Bathroom Wars Reach Critical Mass
Just how unpopular is the transgender movement? Even Massachusetts isn’t buying it! Two years after the legislature opened up the state’s bathrooms and showers to both sexes, even Bay State voters are drawing the line. The fight has been an eye-opener for Democrats, who are scrambling to protect their agenda from an embarrassing loss in one of the bluest states in the union. Turns out, you don’t have to be a conservative to understand how dangerous gender politics can be!
No one — including Gov. Charlie Baker (R) — saw the opposition coming. In 2016, party leaders were apparently reading their own press releases and watching MSNBC and thought the countermovement was a joke. Now, two years and more than 50,000 petitions later, no one is laughing — least of all Democrats. Before Baker’s signature was even dry, Keep MA Safe went to work, sending an army of volunteers and church groups to neighborhoods all across the state. In 45 days of door-knocking, the coalition did what no one thought was possible: It not only hit the 32,000 threshold for signatures but it exceeded it by 17,000! Now, thanks to their hard work, a repeal is on the ballot this November, and LGBT activists are panicking that common sense might win.
Like other sexual orientation-gender identity laws (SOGI), this one affects everything from hotels, bars, and restaurants to gyms, libraries, and theaters. Even private schools would have to open their stalls to anyone on days when they’re hosting public events. Object, the state says, and go to jail. That goes for parents who don’t want men sharing private spaces with their little girls to students who are scared to change for gym with teenage boys in the room.
In an op-ed that desperately tries to downplay the risks of Massachusetts’s policy, state House Speaker Robert DeLeo makes the ridiculous claim that there’s been no fallout from laws like this one. “Opponents to this common-sense protection routinely and falsely claim that the law could be abused by criminals seeking to harm women and children in public restrooms,” he writes. “The facts simply don’t support this fiction.” He apparently doesn’t shop at Target! What does DeLeo call this laundry list of police reports here and here? The threats associated with Massachusetts’s law aren’t something conservatives invented (unlike the Left’s latest definition of gender). There are very real patterns of voyeurism, harassment, and abuse that result from open-door policies like this one.
Still, DeLeo insists, “I’ve had the good fortune of meeting transgender residents of our Commonwealth one-on-one, and I recognize that they only want to go about living their lives just like all of us.” Where have we heard that before? Americans have been down this road of “coexistence” for the last two decades, and all they’ve gotten in exchange are attacks on their religious liberty, personal safety, parental authority, and financial livelihoods. If DeLeo and company were truly interested in letting people go about their lives, he’d let business owners and school boards make their own rules — not force them to adopt extremists’.
Fortunately, a lot of Massachusetts voters agree. According to polling, the repeal effort is dead even, which has come as a huge shock to leftist Democrats. Even DeLeo is acknowledging that liberals have zero margin for error, “We can take nothing for granted. Recent public polls show this as a 50/50 race.” Yvette Ollada, the campaign manager for Keep MA Safe, says the coalition is confident that “a strong education effort about the dangers of this law will ensure a victory for our side in November.” But, she cautions, “though we have a very good chance of winning, it’s all reliant on a well-funded campaign. We need resources to get our message out to voters… Once voters learn that a man can just say he is a woman; in order to access bathrooms, dressing rooms and locker rooms; it only makes sense to vote ‘NO’ to protect women, children and vulnerable minorities. The other side may have the mainstream media and a lot of money on their side, but if we focus our resources strategically, we will defeat them on Election Day.”
She’s right about the money. This week, the far Left announced a million-dollar ad buy for a massive push this fall. Of course, that over-the-top spending wouldn’t be necessary if its policy was as popular as LGBT activists say it is! For conservatives, meanwhile, there’s a very real opportunity here to send a message to the nation that transgender politics are out of step with even the most liberal Americans! As Massachusetts Family Institute’s Andrew Beckwith says, we can’t underestimate the importance of this moment.
This is an important fight for the Commonwealth and the pro-family movement, since Massachusetts could be the first state to attempt to repeal a law like this at the statewide level. We are ground zero! We need help, though, from faithful people across this country, because the other side is well funded and well organized. If we all come together we can and will defeat this horrible law.
Join Massachusetts in a battle that could send transgender activists packing. See what you can do to help by visiting KeepMASafe.org!
Originally published here.
Trump, Erdogan Talk Turkey
If Turkey wants to improve its relationship with America, here’s an idea: Stop taking our citizens hostage! President Trump delivered that message personally in a call with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then followed it up with a scathing tweet on social media after Turkish officials refused to release Pastor Andrew Brunson: “A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison. He has been held hostage far too long,” Mr. Trump said. “@RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!”
The entire Brunson family, who’s waited for Andrew’s return for more than two years, thought this might be the week that they’d be reunited. Those hopes were dashed, my colleague at the U.S. Commission on International Religion Freedom (USCIRF) explains in a new op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, after a two-hour trial that sent Pastor Brunson back to prison until Oct. 12. “Since the indictment,” Kristina Arriaga writes, “the government has held three hearings — each more bizarre than the last. Most of the evidence is based on secret testimony obtained by the government. Wednesday’s hearing in Izmir, which I attended, proved as preposterous as the others.” This time, she explains:
The judges allowed a single witness for the defense to speak. This was a “concession,” as they had previously said only prosecution witnesses could testify. The judges aided the prosecution witnesses’ recollections by reminding them of their written testimony. When a judge asked one of the witnesses about the names of people involved in activities against Turkey, the witness replied that while he didn’t remember now, he might remember later. The judge accepted this reply.
Faced with growing pressure from the White House, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and several members of Congress, Turkey has tried to defend itself from the outrage claiming that this is all part of the “legal process.” But, Arriaga says, that’s simply not true. Instead, she argues, this is part of a widespread crack down on religious liberty — one that Pompeo refuses to take sitting down.
“Pastor Brunson’s case is very much a focus of the team that I lead here at the State Department and we’re optimistic in the days and weeks ahead, we’ll get a good outcome for Pastor Brunson, his family and frankly for many of those that are held in places around the world,” he told CBN. It will almost certainly be a topic at next week’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, the first-ever of any U.S. State Department.
For now, the drumbeat continues. As I told Fox News’s Todd Starnes, when such a fundamental freedom, such as freedom of religion, is trampled on, you’re deceived if you think that you could do business with Turkey with some level of confidence. I’m hopeful that well see a resolution soon and Pastor Brunson will be released. Until then, keep praying!
Originally published here.
Planned Parenthood Takes a Quantum Bleep
New York City has more sex than any other city in America, says Planned Parenthood. And apparently, it thinks that’s something to be proud of. So proud, in fact, that the nation’s biggest abortion business is celebrating the Big Apple’s record promiscuity with a new ad campaign. There’s just one problem: It’s too obscene to post.
The “Protect Our Freedom to F—k” video was meant to shock — and based on the reaction of most Americans, it succeeded. When a group that claims to care about STDs, women’s health, and unplanned pregnancies unleashes a video that encourages viewers to “F—k New York and everyone in it,” it’s no wonder people are appalled. After all, this is an organization that rakes in a half-billion taxpayer dollars a year pretending to take a pandemic of sexually transmitted diseases seriously. Now, the group that hundreds of U.S. schools entrust with their sex ed is showing just how little it cares about keeping kids safe!
CNS News’s Craig Bannister watched the ad, which is making the rounds on social media, and counted 20 F-bombs in 45 seconds, a new low for any organization — let alone an official partner of the American government. The ad’s creator doesn’t seem to care about the fuss or the terrible message of the campaign, explaining that Planned Parenthood “wanted to be celebratory in the face of massive opposition, rather than plead their case in a typical PSA campaign.” But, as most pro-lifers will tell you, there’s nothing to celebrate about promiscuity in a city where more African-American babies are aborted every year than born.
But then, the bottom line has always been the bottom line for Planned Parenthood. If it can persuade more people to have sex, then that’s just a down payment on future business. It doesn’t care about the lives it’s jeopardizing along the way, even in a city whose STD rates climbed by the double digits in a single year. It says a lot about where an organization’s values are that a slogan Americans can’t even read on TV is being passed off as a legitimate response to the crisis we face.
As offended as you are by the language, I think we should all be more offended that our tax dollars are paying for it! If Planned Parenthood wants to put its perverse vulgarity on display, that’s its right. But it shouldn’t have a right to make Americans foot the bill for it. As Terry Jeffrey told me on “Washington Watch,” this ought to be the last straw for Congress. Men and women on both sides of the aisle should be lining up to pull the financial rug out from Planned Parenthood after this stunt. “Before they can attack our [values] more, let’s take away their taxpayer money to do it.” Contact your House and Senate leaders and tell them to protect your freedom — in bucks!
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.