The Equality Act Would DESTROY Religious Freedom

We recognize the existential threat for religious freedom posed by the Equality Act legislation that is making its way through the U.S. Congress.

That’s why Family Policy Alliance of Idaho has joined other pro-family organizations in expressing our concerns to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Representatives from nearly fifty national and state-based organizations – including Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, Alliance Defending Freedom, Heritage Action, and the American Association of Christian Schools – signed on to the joint letter last week.

The letter affirms that “all people have inherent dignity and should be treated with respect” but explains how the Equality Act “creates greater inequality, hurting not only women, people of faith, religious organizations, employers, and medical professionals, but especially children and their parents.”

What makes the Equality Act so dangerous? This radical legislation adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected categories in civil rights law. This would mean:

  • Punishing doctors, counselors, and therapists who offer medically and biblically sound treatment to patients struggling with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria
  • Preventing private Christian schools and universities from enforcing sex-specific dress codes or employee and student honor codes that reflect biblical sexuality
  • Eradicating athletic opportunities for girls and women by empowering men to play in girls’ high school and college sports
  • Endangering church and parachurch ministries like domestic violence sheltersgospel rescue missions, and pregnancy resource centers with sex-specific facilities and programs
  • Potentially requiring professional discipline for public and private school teachers who use scientifically correct pronouns for students struggling with gender dysphoria
  • Fining and shutting down Christian businesses with sincerely held, conscientious objections to participating in same-sex wedding ceremonies—including photographersindependent floristsmom-and-pop bakersand family-owned wedding venues

We cannot let the Equality Act decimate our religious freedom. It is vitally important that we defeat the Equality Act and strengthen religious freedom protections at both the state and federal level.

This article was originally written for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho.

A Prayer for Our Nation

“He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away” (Job 12:23, ESV).

There is no doubt that these times are more tumultuous than anything our nation has experienced in recent decades. It is even more important that we return to God, recognizing that our national fate – our freedom, our prosperity, and our way of life – rests in His hands (Job 12:23).

Early Americans routinely set aside days of fasting, humiliation, and prayer during difficult times. People would abstain from work and gather in churches, where pastors would preach sermons relevant to the occasion, imploring the people to repent of their sins and trust in the Lord.

One such day was declared by the Continental Congress in the early days of the War for Independence. John Adams explained the significance of this day in a letter to his wife, Abigail, writing:

“We [Congress] have appointed a continental fast. Millions will be upon their knees at once before their great Creator, imploring his forgiveness and blessing, his smiles on American councils and arms.”

Will you join me in praying for our state and our nation, following the example of faithful men and women who have come before us?

A Prayer for Our Country, from the Book of Common Prayer (1928):

Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage, we humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners.

Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.

Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth.

In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

The Bible instructs us that the nation who trusts in God is blessed (Psalm 33:12). May Christians join together in asking God to heal our land and call our country back to Him!

The article was originally written for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho.

New Idaho Law Will Save Women’s Sports

The destructive folly of transgender politics has even reached girls’ high school and college athletics. 

Idaho lawmakers want none of it. With his signature, Governor Brad Little made Idaho the first state in the nation to enact the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which seeks to save the spirit of Title IX by preserving athletic opportunities for girls. 

The law is simple. Girls’ school sports should be limited to biological females. Doctors providing physicals for student-athletes will now simply take note of the biological sex of the student, which can be easily determined through a variety of prescribed methods. If an athlete’s biological sex is disputed, the school’s athletic director can consult the student’s medical paperwork that the school is already required to keep on file.

For years, the policy of the Idaho High School Activities Association regarding transgender-identified athletes has looked like that of many other states: biologically male student-athletes could compete in girls’ sports after receiving hormone therapy for one year.

These policies have already robbed girls in several states of the athletic accomplishments they have trained hard to achieve.

In one such example, three female high school track athletes in Connecticut have filed a lawsuit against their interscholastic athletic organization. The girls argue they have been displaced by several transgender-identified biological males who keep winning championships and breaking state records.

And it is not just limited to liberal Connecticut. Biological men presenting as females are using their biological advantages—including superior lung and heart volume, bone density, and greater muscle mass—to win girls’ wrestling championships in Texas and track championships in Alaska, as well as other states.

If the trend continues, it could be a fatal blow to girls’ sports as we know them. That is why the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act falls squarely within the tradition of Title IX, the federal law guaranteeing that girls must be given equal access to athletics programs at schools receiving federal funding.

The legislation was sponsored by Representative Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls), a former NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach, and Senator Mary Souza (R-Coeur d’Alene), a former hospital nurse uniquely equipped to address the physiological differences between men and women.

The usual histrionics accompanied the bill as it worked its way through the legislative process. Planned Parenthood protestors “occupied” the Capitol for days, screaming profanities and holding signs declaring that the blood of those who commit suicide because of this law will be on hands of legislators who vote for it. During debate, the constant refrain of liberal legislators opposed to the bill was the catchphrase, with all the finesse of a bumper sticker, that “Trans-women are women!”

Opponents contend the law is exclusionary. But that argument fails to grasp the obvious truth that there is nothing exclusionary about saying that women’s sports are for women, and men’s sports are for men.

Ask any student-athlete, high school coach, or parent—allowing biological men to perform in girls’ sports unfairly puts biological girls at a competitive disadvantage. In a sense, it is the girls who are truly being excluded. They have been excluded from the sports that were designed to provide them with the space they need to reach their highest potential.

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act restores common sense and basic fairness to school athletics. Other states need to follow the example of Idaho if we are to save sports for generations of girls to come. Our girls will thank you.

Blaine Conzatti is a trained economist who serves as the director of advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho. He is committed to the Judeo-Christian principles of the American founding and the free-market policies that empowered the growth of the most prosperous and free nation in world history.

This article was originally written for the Resurgent.

Proposed New Rule Would Allow “Third-Gender Option” on WA Birth Certificates

Marilyn_Monroe_Birth_Certificate (1)The Washington State Department of Health has announced its intention to adopt a new rule allowing a “third-gender option” on birth certificates.

If implemented, the new rule would formalize the department’s process for changing sex designation on birth certificates and add an option for a “non-binary” sex designation.

The Department of Health plans to begin gathering comments on the proposed rule next month. It hopes the rule will be adopted and implemented by January 2018.

In 2009, the Washington State Department of Licensing made it more difficult for Washingtonians to change their gender designation on driver’s licenses in an effort to reduce identity fraud and aid policing. The department has since reversed its policies.

Washington State isn’t alone in its proposal to offer a “third-gender option” on government documents. Oregon became the first state to offer the option on driver’s licenses and state ID cards in June, and California will shortly follow suit if a bill recently passed by the state legislature is signed by the governor.

The California bill faced opposition from the California Family Council, which “believes government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification and medical purposes,” said Greg Burt, the organization’s director of capitol engagement.

“Eye color, hair color, height, weight, and Sex: These are all listed on a driver’s license because these physical characteristics can be independently verified by physical evidence,” he said. “If you allow someone who is physically male to list themselves on a government document as a female, or vice a versa, then the government will be legalizing a lie.”

Up north, Canadians can now choose the “gender X” designation on their passports after their government changed its policy earlier this week.

Commenting on the “gender X” designation now available on Canadian passports, Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews that “the government is trying to force its citizenry, en masse, to deny scientific fact and biological reality.”

According to Fonseca, the “sexual revolutionaries” pushing for these changes “are willing to put our country’s national security and our privacy at risk.”

This article was originally written for Family Policy Institute of Washington.