Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Last night the House passed the "Bathroom Bill" with a "smokescreen amendment." Representatives who initially claimed to oppose the bill used the smokescreen amendment as an excuse to vote in favor of it.
Representatives claimed their constituents concerns (our concerns) were resolved by the amendment, without explaining how. Epic fail. They are not even close to being resolved. Now the bill goes back to the Senate. See how your Representative voted.
The only thing this amendment does is restate what we already know. The bill said businesses may provide reasonable accommodations (well of course they can!), gender identity may be demonstrated uniformly and consistently, and may not be "asserted for any improper purpose." All of this misses the point entirely and does nothing to address our real concerns. The bottom line is that women do not want to see men in private areas designated for women and their children.
Feel like you are not being heard? Tired of ridiculous legislation passing in Dover? Believe me, I am too! But I will stand for the principles I believe in and for my children's future.
If we lock arms and commit to stay engaged as a matter of stewardship, then we will hold legislators accountable and flip seats in the 2014 elections. Will you commit to standing with me by becoming an official member of DFPC? We need 495 more members by the end of next month to keep moving forward on behalf of the family. Will you lock arms with us?
President, Delaware Family Policy Council
Delaware Family Policy Council | P.O. Box 925 | Seaford | DE | 19973
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 17, 2013
CONTACT Chuck Peters, 571-379-4546
Voice of the Voiceless Announces July 2013 as First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month
Ex-Gays Call on The White House to Commemorate Unique Contributions
Voice of the Voiceless (VoV) is excited to announce the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month in July 2013! If you or your organization is interested in partnering to help sponsor our Ex-Gay Pride Awareness Day on the Washington, DC National Mall and Evening Dinner/Reception, please contact Co-Founder and Acting Director, Christopher Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are actively working to receive a Presidential Proclamation from The White House to commemorate Ex-Gay Pride Month and are speaking with members of Congress to recognize and participate in our first annual Awareness Event on the National Mall and Evening Dinner/Reception in Washington, DC. See below for more details on Ex-Gay Pride!
When is Ex-Gay Pride? VoV is strategically holding Ex-Gay Pride Month in July, after June's annual gay pride month, in order to draw attention to the ever-increasing phenomenon of ex-gays or former homosexuals; that is, individuals who formerly had unwanted same-sex attractions and/or lived an LGBT-identified life, but now do not. These individuals may be in heterosexual relationships, pursuing heterosexuality, or living celibate lives as former homosexuals.
WHAT is Ex-Gay Pride? A time to recognize the unique experiences of ex-gays and former homosexuals and celebrate their existence in American culture. VoV is currently organizing events in the month of July to highlight the unique role of ex-gays in American culture and draw attention to increasing discrimination and hostility towards the ex-gay community in society.
WHY Ex-Gay Pride? Because former homosexuals are the last invisible minority in American culture and are increasingly subject to hostility from anti-ex-gay activists and the media at large, who is influenced heavily by the gay-activist lobby that discriminates and marginalizes former homosexuals. VoV estimates that ex-gays number in the tens of thousands (at least), but due to intimation and hostility, the exact numbers are unknown.
WHERE is Ex-Gay Pride? Currently, VoV plans to hold at least one event in Washington, DC in July to commemorate the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month. Because Washington, DC is the only jurisdiction that recognizes ex-gays as a protected class against discrimination in the United States, we believe this is a safe place to gather and celebrate free from any threat of intimidation.
WHO Should Participate in Ex-Gay Pride? If you are a former homosexual, individual with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA), a friend or family member that knows an ex-gay or individual with unwanted SSA, or one of our allies, we welcome your support and presence at any of our events! Please e-mail email@example.com for more details on how you can participate.
HOW Can I Participate in Ex-Gay Pride? VoV is currently looking for individuals and organizations to partner with us and help sponsor an awareness event on the Washington, DC National Mall and an evening dinner/reception to celebrate and commemorate ex-gays in the United States. It is important that we let our voices be heard or we'll continue to face marginalization and discrimination. This event is meant to celebrate and unite together for a common goal: to increase our public visability, tell our stories proudly, celebrate our unique contributions towards American culture, and unite against the hatred and bigotry against our communities.
For more information on how you can partner and/or sponsor Ex-Gay Awareness Day on the National Mall and Evening Dinner/Reception, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in speaking at the Evening Dinner/Reception in July 2013, please e-mail us a short biography, your resume, and a head shot photo.
Voice of the Voiceless is the only anti-defamation organization dedicated to defending the rights of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. For more information, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info
Christopher Doyle, M.A.
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For Delaware residents and their friends --
The House debate and vote on the "Bathroom Bill" SB 97 is TODAY at 2pm!Many legislators are believing 4 lies about the Bathroom Bill. They intend to vote for the bill unless they hear from you. An email will arrive too late. If you haven't called your Representative; this is your last chance. It only takes 2 minutes - and we'll walk you through it. We need your help!Lie #1: 16 states and 170 cities and counties have discrimination laws protecting Gender Identity. There have been no problems in states where this bill is already passed.Our response: This is deceptive. Yes, there are anti-discrimination laws in these areas, but each of those laws are very different. For example, one of those 16 states - Massachusetts - do not include bathrooms because of the concerns for public safety.34 states have deliberately rejected any form of the "Bathroom Bill," for good reasons. States such as New York and New Hampshire soundly rejected the legislation because of the public outcry.Lie #2: There is no law prohibiting men from walking into a woman's restroom now. Your concerns could happen today - this bill won't change that.Our response: Currently, business owners are allowed to regulate their own facilities, and ask someone to leave if necessary. Any man who walks into a woman's restroom raises serious questions. This law will change all of that. For the first time in history, it would be LEGAL for a man who "behaves" like a woman to use the woman's restroom. Any business owner or concerned citizen who asks a man to leave a woman's restroom would be liable for "discrimination."Lie #3: Businesses and organizations will be allowed to provide "reasonable accommodations" instead of allowing men in women's restrooms.Our Response: All over the country, there have been lawsuits as the courts decide what "reasonable accommodations" are. Gender-neutral bathrooms have become a legal liability. Our legislators expect small businesses and schools to expend resources to provide accommodations that could end up in a lawsuit the next day!National groups have made it very clear that neutral restrooms are only the first step towards men being able to use women's restrooms.Lie #4: Transgenders already use Delaware restrooms, with no problems.Our Response: Then why is this legislation necessary? Why are we changing the definition of gender, allowing any man to take advantage of this law, and forcing this liability on business owners?The idea that there have been no problems with men in women's restrooms is false. There are many cases of rape, murder, and assault in restrooms all over the country that demonstrate why women's facilities must be protected. Here are 17:
- In 2011, a sex offender was convicted of raping a 3 year old in a Walmart bathroom
- In 2010 a man armed with a knife snuck into a woman's restroom and attempted to rape a woman
- In 2011 A 16 year old jumped and brutally attacked a woman in a Chucky-cheese ladies restroom
- In 2009, a registered sex offender was caught peering through a crack in the door of a woman's shower stall
- In 2011, a man attempted to sexually assault a woman in a grocery store restroom.
- In 2010, right here in Dover, a man assaulted a woman in the ladies restroom of a local restaurant.
- In 2010, again right here in Delaware, a man forced a woman into the bathroom and raped her.
- In 2008, a man followed a child into a supermarket women's restroom stall and raped her.
- In 2005, a man attacked a grandmother with a two year old in a Walmart restroom
- In 2001, days after being released from prison, a sex offender hid in a Walgreens restroom and raped a 19 year old.
- In 2012 a man reached under a bathroom stall and photographed a teenage girl.
- In 2003, a rapist followed a girl into the woman's restroom and brutally murdered her with a knife.
- In 2011, a man sexually assaulted a girl in the women's restroom.
- In 2008, a man molested three children in a bathroom park.
- In 2011, a sex offender dressed as a woman and slipped into the women's restroom.
- In 2005, a man choked an eight year old girl, raped her, and left her for dead wedged between a toilet and a wall.
- In 2009, a man assaulted a young girl in a church woman's bathroom.In many of these cases, the perpetrator was caught because someone saw a man in the woman's restroom. If this law passes, no one will be able to do anything until it is too late.
President, Delaware Family Policy Council
P.S. Be sure to forward this email to every like-minded person you know asking them to ACT!
Delaware Family Policy Council | P.O. Box 925 | Seaford | DE | 19973
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~eNews for Faith-Based OrganizationsJune 18, 2013
Editor: Stanley Carlson-Thies
In this issue New "Faith in Giving" Coalition HHS Contraceptives Mandate--August 1 Deadline Expand Foster Care by Shrinking the Number of Agencies?! Worth Reading
Access Past Issues of the eNews~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~An archive of current and past eNews for FBOs can be accessed HERE.
New "Faith in Giving" Coalition
Faith-based service organizations, like other nonprofits, are dependent on private giving and thus count on tax incentives for giving, such as the federal deduction for charitable contributions. And yet, because they are religious organizations, they may have distinct interests in the big fight that has broken out in Washington DC and in state and local politics concerning tax breaks for donations and tax breaks for nonprofits themselves.
That's the premise of a new coalition just forming, tentatively called the "faith in giving" coalition. Its sparkplugs are Rhett Butler, government liaison for the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, and David Wills, President of the National Christian Foundation.
There are at least four areas where faith-based organizations, or many or most of them, may have concerns somewhat different from secular nonprofits--and from the public policy agendas of major nonprofit advocacy organizations:
1. Many faith-based organizations are extremely dependent on giving by individuals; for various reasons they receive little of their income from government sources, fees for service, corporate donors, or foundations. As such, their income is disproportionately (compared to other nonprofits) affected by changes in the tax incentives for individual giving, whereas other nonprofits may be more concerned about changes in government grants or declines in corporate giving due to economic changes, etc. However, this disproportionate dependence on individual giving may not be accurately reflected in the econometric models and expert testimony utilized by lawmakers in considering changes to tax policy.
2. Data sources that attempt to measure giving to various causes may not accurately reflect what goes on in the faith-based world. For example, giving to faith-based nonprofits might be categorized as giving to "church" and be presumed to be inwardly focused--overlooking both how those faith-based nonprofits serve the broader community and how churches themselves typically operate programs that serve non-members. In the same way, a narrow view of religion will neglect to take account of how congregations not only directly serve their neighbors through various programs but also more generally contribute to the flourishing of their communities and thus to the good of the needy.
3. Some in the secular world have little regard for religion as a positive force and are inclined to want to restrict tax incentives to "worthy" causes, such as nonprofits that are narrowly focused on anti-poverty programs. An important and growing strand of progressive thought seeks to limit tax exemptions and giving incentives to "public serving" charities--excluding from the category religious nonprofits that hire according to religion or that "discriminate" in services (e.g., do not facilitate abortions or recognize same-sex marriage). (Other activists have advocated that government, foundations, and corporate donors should require grantees to provide some fixed percentage of their services to various minorities, including sexual minorities, and to manifest certain forms of diversity among their staff and board memberships.)
4. Faith-based charities and their advocates have to be especially concerned about intrusive government rules, reporting requirements, and investigations (shades of the current revelations about IRS malfeasance) to protect the religious freedom of the religious organizations (here's the proper meaning of church-state separation). For example, policymakers may think they are just trying to obtain all legitimate revenue by restricting a tax exemption to the "worship" activities of a religious organization--but they may in the process illicitly be defining the other activities of the organization as not religious.
We can note, too, that giving to religious organizations--both houses of worship and faith-based service organizations--may be more resistant than secular giving to economic downturns because of the religious motivation and perspectives of the givers.
For such reasons, faith-based organizations, without neglecting to make common cause with other nonprofits, may need additionally to consider certain matters of specific concern to them as religious entities. That's the idea behind the emerging coalition.
Among other activities, the "faith in giving" coalition will monitor congressional hearings and legislative developments, meet with members of Congress, facilitate meetings by faith-based organizations with their congressional representatives, work to educate the media, and encourage the organizations to submit comments on tax reform proposals that might affect charitable giving.
For further information, contact Rhett Butler of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (rbutler AT agrm.org).
HHS Contraceptives Mandate--August 1 Deadline~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
August 1 starts the clock again on the contraceptives mandate for faith-based service organizations such as religious schools, hospitals, and charities. Sort of.
Recall: the mandate is the requirement that the health insurance that employers buy for their employees must cover, without charge, a number of "preventive health services," including all FDA-approved birth control pills and devices, including emergency birth control drugs that may act as abortifacients. Grandfathered health plans are exempt. Churches are exempt. Businesses, no matter whether their owners have deep religious objections to the contraceptives or abortifacients, are not exempt--the Obama administration says organizations involved in commerce have no religious rights.
That leaves faith-based service organizations. They are not eligible for the exemption, which is limited to worship-type organizations, excluding faith-based organizations that provide faith-shaped and faith-inspired services such as education, health care, adoptions, development assistance, or drug treatment. The administration has promised, instead, an "accommodation." But no such accommodation has yet been actually created. In the meantime, the administration provided a "temporary enforcement safe harbor"--delaying the start date of the contraceptives mandate, for religious service organizations that are nonprofits (not for any businesses, not even for religious bookstores or publishers), until August 1, 2013. From that date onward, the mandate becomes active for the religious nonprofits as soon as they start a new insurance plan or their current plan begins a new year.
And what will the accommodation mean to them? No one knows for sure. The administration published proposed regulations on Feb. 6, 2013, but it has not yet published final regulations for religious service organizations that buy employee health insurance from an insurance company. And the administration has not even published proposed regulations for those service organizations that self-insure.
So there is a timing problem: the new plan year for some organizations might begin on August 1 or in September or October-giving little time to decide what to do even if the final regulations are published this week. If they self-insure they might not know for months what the regulations are.
And there is the problem of substance: the accommodation the administation has promised is not an exemption but rather is supposed to be some kind of mechanism which will require someone other than the employer or the employees to pay for the contraceptives and through which the employer can buy insurance that excludes some or all contraceptives while the employees nevertheless are given the contraceptive coverage whether or not they want it. Magic all around.
And there is a very practical problem for objecting faith-based service organizations: if they object to the contraceptives coverage and do not believe in the magic of the accommodation, there is little they can do to keep faith with their conscience.
* They can escape the contraceptives mandate by dropping health insurance--but, unless they are very small, they will be subject to a hefty annual penalty for doing that; they will have violated their conscience in another way if they are committed to providing health insurance to their employees; and they may lose valued employees if they drop health insurance. (An employer, after dropping the health insurance, could increase the employees' salaries to aid them in buying insurance on their own.)
* They can try to buy (or arrange, if they self-insure) insurance that really does not cover objectionable contraceptives, but insurance companies might not sell it to them (lest they be penalized themselves) and, if they can obtain such insurance, they will be subject to huge daily fines and to lawsuits from their employees.
* The organizations can hope--and work for--congressional passage of H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act.
* Or the religious organizations can sue the government, hoping a court will come to their aid and stop application of the mandate. Many religious nonprofits already have sued, and now that the mandate is near to coming into effect, the courts may take up their cases.
There is one other possibility: whether dropping health insurance, suing the government, advocating for the conscience bill, or buying insurance that is objectionable, the religious service organization can also send a protest letter to the President and to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, condemning the mandate and its violation of conscience and religious freedom. And send a copy of each letter to the editor of the New York Times and to the editor of the Washington Post. Big media outlets like these have done little to examine the religious freedom issues at stake, but instead have chided religious leaders and religious organizations for supposedly being anti-women and anti-birth control.
An outpouring of protest letters might help both the administration and the mass media come to understand the seriousness of the mandate's attack on the religious freedom of religious organizations, paving the way for a lifting of the burden.
Expand Foster Care By Shrinking the Number of Agencies?!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here it is again, for a third Congress: the Every Child Deserves a Family act (HR 2028/S 1069). The argument goes: too many kids in the United States cannot find a foster or adoptive home, and the reason is that prospective foster or adoptive parents and some of the kids themselves are discriminated against because they are LGBT. So the solution is to ban such discrimination by states and by private adoption and foster care agencies.
And yet, as should be plain to everyone, there is a huge difference between, on the one hand, requiring state governments not to prevent or impede LGBT adoptions and foster care, and on the other hand, requiring all private agencies to ignore marital status and sexual orientation when they recruit families and place children. The latter--as should also be plain to everyone, given what has happened in places such as Boston, Illinois, Washington DC, and San Francisco--is a great way to reduce, not expand, foster or permanent homes for children who need them, as faith-based agencies have to close their doors to avoid violating their convictions about how best to help the children.
On the other hand, as Colorado and New Jersey, among other states, have discovered, enlisting, rather than impeding, faith-based agencies that know how to reach out to churches is the way to expand, rather than contract, services for needy children.
The Every Child bill needs a religious exemption. Better yet, instead of this bill, the federal government should use its financial power to require all states to protect the missions of legitimate agencies, including the faith-based decisions of faith-based agencies.
"Like" IRFA's Facebook page! Keep up with important developments; connect with others who also care about the freedom of faith-based services.
Peter Menzies, "Calgary City Soul: A Story of Urban Thriving," Comment online, June 14, 2013.
Among the findings of this on-going Cardus study of Calgary, Alberta:
"Faith-based institutions deliver services differently than government. Sometimes this is owing to the effectiveness that comes through very localized and socially embedded networks of informal support. People also form deep and lasting bonds with a faith-based community in a way that doesn't happen with a government agency. Both are needed but they function uniquely."
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What is IRFA?
The Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance works to safeguard the religious identity, faith-based standards and practices, and faith-shaped services of faith-based organizations across the range of service sectors and religions, enabling them to make their distinctive and best contributions to the common good.
Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance | 984 St. Johns Drive | Annapolis | MD | 21409
Monday, June 17, 2013
June 17, 2013
Study Finds Supportive Tilt to Gay Marriage Coverage
News organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view, according to a content study by the Pew Research Center to be released on Monday.
The researchers assessed a representative sample of mainstream coverage for two months this year, and found that many stories contained either a balanced mix of views or no views at all. But of the rest, roughly five times as many stories were weighted toward support for same-sex marriage as were weighted toward opposition.
"A story was deemed to be in support of or opposition to same-sex marriage if the statements expressing that view outnumbered opposing statements by at least 2-to-1," the report stated.
It added, "The level of support conveyed in the news media examined here goes beyond the level seen in public opinion surveys." The imbalance was evident both in reporting and in commentary, and on all three of the major cable news channels, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN.
The study lends credence to conservative charges that the nation's news media have championed the issue of same-sex marriage at the expense of objectivity. Others have argued that news organizations are right not to overly emphasize opposition to what many see as a core civil rights issue.
The researchers noted in their report that many of the developments that the news media were covering were intrinsically positive for the gay rights movement, including votes in favor of same-sex marriage on the state level.
The researchers separately looked at Twitter postings about the topic this year, which were "almost evenly divided between support and opposition for the measure — closely reflecting public opinion."
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Attention: Delaware residents and their friends
Update on the Bathroom Bill
The Bathroom Bill will be on the House floor for a vote on Tuesday at 2pm. We are SO CLOSE to stopping this bill - it's literally down to one vote!
THANK YOU to the women who responded to our call to testify on the Bathroom Bill on Wednesday. Many of you came for the first time, applied our talking points, and effectively delivered the right messaging. Mothers representing all different communities and walks of life testified beautifully and it made a huge difference.
Your representatives MUST hear from you! Click here to immediately email your representative. It takes less than 2 minutes. If you've already emailed, do it again, then forward this email to your family and friends.
Read and use the most effective talking points. Bottom line: the "Bathroom Bill" defines gender as how one identifies in expression, behavior, and appearance. This means anyone who "expresses" as the opposite gender has access to any private public accommodation. A woman would have no legal recourse against a naked man walking around in a ladies locker room or shower area, as long as he "expressed" or "behaved" like a woman. Women have a right to privacy and safety. This bill directly impacts you and your family. Be heard!
Here are the Reps who need to hear from their districts:
Darryl ScottQuinn JohnsonIf you live in any of these districts, please email your Representative immediately and FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS asking them to do the same.
Administration strongly opposes Rep. Fleming's religious freedom amendment for the Armed Forces.Next week the United States House of Representatives is gearing up to vote on a bill that would ban abortion nationally on unborn children older than 20 weeks. There is scientific evidence that these children are capable of feeling pain, and deserve the most basic protections.
Become a card-carrying member of DFPC! Sign up today.
SAVE THE DATE!
Sept 28th | 8:30am - 3:00pmDelaware State University | 1200 North Dupont Hwy, Dover
Does freedom ring in your school? Are professionals and students in your school free to speak about religious topics or are they silenced? Get the facts about religious liberty in the public schools.
Delaware Family Policy Council | P.O. Box 925 | Seaford | DE | 19973