Tony Perkins / April 23, 2016

A Steady Stream of Bathroom Backlash

If you’re one of those people who wondered how same-sex marriage would affect you, walk into a Target bathroom and find out! Less than a year after the Supreme Court made “feelings” the condition of marriage, liberals are trying to make them the basis of gender too. But not without a major fight first. The American people aren’t exactly lining up to put their wives and daughters in harm’s way just to prove how “tolerant” they are. On the contrary, they’re pushing back on this ridiculous agenda with a ferocity even the Left wasn’t expecting.

If you’re one of those people who wondered how same-sex marriage would affect you, walk into a Target bathroom and find out! Less than a year after the Supreme Court made “feelings” the condition of marriage, liberals are trying to make them the basis of gender too. But not without a major fight first. The American people aren’t exactly lining up to put their wives and daughters in harm’s way just to prove how “tolerant” they are. On the contrary, they’re pushing back on this ridiculous agenda with a ferocity even the Left wasn’t expecting.

Candidates like Donald Trump, who made the mistake of supporting genderless bathrooms (a position the American College of Pediatricians calls “child abuse”), are facing so much backlash that they have no choice but to walk their positions back. For Trump, criticizing North Carolina’s law was problematic from the start. After all, this is an issue of political correctness run amuck — and he’s trying to position himself as the politically incorrect candidate. Even his own advisors think Trump is wrong on this issue! As I tweeted [Thursday], if you’re afraid to defend the right to privacy and safety in bathrooms, how will you protect the borders?

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) was so stunned by Trump’s position that he took to the House floor and fired back. “It’s incredible that people are outraged at North Carolina,” he said. “Here we are, at the place in our history where insanity in the name of political correctness rules the day.” Asked later about Trump’s comments, Gohmert half-joked, “Hopefully, that will be another one of the positions that he’ll change.” Hours later, the GOP front-runner appeared on “Hannity” singing a different tune. “I think that local communities and states should make the decision,” he backpedaled. “And I feel very strongly about that. The federal government should not be involved.”

Here’s the bottom line: this isn’t an “equality issue.” It’s a public safety issue. And in the end, North Carolina’s legislators listened to their constituents and gave companies a choice — not a mandate — to change their policies. If anything, Donald Trump shouldn’t be criticizing the state and other conservatives — he should be pressuring his friends in Big Business to stop being puppets for the Left’s sexual anarchists. At a time when the nation is facing so many critical issues, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) can’t believe this is what liberals are wasting our time on. “I think it would be a bad idea to put little girls in a bathroom with grown men,” he said. “This is the last thing on my mind today, and I know it’s important to some, but [ISIS] will kill us all. We’re talking about access to bathrooms in North Carolina…”

Meanwhile, the NBA is just as oblivious to public opinion as Target, announcing [Thursday] that it would pull the 2017 All-Star Game if the Tar Heels don’t change their law. “We’ve been working very closely with the business community down there,” Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters [Thursday], “and the governor and the legislatures to make it clear that it would be problematic for us to move forward with our All-Star game if there is not a change in the law.” Of course, no one has bothered to ask if the NBA has the same policy. (It doesn’t.) Like the long list of hypocrites before it, Silver is hoping no one notices that he’s demanding changes his own organization hasn’t made! Still, Silver insisted, “I think they’ve heard loud and clear from the NBA.” Unfortunately for Silver, the NBA doesn’t elect leaders — voters do. And only 21 percent of Republicans polled last month agree with him.

If you want to know where America really stands on the issue, ask Target. Within eight hours of posting a boycott pledge for the company’s dangerous new restroom policy, our friends at AFA had 100,000 signers. Today, that number has skyrocketed past 198,000. And you can include Louie Gohmert in that count! “If they’re going to be having women come to men’s restrooms,” he vowed, “I won’t be going to Target to shop, unless and until that changes.” That’s a fraction of the backlash corporations are facing for jumping into the deep end on a common sense issue. If Target wants to cater to one half of one percent of the population, it shouldn’t be surprised when it loses a whole lot more than one half of one percent of its profits!

Originally published here.

Missouri Takes a Swing at Church Playground

What does a children’s playground have to do with the U.S. Supreme Court? A lot, starting this fall. That’s when the justices will likely consider a case of religious discrimination against Missouri’s Trinity Lutheran Church. Like a lot of churches, Trinity has an adjacent playground that needed refurbishing. So, the staff applied for a state grant through Missouri’s Scrap Tire Grant Program which helps reimburse groups for installing rubber safety flooring from recycled tires. In an odd twist, state officials denied Trinity’s request “even though the Missouri Department of Natural Resources ranked its application fifth out of the 44 submitted.”

When the church inquired as to why they were turned down, they were told the state constitution barred the “public treasury” from aiding “any church, section, or denomination of religion.” That hardly seemed fair to the congregation, whose children need just as much outdoor padding as others. “A rubber playground surfaces accomplishes the state’s purposes whether it cushions the fall of the pious or the profane,” Alliance Defending Freedom argued in its opening brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The state’s categorical exclusion of religious daycare centers and preschools from the [program] is discrimination based on religious status, and that violates the First Amendment,” ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman told reporters. Being neutral, he went on, “doesn’t mean treating religious organizations worse than everyone else.”

We agree, which is why FRC filed a brief with our friends at the Christian Legal Society, the Anglican Church of North America, the Christian Medical Association, National Religious Broadcasters, and the Queens Federation of Churches asking the Court to stop the government’s punishment of faith-based groups. No church should be excluded from free, fair, and equal participation in public life just because of its religious nature.

As FRC’s Travis Weber explained, “At the heart of the First Amendment is the idea that Americans should be able to not just hold beliefs but follow those beliefs as they live their lives. The Free Exercise of religion, explicitly protected by the First Amendment, protects varied and robust religious expression in the public square. Certainly the Framers never meant to exclude churches from public life in the way the state of Missouri and lower courts have here.” The Establishment Clause, he goes on, “was never intended to scrub all religious expression from the public square or bar organizations from receiving any benefit from the government merely because they are religious. We are merely asking for a fair and level playing field for religious and nonreligious organizations.”

Originally published here.

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