The Washington Supreme Court ruled today that the government can force Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, to create floral arrangements for same-sex weddings or face heavy penalties.
Stutzman’s attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) argued that she was protected by the First Amendment.
“This case is about crushing dissent,” said Kristen Waggoner, ADF senior counsel. “In a free America, people with differing beliefs must have room to coexist. It’s wrong for the state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will. Freedom of speech and religion aren’t subject to the whim of a majority; they are constitutional guarantees.”
ADF is already making plans to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The case points out the need for the Trump Administration to make good on its campaign promise to strengthen religious freedom. The President has the opportunity to sign an executive order doing just that, but so far has not done so.
“Signing the executive order would be a great first step,” said Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance. “Christians in our country should not risk losing their businesses, their homes or their life savings because the government insists on forcing them to choose between their livelihood and their faith. Without Congress passing laws to keep the government from discriminating, there will be a lot more cases just like Barronelle.”
Urge the President to sign the religious freedom executive order.
The post Court Rules Against Florist’s First Amendment Rights appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
Several states have passed laws that move the pendulum back toward a more family-friendly culture.
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work with 40 state-based family groups who are working to protect life, promote the family and preserve religious freedom.
Arkansas – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law the Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act.
Planned Parenthood regularly uses dilation and evacuation for abortions after the 12th or 14th week of pregnancy. That will be illegal now in the state of Arkansas.
The law is expected to be challenged in court.
North Dakota – House Bill 1386, a proposal that would have allowed men access to women’s locker rooms, restrooms and shower facilities was soundly defeated in North Dakota.
Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota asked people to contact their lawmakers and urge them to vote “no” on the bill. That effort resulted in 69 votes against and 22 votes for the measure.
South Dakota – The South Dakota Senate unanimously passed a resolution that puts pornography in the same class as other public health crises like epidemics.
The measure cites research showing that porn use can lead to risky behaviors and can even result in eating disorders and other mental health issues.
Virginia – The House of Delegates passed a bill that supports religious freedom. HB 2025 says that religious organizations and individuals such as pastors cannot be punished by the government if they refuse to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe had recently issued an executive order barring state contracts with businesses the follow the dictates of their faith. McAuliffe says he will veto the bill.
The House of Delegates also passed a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Find a group in your state.
We’re 25 days into the Trump presidency. How have his choices and policies to date affected the family?
Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance, runs down Trump’s cabinet nominees, executive orders and other actions that strengthen family values.
The post Family Values Under Trump | Family Policy Briefing appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
Pro-lifers will gather outside more than 200 Planned Parenthood facilities in 44 states on Saturday to call for defunding of the abortion seller.
Congress is considering legislation that would reallocate funds from Planned Parenthood to more life-affirming options.
“The federal government has been subsidizing Planned Parenthood to the tune of more than $430 million annually,” said Eric Scheidler, national organizer of #ProtestPP. “This, at the same time that the nation’s largest abortion provider holds $500 a ticket fundraisers and charges a woman about $500 to abort her baby. Taxpayers are sickened to see their money spent in support of these atrocities.”
The protests will focus on four points:
“The majority of Americans want taxpayer funding to go to real women’s health care, not abortion,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “This Saturday, that majority will let their voices be heard at #ProtestPP gatherings nationwide.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Find a #ProtestPP location near you.
The post Pro-Lifers Rally Nationwide to Defund Planned Parenthood appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
This week, Tucker Carlson Tonight looked at the joint amicus brief filed by Family Policy Alliance and Women’s Liberation Front, known as WoLF. Kara Dansky, an attorney with WoLF, told Carlson that the transgender movement is harmful to women and girls.
“If we define sex, under Title IX, to mean gender identity,” Dansky said on Fox News, “what we’re essentially saying is that ‘women and girls’ can mean ‘anyone who self-identifies as women and girls,’ which makes the category ‘women and girls’ meaningless.”
The post Tucker Carlson Looks at FPA Partnership with Radical Feminist Group appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
Family Policy Alliance and its alliance of 40 state-based groups is sending a letter urging President Trump to sign a religious freedom Executive Order.
The order would strengthen protections for individuals and business owners who don’t want to be forced to violate their deeply held beliefs.
“On the campaign trail, the President repeatedly told evangelical groups he would do everything he could to strengthen protections for religious freedom,” explained Paul Weber, president and CEO of Family Policy Alliance. “President Trump now has the chance to stand up to the bullying against people of faith and to lead Congress in enacting strong religious freedom protections by signing this Executive Order.”
Federally, groups like Little Sisters of the Poor were forced to sue the government for tryng to force them to provide contraceptives in their healthcare plans – a violation of the teaching of their Catholic faith.
Individuals in several states had their livelihood threatened because they refused to compromise their faith to participate in same-sex weddings.
“Our network of organizations has been advocating for policy that would ensure that families in our states do not have to forfeit their faith when they do charitable work, provide education or healthcare, earn a living, start a business, or interact with their own government,” said Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance. “This has been difficult in a climate of government-endorsed hostility toward religion, and American families have been told to keep their faith private. President Trump’s Executive Order would be a breath of fresh air on the state of religious freedom in this country.”
Ask President Trump to sign the religious freedom executive order. And don’t forget to share this with family and friends.
The post Pro-Family Groups to Trump: Make Religious Freedom Great Again appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
What if the government ran a chain of “cafeterias” for children?
What would they serve? How would they treat your family? How far would they go to protect the monopoly?
In his Stoplight® commentary, Stuart Shepard explores that analogy in light of recent happenings on Capitol Hill.
Thank you for sharing Stoplight with your friends.
President Trump has an opportunity to protect our religious freedoms by signing an Executive Order. The document would make religious freedom for all people, at all times and in all situations.
But we don’t just need another Executive Order. Autumn Leva and Paul Weber tell us that Congress needs to step up and pass laws to strengthen our First Freedoms – and make good on one of Trump’s biggest campaign promises.
Send an email to President Trump and Vice President Pence urging them to keep their campaign promise on religious freedom.
The post Religious Freedom Protections are Just a Signature Away | Family Policy Briefing appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
Out of the 23 positions in the Trump administration that need Senate confirmation, seven have been given a vote. The latest was Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose tie vote was broken by Vice President Mike Pence.
We’ve created a graphic showing who’s in and who’s still waiting in the wings.
The post Trump’s Nominees: Who’s In, and Who’s Waiting for A Vote appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
Stuart Shepard with Family Policy Alliance was a guest on Alabama’s Faith Radio network on February 3. He and host Bob Crittenden discussed the president’s Supreme Court nominee, as well as the strong affirmation of religious freedom by Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
You can listen to their conversation on the Faith Radio website.
The post Audio: The Gorsuch Nomination and the Administration’s Support for Your Religious Freedom appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
Elite media outlets are declaring a Supreme Court seat was “stolen.”
In his Stoplight® commentary, Stuart Shepard shares some questions you can ask your friends who echo that narrative.
Ask your U.S Senators to confirm Judge Gorsuch.
Democrats are strategizing on how to slow down the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch. The president’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court has a first rate education and has had an exemplary career as a judge.
Paul Weber of Family Policy Alliance says the confirmation will come, but not without a row on Capitol Hill.
Ask your U.S. Senators to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch.
The post Democrats Vow Fight on Trump Nominee | Family Policy Briefing appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
U.S. Representative Jim Banks of Indiana spoke on the floor of the House recently congratulating fellow members on the passage of the “No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion” act. He also encouraged Congress to continue to press for more laws that protect preborn babies and their mothers.
Banks was a 2016 graduate of the Statesmen Academy. The program, founded by Family Policy Foundation, trains young legislators or those interested in running for office how to maintain their faith after being elected.
The post Statesmen Academy Graduate Addresses the U.S. House appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work with 39 state-based family groups to promote the sanctity of human life. Many of these states have passed laws to regulate abortion facilities or restrict when abortions can be performed. The result? Women have more access to pro-life pregnancy centers that offer prenatal care, adoption services and other life-affirming choices – and babies are saved.
Here’s a look at how many abortion sellers are left in these states and some of the legislation responsible:
Arizona has 10 Planned Parenthood locations in Arizona, but more than 183 better health care alternatives.
Total number of abortions has dropped since 2009. The Center for Arizona Policy says that may be due to the passage of legislation such as a partial-birth abortion ban, informed-consent laws, prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortions through health care exchanges and requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital.
There are 3 abortion sellers in Kentucky, but only one is operational.
Our friends at the Family Foundation of Kentucky tell us that EMW, a center in Lexington, will close permanently on Friday.
Maine has 3 abortion centers.
Missouri state has just one abortion center, but that number could rise in the next year.
Missouri Family Policy Council reports that it was the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring abortion centers to meet the same standards as surgical centers and requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital.
Nebraska has 3 abortion facilities.
Pennsylvania has 19 abortion centers and 21 hospitals perform abortions. Planned Parenthood did shut down nine outlets in the last 4 years, but none of those performed abortions.
Lawmakers passed the Health Care Facilities Act that made abortion facilities follow basic regulations for surgical centers. According to Pennsylvania Family Institute, five abortion centers shut down as a result.
South Dakota –
Family Heritage Alliance of South Dakota is proud to report there is only one abortion center remaining there.
The group plans to support 3 pro-life bills this legislative session to continue to raise awareness about the sanctity of human life.
In 2011 there were 20 abortion centers operating in Virginia. By 2016, there were 15. In the last 5 years, abortions dropped 32 percent.
The Family Foundation of Virginia says passage of an ultrasound law and an abortion center inspection law are likely the cause of the drop in clinics and abortions performed.
West Virginia –
Only one abortion facility remains open.
In 2016, they passed a 20-week abortion ban. The Family Policy Alliance of West Virginia continues to push for strict regulation of facilities.
Wisconsin has just 3 abortion facilities left. Two of them are Planned Parenthood affiliates, which is responsible for the majority of the abortions.
Bills passed in recent years redirecting taxpayer dollars to other medical centers has significantly contributed to the reduction in abortion centers. Wisconsin Family Action tells us the state also has an ultrasound law that allows women to see their preborn baby in the womb. All of this has led to fewer centers and fewer abortions.
The post Making it Difficult to be in the Abortion Business appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
Individual states are the leaders in pro-life legislation.
Their efforts have resulted in fewer abortions and abortion facilities and encourage the federal government to protect life. Just this week, the U.S. House voted in support of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” bill.
Paul Weber, president and CEO of Family Policy Alliance, talks about the role of the states in promoting a culture of life.
The post States at the Front of the Pro-Life Charge | Family Policy Briefing appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
Today, President Donald Trump met with Senate leaders to discuss his Supreme Court nominee. Sources have said the announcement could come next week.
On the campaign trail, the President announced a list of possible Supreme Court picks. We’re now hearing that he has pared that list down to a few names. Here’s a look at those being called the front runners.
Judge Neil Gorsuch is seated on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado. Gorsuch is strong on religious freedom and has ruled in favor of our first freedoms, especially when it comes to the HHS mandate in Obamacare.
At 49 years old, Gorsuch would be one of the youngest picks in the last 25 years. He has agreed with Justice Antonin Scalia’s rulings in several cases and once said during a speech that “Scalia’s career was to remind us of the difference between judges and legislators.”
He attended Harvard and has a Ph.D. from Oxford. He’s considered an originalist – meaning he believes the Constitution should be interpreted as the Founders intended, rather than a “living document” the court can change.
Judge William Pryor sits on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He has called the Roe v. Wade decision “an abomination” and is an originalist.
About himself, Pryor has said, “I am a conservative, and I believe in the strict separation of governmental powers. Courts should not resolve political problems.”
Pryor has been criticized for three opinions that are perceived to have expanded special rights for people who say they are transgender.
Judge Diane Sykes is a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Chicago. Sykes received her law degree from Marquette University, spent two years at Harvard Law and one at Columbia. She’s also a member of the Federalist Society.
Sykes has been called a “moderate conservative.” She once sentenced a group of pro-life protesters to jail and also ruled against an Indiana law to defund Planned Parenthood. Some conservatives are calling on the administration to remove her from the list.
This year’s March for Life will be an especially sweet celebration. From federal legislation to state law, preborn babies are more protected than ever.
Tom McClusky with March for Life talks to us about 40 years of work to save the lives of countless women and babies and a renaissance for the sanctity of human life.
Learn more at March for Life.
The post It’s a Great Time to Be Pro-Life | Family Policy Briefing appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.
by Eric Teetsel, president, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas
I was put to shame last week.
This is what happened. A friend told my wife that a doctor had given a talk at her women’s group at church on transgender issues. My wife mentioned it to me. Curious, I asked for more details.
I learned that the speaker was Beth Sonneville, a chaplain at Children’s Mercy Hospital. The purpose of her presentation was to make a biblical argument in favor of transgenderism.
Her argument included Genesis 1:27, which says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Apparently, per Sonneville, this passage says that God contains both male and female, and since we are all created in God’s image, we each have male and female within us.
Sonneville also used Galatians 3:28 – or part of it anyway. The passage she used was, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one”.
It’s a lie. Like the serpent in the Garden, Sonneville twists God’s word to further her pernicious influence.
Genesis 1:27 is fundamental in the Bible’s instruction on human sexuality, but it is not the only word on the subject. A proper understanding of any verse must take into account the full counsel of God’s word. In this case, the Bible provides a fuller account in Genesis 2, and fuller explication of Genesis 1:27 from both Paul and Jesus Himself in Matthew 19, among other teachings.
Genesis 2 provides “the rest of the story” of the creation of Adam and Eve. Here we find Adam in the Garden alone. For the first time, God’s pattern of creation and affirmation is interrupted. Whereas before the LORD surveyed everything He made and saw that it was good, in response to Adam’s loneliness God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him,” (18).
God says a creation in which man is without woman is “not good.” We are complementary pieces. At the close of chapter 2, the Bible says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh,” (24).
In his letter to the Church in Ephesus, Paul quotes this verse from Genesis and reveals that the one flesh union of husband and wife is a living picture of a magnificent spiritual reality. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church,” (3:32).
Contrary to Sonneville, the implication of the Imago Dei for human sexuality is not that each of us contains male and female, but rather that the duality of male and female was instituted by God as part of a created order that brings distinct halves together in marriage in demonstration of God’s love for His Church.
Sonneville’s twisting of Galatians 3:28 is even more obvious and damnable. She simply left out the crucial clause at the end: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis added.)
Put aside for a moment the male and female aspect of this verse. What exactly does Sonneville think Paul was saying about Jews and Greeks? Slave and free? If you apply the logic of her conclusion, Paul was not only eliminating sexual distinctions but ethnic and class distinctions as well. That would be odd for Paul, who later relies on his dual citizenship as both a Jew and a Roman in his appeal to Caesar (Acts 25) and who exhorts bondservants to obey their masters and masters to be good to their slaves (Ephesians 6).
Clearly, Galatians 3:28 is not the literal elimination of every differentiating human characteristic. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of the reality of those differences. Paul’s point is not that differences don’t exist, but that they do exist but shouldn’t preclude Christians from fellowshipping together under the banner of the one ultimate characteristic they share: devotion to Christ.
My friend says Sonneville has done several of these presentations in the Kansas City area. She says women rave about the talk. Unfortunately, no one was there to rebuke her false teaching and correct it. The Church has been asleep while the proponents of an anti-biblical sexual ideology have methodically been making their rounds.
For this I apologize. I won’t allow these voices to go unchallenged any longer.
The Family Policy Alliance of Kansas will begin building a network of churches and ministry leaders committed to upholding biblical truths on matters of life, human sexuality, and religious freedom.
We do this to ensure the integrity of the Gospel, yes, and because we understand that the Gospel is desperately needed throughout the world. We will engage opposing voices in person and in print, speaking, preaching, debating and testifying because we know that if God’s word is true than it is good, and if it is good then it is necessary if our neighbors are to thrive.
Will you help me?
Here’s are three things you can do:
First, pray. Please don’t mistake this for some lame head fake towards holiness. Our appeals to the Creator of the Universe are a proclamation that there is an authority higher than any school board, legislature, or Congress. Prayer is, therefore, a political act. And a radical one.
Second, get in the game. This isn’t as daunting as it may sound. Identify your state representative and state senator. (Here’s a tool that makes it easy: Action Center.) Email them and invite them to join you for a coffee. Get to know them. Tell them about yourself. Tell them you will be praying for them. Over time, email them to encourage them and congratulate them. And, when the time comes, tell them what you expect them to do. Remember, they work for you.
I can’t emphasize too strongly the power of such an effort. Almost nobody bothers with their local representatives. Most people don’t even know their name. If you establish a positive, respectful relationship you will influence them.
Third, we need to know your stories. This session, we are working closely with legislators to craft a Student Protection Act. This commonsense bill will require public schools to limit bathrooms, locker rooms, and other similar spaces to members of one sex. It also instructs school leaders to provide reasonable accommodations for students who are not comfortable in such a setting, for whatever reason.
Make no mistake, despite our efforts to provide a safe, fair environment for all students this law will be attacked as hateful, bigoted, and mean. Its supporters will be held accountable for the bullying, depression, and even suicide of LGBTQ students. It’s already happening.
The best way to counter these narratives is to speak up for the safety and wellbeing of their children.
Learn more about Family Policy Alliance of Kansas.
There’s a huge life lesson playing out right in front of us. It’s right there in the headlines if you can see it for what it is. It involves how best to help families in need of jobs.
In his Stoplight® commentary, Stuart Shepard explains how it’s larger than the elected officials involved as individuals. It’s about their worldview, their philosophy and their approach to nation-sized problems.
This is a perfect Stoplight to share with the young people in your life, so you can talk about how government can best help families.
The Family Policy Alliance is growing! We’re proud to announce that we have added Family Policy Alliance of Georgia. Cole Muzio is the president and executive director of the new state group.
Cole comes to our alliance with a background in political campaigns, and is looking forward to reconnecting with his roots in Georgia. We hope you enjoy this welcome video!