent life and Texas women,” he said. “We will continue to stand for women to keep them safe so they are not maimed or die in abortion clinics.”

Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance, said the Court is forcing states to accept “inferior care in order to make it easier for abortion sellers to stay in business.”

“Hillary Clinton is already celebrating it as a victory,” the attorney said. “If she is elected president, we can expect a liberal court for generations.”

CA Abortion Law GraphicHearings are under way in the case of a California law that forces pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion. AB 775 requires licensed medical centers offering services to pregnant women to post a disclosure that California offers free or low-cost abortion and contraception services. It also forces non-medical centers to add large disclosures to all advertisements, even if they don’t provide medical services.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are in court defending the rights of pro-life centers. Matt Bowman asked a district judge to stop the law while the lawsuit proceeds. The judge refused to do so.

“It’s bad enough if the government engages in censorship and tells you what you can’t say,” he said, “but a law that tells you what you must say – under threat of severe punishment – is even more unjust and dangerous.”

Similar laws have been struck down in Texas, Maryland and New York. Bowman hopes that will ultimately be the case in California as well.

“In this case, political allies of the abortion industry are seeking to punish pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women,” he said. Forcing them to promote abortion and recite the government’s messages is a clear violation of their constitutionally protected First Amendment freedoms.”

Worth Fighting For GraphicThis 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’sHealth, 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 partof 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!