Posted by a friend on Facebook:
The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Laws passed by Congress and state legislators are supposed to be in line with the U.S. Constitution. However, there is a bill currently in the House of Representatives that not only undermines the First Amendment, it also cancels out The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. H.R. 5 is a nightmare for those who believe in religious liberty and freedom of religion.
The Heritage Foundation lists seven problems with the bill:
1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.
2. It would compel speech.
3. It could shut down charities.
4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.
5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.
6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.
7. It would enable sexual assault.
All of these problems have already arisen. Please follow the link to The Heritage Foundation to view the details.
The Liberty Counsel posted an article on May 10 detailing one major aspect of H.R.5. The article states:
HR 5, in the U.S. House, and S. 788, in the Senate, misnamed the “Equality Act,” takes the unpreceded step of eliminating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) as a claim or defense to the application of many federal laws. This bill drastically alters religious freedom in all cases, not just those involving LGBT.
For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits houses of worship to make employment decisions based on religion. This recognizes the essential right for houses of worship to employ those who align with their religious doctrine. The “Equality Act” would abolish this fundamental right. Catholic and Christian churches could be forced to hire atheists. If a synagogue preferred a Jew over a Muslim, it would not be able to raise RFRA as a claim or defense.
RFRA is a federal law that protects religious freedom. Specifically, it “prohibits any agency, department, or official of the United States or any State (the government) from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except that the government may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person.”
However, HR 5 clearly forbids raising RFRA as a claim or defense to the application to the “Equality Act” and many other federal laws that would be amended by this bill.
This “Equality Act” extends the federal protections to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy, i.e. abortion. HR 5 applies to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and more. In addition, the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” will be defined to mean “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.” In other words, under the terms of this bill, “pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition… shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions.” The “Equality Act” also expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.”
After passing the House Judiciary Committee recently, the “Equality Act” will now go to the House next week and then be sent to the Senate, where the bill number is S. 788.
If you value religious freedom in America, please call your Senator and tell them to vote against this bill. It will probably pass in the House of Representatives, but needs to be stopped in the Senate. If you are not a religious person and don’t think this is a problem, remember that if the government can undo religious freedom, it can also undo other freedoms. You might not be impacted this time, but if this bill passes, there will be more to follow.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about a lawsuit filed by some parents against an Oregon school district. The case began with an 8-year-old boy with a stomach issue and ends with that child being encouraged to be a girl.
The article reports:
Parents in Woodburn said their 8-year-old son was held back from recess multiple times for one-on-one conversations about his gender identity – and they had no idea.
The mother and father in Woodburn are now suing a school district for nearly a million dollars after they say a second-grade teacher singled out their son by asking him if he was transgender. The parents say the teacher had inappropriate conversations with the child at school without their permission. …
The parents say this all started when their son started using the staff restroom because of a stomach problem. They say their son was uncomfortable using the boy’s bathroom because of his medical condition. However, they believe the teacher assumed their son was uncomfortable because he was transgender.
“Still today, a year later, if he plays with my niece, he’s a girl in that moment… if he plays with my nephew, he’s a boy,” said the mother.
The mother says her son was left confused and hurt after being singled out. Now, a year later, the 9-year-old is taking anxiety medication and going to therapy, according to his parents. The family says the boy’s confusion and emotional distress has also affected the entire family. The father says he’s suffering from panic attacks and the mother says she’s now on medical leave, suffering from anxiety and depression, and staying home from work.
It is entirely possible that the panic attacks and anxiety on the part of the parents might be something of an overreaction, but their complaint is certainly valid.
The article notes:
There’s video at the link, but it’s not embeddable here. Bear in mind that this wasn’t a teenager, which might be bad enough, but an eight year old with a stomach problem. Even granting the best of possible intentions, why wouldn’t the first step in dealing with suspicions of gender dysphoria be to contact the child’s parents? It’s not as if the parents in this case are social neanderthals, at least from the perspective of Academia. They tell reporter Bonnie Silkman in the video that they aren’t concerned about what identity he chooses as long as he chooses it, and not get indoctrinated into it by an activist teacher.
The article concludes:
The most impressively loco part of this story is that the teacher still works at the school — a full year after the school confirmed the parents’ story. The only correction the teacher received was to be reminded of the district’s policies on “controversial issues” and to notify parents and the school when she “alters a student’s regular school day.” Meanwhile, this family will be dealing with the aftershocks of her actions for years.
The school district declined to comment on the story because of the lawsuit, but they might owe an explanation to the other parents in the district, especially to those whose children are within this teacher’s supervision. How many other children has she attempted to indoctrinate into transgender identities? And how many of the parents in this school district — and elsewhere — might start considering private schools or home-schooling to protect their children from predatory behavior?
If I had children in that school district, this article would cause me to consider seriously the option of home-schooling.
As a parent, are you comfortable with this?
I don’t want to see transgendered students bullied, but I don’t want to put high school girls in danger of being molested or leered at by students claiming to be transgender who are not. Separate facilities are needed. We also need to help all students learn to stand up to any bullying that happens. Fighting back is not a bad thing. I would also like to note that no matter how you may feel, your DNA has not changed. Maybe we should go back to the days of little kids playing doctor and let them sort this out.
This was posted on YouTube on June 14th:
Further information on this can be found at the Daily Signal.
If I still had children in school, I would wonder why I wasn’t initially told about this program. I would probably also be ready to consider seriously the option of homeschooling my children. There are a lot of homeschool options now that were not there twenty years ago, and I think now might be a really good time to investigate them. There is a website called The Homeschool Resource Roadmap that can help parents with questions about homeschooling gather information.
I am appalled at this. I believe we need to let our children be children and not treat them as social experiments. What we are encouraging in our children is still considered a mental disorder by many social workers. We need to stop this runaway train and get back to teaching kindergartners to build things with blocks and get along with their classmates.
I trust this source, but I am having a hard time believing what I am reading. In January of this year, The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a new rules change by the International Olympic Committee.
The related article at Breitbart.com article reports:
There’s great news for adventurous male Olympic hopefuls: if they declare themselves women and reduce their testosterone below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to competition, they can compete against ladies.
There’s even better news for these men; according to transgender guidelines approved by the International Olympic Committee, genitalia does not serve as a prerequisite. The guidelines state: “To require surgical anatomical changes as a pre-condition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights.”
The IOC held a “Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism” in November at which they created the new guidelines, loosening prior rules adopted in 2004 to allow transgender athletes into the Games. The previous rules required that transgender athletes must have undergone external genitalia changes and removal of gonads, as well as obtaining legal recognition of their assigned sex from appropriate official authorities.
The new guidelines attempt to justify themselves by citing various societies’ acceptance of fluid gender identity, writing, “Since the 2003 Stockholm Consensus on Sex Reassignment in Sports, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of autonomy of gender identity in society, as reflected in the laws of many jurisdictions worldwide.”
So now gender identity and gender fluidity has entered the olympic games.
Has anyone considered that generally speaking a male who decides to become a female after the age of 20 or so is probably taller and has more muscle mass than he would have if he had been born a female? His size and his muscle mass give him an unfair advantage.
I remember all those Russian women in the 1950’s and 1960’s that were accused of being men. Their lives would be so much simpler if they were competing today.
The bathroom bill (should be locker room bill) passed in North Carolina has caused a lot of controversy. This article is based on two articles, one posted at CBN News today and one posted at Lady Liberty 1885.
The article at Lady Liberty 1885 includes the following video (also posted on YouTube):
There has been another interesting example of the fallout of this law.
CBN News is reporting today:
A former state executive director of the ACLU has resigned because her own daughters were frightened when transgendered men entered the women’s bathroom.
The American Civil Liberties Union has been a champion of transgender bathroom rights. Former director of the Georgia ACLU chapter Maya Dillard Smith says she is resigned after her daughters’ experience in a public bathroom.
“I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women’s restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults, over six-feet tall with deep voices, entered,” Smith wrote in a statement.
“My children were visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer,” she continued.
She also said the incident highlighted the ALCU‘s “hierarchy of rights.”
She wrote in a statement that the ACLU is “a special interest organization that promotes not all, but certain progressive rights….based on who is funding the organization’s lobbying activities.”
Transgender people constitute a very small percentage of our population. They deserve to be respected and not bullied, but their desires should not be used to put the safety of other Americans in jeopardy. The transgenders themselves are not the issue–it’s the people who will use the issue for their own nefarious purposes.
Yesterday The New York Times reported that the Obama Administration will now direct all public school to allow students to use the bathrooms (and locker rooms) that conform to their sexual identity. I doesn’t matter what parts you have, you use the bathroom (or locker room) that corresponds to the way you feel at that particular time.
The article reports:
A letter to school districts will go out Friday, adding to a highly charged debate over transgender rights in the middle of the administration’s legal fight with North Carolina over the issue. The declaration — signed by Justice and Education department officials — will describe what schools should do to ensure that none of their students are discriminated against.
It does not have the force of law, but it contains an implicit threat: Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.
…“A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so,” according to the letter, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times.
I don’t want to see anyone discriminated against or bullied, but it seems to me that this directive (aside from being unconstitutional) opens the door for bullying and all sorts of other high-jinks. Can the imagine the ‘dare you’ going around various teenage boys about going into the girls’ locker room? This is just plain silly.
The obvious answer to this is a private bathroom and changing area for anyone who feels that they need extra privacy. No questions asked. It is really sad that we are talking about discrimination in this matter rather than talking about protecting women and children from people claiming to be transgender who are not. There are already a number of criminal cases filed in various states where nefarious people have used transgender-sympathetic laws to gain access to women’s restrooms. What happened next was traumatizing for the women involved and has severe legal consequences for the man involved. Men do not belong in ladies’ rooms or in women’s locker rooms.
On Friday, CNS News reported that Chicago Public Schools have announced that all students and teachers will have access to whichever locker rooms and other spaces that were formerly reserved for one sex. This means that any teenage boy who wants to undress in the girls‘ locker room is free to do so. It also means that girls only health classes dealing with feminine issues are a thing of the past in Chicago.
The article reports:
In a weak acknowledgement of the uproar this will cause, the Chicago Public Schools says students that are not gender confused “should” be allowed access to alternative facilities. So, for example, if there are fifty girls who object to a boy undressing in front of them, it is the fifty girls, not the boy, who must go change in “single stall restrooms” elsewhere. Of course, the odds are high that school officials on the lookout for any sign of “bullying” will take careful note of which students leave the locker rooms, presuming they are allowed to leave at all.
To add to the confusion, the definition of gender identity changes about every three months, so the rules we are supposed to live by are constantly moving. But the latest definition, according to the Chicago Public Schools, is that sex is merely “a label a person is assigned at birth” and that the reality lies in one’s internal “psychological knowledge” of their own gender “regardless of the[ir] biological sex.”
At what point does common sense make an appearance?
The article concludes:
And therein lies the biggest affront from these new policies. Not only must government employees play along with a gender confused child’s every subjective wish, so must every other student. In fact, the Chicago Public Schools specify that students must address a gender confused child by whatever pronoun they wish, be it “they, their, ze, he and she.” Failure to do so “will result in appropriate consequences for offending staff and students,” in other words, discipline up to and including expulsion from school.
But many people of good will and faith conviction will simply refuse to put aside their legitimate privacy, modesty, and safety concerns. Many children of good will resist being forced to say “she” when speaking of a boy they have known for years just as they would resist being forced to say “5” when asked “what does 2+2 equal?
The left for years claimed that all they wanted was for LGBT persons to be left alone but this was a lie. It is now clear that liberals and their enablers will not leave anyone alone and will use the full force of courts, lawsuits, and government to ensure any resistance to their new gender ideology “will result in appropriate consequences.”
I think I would continue my school day sweaty and smelly rather than take a chance and dress in the locker room under the new rules. What are we doing to our children?
Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about a recent “Working Glossary of Terms” put out by the University of Washington. In this exercise in absurdity, the students are asked to identify themselves by gender. When you look at the list of options, male and female are not included. Instead, students are given the option of “Cisgender,” meaning “describes someone who feels comfortable with the gender identity and gender expression expectations assigned to them based on their physical sex.” Wow. I never realized that my gender was assigned. I never realized I had an option. Does this mean that my husband could have done the pregnancies? It would have been much easier–he has a cast iron stomach.
Some of the students answered the question with the terms ‘male’ or ‘female,’ which were considered microaggressive terms (the students obviously had more brains than the administrators).
This is the response from the administration:
Today The Civitas Institute (a North Carolina conservative group) reported some interesting information on the recent bill passed in Charlotte regarding transgender use of bathrooms. The article posted on their website reported some information that was omitted by one of the major Charlotte, North Carolina, papers.
The article at Civitas reports:
For months, residents of Charlotte have been debating whether the city should (or in fact could) pass an ordinance allowing individuals who identify as transgender to use the men’s or women’s bathrooms in places of public accommodation. Those opposed to the ordinance have had serious concerns about its effect on public safety.
This morning, Breitbart News is reporting that Chad Sevearance, president of the Charlotte Business Guild, who has taken a lead role in promoting the transgender bathroom ordinance, is a convicted and registered sex offender.
The article goes on to explain that Sevearance was convicted in 2000 of one charge of sexual molestation of a minor. He was required to register with the police for a minimum of ten years.
The Civitas article concludes:
This is not about further condemnation of Sevearance for his sexual offenses. (Although his advocacy group also knew he was a convicted child molester and defended him by calling reports of his convictions “mudslinging.”) The justice system has dealt with him, and it is not my place to heap further condemnation on a man who surely has been thoroughly condemned. This is about the Observer‘s failure to report on how a major figure at the center of a debate involving sexual predators and children has been convicted of being a sexual predator of children. In this context, the Observer‘s failure is tantamount to concealment. It is unfortunately one more example of our media picking and choosing its causes, leaving the task of actual journalism up to Internet news outlets.
I wonder if having this information before the vote would have changed any votes.
Just when you think state legislators couldn’t pass any more weird laws, someone comes up with a new idea. The law I am about to describe is not only unnecessary and useless, it doesn’t even apply where it might matter.
The article reports:
“No one wants to send employees into an environment where they would be uncomfortable,” said Democrat Evan Low, Jon Ortiz, a reporter for the Sacramento Bee, reported this week.
Low said he decided to introduce the bill after Indiana signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law in March 2015.
Does the law include government-funded travel of women to Saudi Arabia and other countries where they do not have equal rights?
I believe that America is made up of states. The last I heard, each state had the freedom to make laws that applied in that state. California is perfectly within its rights to limit the travel of government officials or employees to places where they will not be uncomfortable. Obviously, being within your rights does not mean that what you are doing can be described as logical or sensible.
It gets worse. The article explains:
Low said he doesn’t know which states his bill would apply to yet. He said it would not cover lawmakers and political trips but would affect administrative travel.
So what, pray tell, is the point of this legislation?
There is a conflict in America right now as to the exact meaning of the First Amendment as regards to religious freedom. One of the questions being asked is whether or not Christians who choose to enter the business world still have the right to act according to their Christian beliefs. Does a Christian businessman have the right to choose who he does business with? In January I posted a story about a couple who is required to do re-education training because they refused to host a homosexual wedding. I had never considered re-education training as an American concept.
The latest chapter in the war against Christian ideas in the marketplace has occurred in Oklahoma. Eagle Rising posted a story on February 27th about a law proposed by an Oklahoma Democrat in the state legislature.
The article reports:
Democrat state Rep. Emily Virgin believes that Christian businesses should be forced to post a public notice that they will be discriminating against homosexuals, if those businesses are to be allowed to claim the right to refuse service based on religious beliefs.
That’s right, if you’re a Christian businessman in Oklahoma and you don’t believe that you should be forced to participate in a gay wedding, Democrats want to force your business to post a public scarlet letter detailing your “bigoted” beliefs!
This is the text of the law:
“Any person not wanting to participate in any of the activities set forth in subsection A of this section based on sexual orientation, gender identity or race of either party to the marriage shall post notice of such refusal in a manner clearly visible to the public in all places of business, including websites. The notice may refer to the person’s religious beliefs, but shall state specifically which couples the business does not serve by referring to a refusal based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or race.”
The law was suggested in response to a Republican bill that would allow Christian businessmen to operate their businesses in accordance with Biblical principles.
The article further notes:
The right to practice your faith as you see fit (as long as you aren’t infringing on the rights of others) is the cornerstone of our nation’s stability and health. Along with that, the right to choose who we do business with and when we do business is the very foundation of free market capitalism. The moment we allow the government (or some fascist group of rabid socialists) to force us to act against our religious beliefs, or force us to work as indentured servants at the beck and call of others… that is the moment that we have LOST our nation.
Something to consider as we approach this election season.
Charlotte, North Carolina, just passed a law allowing transgender people the right to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Simply put, that means that regardless of what sexual equipment you were born with, you can choose the bathroom of the gender you identify with. It sounds harmless enough until you consider the risks of putting a man with all of his parts intact (regardless of who he identifies with) in a closed bathroom with women and young children.
The article reports:
A sexual predator who falsely claimed to be transgender and preyed on women at two Toronto shelters was jailed indefinitely on Wednesday.
“He has demonstrated from the age of 12 until the present an inability to control his sexual impulses,” said McMahon.
This man may be the exception, but the fact that he exists is cause for concern. What is the magic number? I know that we want to be kind to people who struggle with transgender issues, but what is the number of young children who will be sexually assaulted before we either set up separate restrooms for trans-gendered people or simply demand that they use the restroom corresponding to the equipment they have? Are we putting our children at risk to accommodate something that can be addressed in a way that does not endanger our children?
Hot Air is reporting the following today:
Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance took another legal turn this week when it surfaced that city attorneys, in an unusual step, subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose the law and are tied to the conservative Christian activists that have sued the city.
Opponents of the equal rights ordinance are hoping to force a repeal referendum when they get their day in court in January, claiming City Attorney David Feldman wrongly determined they had not gathered enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. City attorneys issued subpoenas last month during the case’s discovery phase, seeking, among other communications, “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”
The article further reports:
The subpoenas for any electoral activity might be legally acceptable, since churches have a tax exemption — but that is generally a state and federal issue, not a municipal distinction. The demand to produce any comments regarding “homosexuality or gender identity” go straight to the heart of the First Amendment and on government censorship. The intent to intimidate Christian pastors into silence on these issues could not be clearer, and uses the threat of government action to back up that intimidation.
There are two issues here that I think are important. The first is that the ‘rights’ of homosexuals and other gender identity groups are usurping the First Amendment right of free speech and the free exercise of religion. The other issue here is that this ‘equal rights’ ordinance will eventually be used to declare Biblical truth as ‘hate speech’ and silence pastors preaching from the Bible in that way. In both cases, America loses.
I do not condone discrimination, but I do think everyone in the marketplace should be able to make their own decisions about who they do business with. A car dealership has the right to turn away a customer because the customer cannot afford to buy a car from that dealership. Doesn’t a business owner have a similar choice if someone is asking him to do something that violates his conscience? If a venue chooses not to be available for a homosexual wedding because the owner holds the Biblical view on homosexuality, should that vendor be asked to compromise his religious beliefs? Couldn’t the couple involved simply choose another venue? Again, I am not against homosexual rights–I just don’t want to see homosexual rights used as a vehicle to destroy the First Amendment rights of all Americans.
The article states:
The Massachusetts Department of Education on Friday issued directives for handling transgender students, including allowing them to use the bathrooms or play on the sports teams that correspond to the gender with which they identify.
It gets better:
The document said whether a student identifies as a boy or girl is up to the student or, in the case of younger students, the parents.
The lawsuits will be spectacular. You disagree? Consider:
You’re a teacher or guidance counselor. A boy goes into the girls shower room, you try to eject him he identifies himself as “gender neutral” or “confused”.
You lay one hand on him, say one thing to him, suggest for even a single moment that he might be faking and now you have a discrimination lawsuit on your hands, the school district’s hands and the city’s hands. Such a suit would be worth at least tens of thousands of dollars.
Good grief! I am sorry that some students are confused about their sexual identity, but that does not give them to right to go into any locker room they choose. Can you picture a private club allowing this? Why are we taking privacy away from the children who don’t have issues? I would suggest setting up separate locker rooms for students with gender identity issues, but knowing teenage hormones, I can’t even imagine the mess that could create. Don’t any of these people making laws remember what it was like to be a teenager? It is a shame that the students will be the ones who have to suffer for the stupidity of our lawmakers.
The Boston Herald is reporting today that Massachusetts held a ceremony to mark the passage of a new state law that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in employment, housing, insurance and credit. I am the first to admit that I am not really familiar with whatever issue caused the legislature to believe that this law was necessary. This seems to be an issue that has arisen during the recent past.
The law prohibits discrimination against those who are transgender. I have no problem with the idea that someone should not be discriminated against, but what impact does this law have on people whose religions teach that there is a problem with the concept of transgender?
The article reports:
While hailing the law, supporters said they would also continue pushing for equal access in public accommodations. Critics have suggested that might lead to a breakdown in privacy in single-gender facilities such as rest rooms and locker rooms.
This sounds as if it could get very complicated. One of the comments on the article stated:
New bathrooms,(every school, government bldg in MA) housing, job quotas, separate jail wings, money to pay for all this, panels to implement, money to do sex changes in jail, etc, etc, All on your dime.
I wonder if anyone has thought this through?