If there were any doubt about the timeliness of Save Girls’ Sports Week, the Left has erased that with their latest attack – and your help is urgently needed to stop it!
As you may recall, last month President Trump’s Department of Education released a decision that a Connecticut policy allowing biological males to play in female sports violated federal law. Which law did it violate? Title IX, the federal law that made women’s sports possible at the level we have them today, and whose anniversary we’ve honored this week with Save Girls’ Sports Week. The Department’s decision was a significant step in support of female athletes.
But now Trump’s Administration, and especially the Department of Education, is under intense pressure to walk back its stand for female athletes. Why? Because, in the view of Left-wing lobbyists, the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision from last week that redefined “sex” to include “gender identity” should expand to permit boys’ (who identify as girls) to compete in girls’ sports. In fact, though, the Court (thankfully) refused to deal with other issues like girls’ sports in the Bostock decision. If Bostock were applied to girls’ sports, it would indeed have disastrous effects on women’s opportunities. The Court did not discuss girls’ sports, and we cannot let left-wing activists act as though it did.
Here’s our urgent request for you today: will you send a message to President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, thanking them for their support for female athletes and urging them to STAND STRONG?
So far, the Trump Administration hasn’t buckled, but the pressure is enormous. Your voice – combined with thousands of others – will help bolster any doubters in the Administration.
Finally, thank you for your participation in Save Girls’ Sports Week. Because of you, the #SaveGirlsSports message has spread, we’ve gathered thousands of signatures on our petition to state lawmakers, and geared up for efforts to Save Girls’ Sports in Idaho (the only state with a proactive law to protect girls’ sports) and other states. And it’s not too late to add your voice via social media if you haven’t done so yet!
But most of all today, will you take one minute to make your voice heard to President Trump and Secretary DeVos?
Did you miss it? Last Thursday was Religious Freedom Day—a day commemorating the Virginia legislature adopting Thomas Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom, which eventually led to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the guarantee of religious freedom for all Americans. It wasn’t hard to miss as the mainstream media largely focused on the preparations for the impeachment trial and the Democratic candidates for president.
President Trump celebrated Religious Freedom Day with three new areas of protection for religious freedom. Over the past three years, we have shared with you ways the Trump administration has advanced religious freedom in quite a few areas of policy. At the very beginning of the Trump administration we asked you to urge the president to begin the process to Make Religious Freedom Great Again, which the president eventually did.
We also made sure you knew when he strengthened religious freedom by addressing the abortion pill mandate in Obamacare, conscience rights for healthcare professionals, government contractors and adoption agencies, and even religious freedom abroad – all of which are vital efforts to protect and promote religious freedom for Americans from all walks of life.
Last week, the Trump administration advanced religious freedom in three more important areas.
Student Religious Freedom
The administration will now require every public school in the nation to affirmatively certify that it does not impede, stifle or hamper the religious expression of students. Among other things, the rule reiterates that schools cannot compromise students’ First Amendment rights to pray, read the Bible, be excused for religious observances, and include religious references in school speeches or academic works.
The rule also explicitly reaffirms that schools cannot discriminate against student groups’ rights to pray and organize for prayer or Bible study at permissible times on school property if other extracurricular groups are allowed to meet and organize similarly. Neither can religious groups be subject to different rules or requirements based on their religious nature.
Schools must also have a policy in place to investigate any complaints of religious discrimination and report those complaints to both state and federal education officials.
Perhaps most importantly, the rules clarify that the Equal Access Act absolutely allows student religious groups to limit those eligible to lead their groups to those who are members of their religion. This is important as, in some cases, Christian groups have been targeted because of their requirement that group leaders be Christians and live according to a faith-based morality policy.
Schools that cannot annually certify compliance with this rule risk losing federal funding.
Repealing Obama Administration Anti-Religious Rules
In a second action last week, the Trump administration revoked a discriminatory Obama-era rule that impacted religious organizations unfairly.
The Obama rule placed a burdensome requirement on any faith-based organization providing government-backed social services such as adoption, foster care and homeless assistance, among others. The organizations were required to inform all clients that they were a religious/faith-based provider. If the potential client was then uncomfortable or offended by this, the service provider was required to provide a list of alternate, secular service providers.
The former rule made an automatic assumption that since the provider was a religious entity, clients would immediately take offense and opt to seek services elsewhere. The Obama rule immediately prejudiced faith-based providers as suspect and therefore required them to conduct themselves differently than secular providers. There was no requirement placed on secular providers to make any such declarations about their secular status or to provide alternate referrals to potential clients who desired a faith-based provider.
The final set of religious freedom protections announced last week further clarifies that religious, faith-based entities cannot be singled out or treated differently than secular, non-religious entities in federal grant-making processes. This will level the playing field and eliminate any prejudices against faith-based organizations across nine different federal agencies.
Additionally, the rule prohibits any state or local laws or regulations from superseding this rule in the further distribution of federal grant money to local sub-grantees. In effect, the rule states that no federal money can be further distributed in any manner that discriminates against religious, faith-based organizations due to their religious nature.
The Trump Record
Don’t be surprised if this is the first you are hearing of these changes. With all the noise of partisan bickering in our nation’s capital and election-year politics dominating the headlines, it can be easy to miss the good news – and this is truly good news for our families, our nation and our religious freedom.
The Trump administration has a record of accomplishment on religious freedom and is continuing to deliver on promises to protect our First Amendment rights.
For freedom for the family of believers,
Last fall we alerted you that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was allowing research to be done using aborted fetal tissue. In response to Family Policy Alliance® and other pro-life organizations, HHS ended their contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) which was providing aborted fetal tissue. HHS promised to investigate their other contracts to ensure conformity with the law, as well.
Many of you wrote to Secretary Azar asking that he end all research using aborted babies.
HHS has followed through on their commitment to do further investigation, and just last week, ended another contract with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) that was providing aborted fetal tissue. The agency has committed that they will not enter into any future internal contracts that require the use of aborted fetal tissue. In their statement HHS noted that “the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration.”
HHS has also stated that before funding any external grant contracts seeking to use aborted fetal tissue in research, an internal ethics board will review the proposal.
This administration is committed to following the ethics laws that have been passed by Congress that protect the dignity of aborted babies. Another way they are affirming this commitment is by reviewing alternative research models that do not rely on human fetal tissue.
Not only is this an important win for life but it also shows the impact that you can make when we together not only speak for truth, but also take action in the mission field of public policy and politics.
This is one more example of how your voice does matter. We commend the Administration for taking this bold step that promotes the dignity of every baby and upholds the rule of law. We look forward to working with the Administration in the future to continue to see all life respected.
Brittany Jones, Esq.
President Trump’s Department of Labor has proposed a new federal rule that would protect an important aspect of religious freedom. But the rule is not yet finalized and needs public support to be implemented.
Under the rule, faith-based organizations that contract with the federal government to provide services would be able to “make employment decisions consistent with their sincerely held religious tenets and beliefs without fear of sanction by the federal government.”
While it may seem common-sense to allow religious organizations to act – and to hire – based on their faith, that has become a controversial notion in recent years. Left-leaning groups, particularly of the LGBT variety, falsely charge that allowing such practices by faith-based organizations that contract with the federal government promotes bigotry and discrimination.
That radical viewpoint is already well represented in public comments on the rule. Public comments are a critical part of the federal regulatory process, as every proposed rule must have a 30-day window for the public to express support, opposition, concerns or suggestions.
Thus, it’s very important that those who value religious freedom make their voice heard in support of this proposed rule before September 16. Click here to make your comment.
What do I say in my comment?
While simply indicating your support of the proposed rule is just fine, you may wish to add additional comments. Consider the following to draw from or adapt:
Many faith-based organizations provide valuable services to assist the homeless, the hungry, victims of sexual abuse, and more. These faith-based services are valuable to the government because they are effective and because, by contracting out rather than expanding the government bureaucracy, they save taxpayer dollars. Forcing religious organizations to hire people who disagree with the tenets of their faith would undermine the service and, in many cases, force the faith-based organization to withdraw from providing such services. This proposed rule protects the ability of religious organizations to continue providing their valuable aid to people in need.
Thank you for making your voice heard in support of religious freedom!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
As expected, by a vote of 236 to 173, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed HR 5, Nancy Pelosi’s so-called Equality Act. The bill, if enacted, will decimate religious freedom, conscience rights, women’s rights, parental rights and education policy all across the nation.
We have been updating you on the dangerous effects of this legislation for some time now. While the fight over HR 5 heads to the U.S. Senate, we will continue to keep you abreast of new developments. To that end, we have already set up a page where you can urge your two U.S. senators to oppose HR 5.
In a good development yesterday, the Trump administration announced that it was opposed to HR 5, noting its troubling provisions related to conscience rights and parental rights. However, the fight in the Senate remains critical, as it’s very important to minimize the number of Republican senators who declare their support for the bill. In the House vote today, only eight Republicans voted for HR 5, while 173 voted against it.
Many reading this email took action to let their member of Congress know that they wanted them to oppose HR 5.
How did your member vote? You can find out here. (If you are unsure who your representative is, you can find their name and contact information in our Action Center by entering your zip code and/or address.)
If your member of Congress voted against HR 5, please let them know that you appreciate their stand for religious freedom, parental rights and conscience protections.
The Family Policy Alliance Team
By Brittany Jones, Esq.
Last week, we told you about the letter that Family Policy Alliance – along with over 40 pro-life organizations – sent to Alex Azar, who heads the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). We asked Secretary Azar to cancel a contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources that procured aborted baby parts for research in mice.
The response was swift! In response to the letter we sent, HHS rescinded the contract. This is a huge win for the pro-life movement and shows that our voice can and does make a difference. By your support, we are able to use our collective voices to affect departmental policies like this. Importantly, the Press Release from the department states:
“[The Advanced Bioscience Resources’] contract has been terminated, and HHS is now conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal-tissue research laws and regulations. In addition, HHS has initiated a comprehensive review of all research involving fetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved.”
There is still much more to be done. HHS is still doing research using aborted babies, just not with this specific company. It is important that you ask them to end all research that requires aborted babies. They are investigating their practices, which will hopefully lead to them banning all research of this nature. However, they need to hear from you.
Please thank Secretary Azar for cancelling this contract and call on him to end all research using aborted babies. It only takes a moment on our Action Center.
Let him know this not how the HHS should be using your tax dollars, but rather these funds should be used to fund ethical alternatives. This is a fantastic first step and shows that the Trump Administration is listening. But there is more to be done to protect the dignity of the pre-born.
Brittany Jones, Esq., is policy manager for Family Policy Alliance
“Respecting the inherent dignity of persons from conception to natural death”: That’s just one way a draft policy by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) affirms a pro-life worldview.
The “HHS Strategic Plan, FY 2018-2022“contains multiple references to life beginning at conception. It recommends that department policy reflect that scientific fact.
During the Obama Administration, every new action by the White House seemed to decrease protections for preborn babies. And it sent billions of our tax dollars to organizations that promote or provide abortion – in the U.S. and overseas.
But the Trump Administration is weaving a culture of life back into the federal government.
“HHS accomplishes its mission,” the draft plan explains,” through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of 61 activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”
The HHS Strategic Plan sets the agency’s policy goals for the next four years. As well as affirming life, the Plan consistently acts to protect people of faith. It seeks to remove, “barriers for faith-based and other providers, in order to expand access to health care.”
The position for Secretary of HHS is currently vacant. It’s important to ensure that HHS continues to protect life through the selection of a someone who is firmly committed to pro-life values.
Ask President Trump to nominate a defender of life to be Secretary of HHS. We’ve made it quick and easy to send a message through our Action Center.
President Trump has rescinded the “bathroom mandate” put in place by the Obama administration. That order was sent to schools around the country in a “Dear Colleague” letter and directed public schools to open all girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and changing areas to boys who say they identify as girls.
Moms and daughters objected, but the previous administration stood firm by their redefinition of the term “sex” in Title IX to include gender identity. Title IX was passed in order to give girls educational and athletic opportunities previously denied them.
“What we were taught in kindergarten, boys use the boys room and girls use the girls room, was made old fashioned by liberal bureaucrats,” said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. “Thanks to the Trump administration, parents and schools will remain free to protect the privacy and well-being of every student.”
Family Policy Alliance has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with radical feminist group WoLF in a case involving transgender bathrooms in schools. The Gloucester case will be heard by the high court on March 28th.
Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance, said the executive branch does not have the authority to change laws passed by our elected representatives in Congress.
“Of course, Congress never intended for a statute meant to help women access educational opportunities to be used to violate women’s privacy,” she said. “We applaud President Trump’s administration for undoing that nonsensical and unconstitutional ‘bathroom mandate,’ and we look forward to the Supreme Court upholding children’s basic privacy and safety rights in the Gloucester case.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Visit Ask Me First to learn more about our work to preserve privacy and safety.
Family Policy Alliance and many other groups are urging the new administration to address sexual exploitation as they take office in January.
The group, which includes Paul Weber of Family Policy Alliance, Alan Sears of Alliance Defending Freedom and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, has penned a letter to help the new leadership understand that “America is suffering from a sexual exploitation crisis.”
They are asking that “through the presidential appointment process, presidential directives and policies,” the federal government address “the full spectrum of harm” being done to our society.
The letter will be sent to Vice President-elect Mike Pence.