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Tony Perkins / Mar. 3, 2021

Tennessee: An All-Volunteer Force for Common Sense

Liberals are getting a taste of just how unpopular their radical agenda is becoming.

In one of the more colorful descriptions of the Equality Act, Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) told reporters that he doesn’t believe in discrimination against anyone but said, “this bill guts religious freedom… like a fish. And anybody that’s suggesting otherwise is either not telling the truth, or they didn’t graduate from kindergarten.” While he and the rest of the GOP brace for the bill to hit the Senate, the good news is, the states aren’t waiting. They’re racing to put up shields of protection now.

In Tennessee, liberals are getting a taste of just how unpopular their radical agenda is becoming. Days after the U.S. House decided to strip girls of sports, privacy, rights, and religion in the Equality Act, the Volunteers sent a message of their own. With one of the biggest vote margins yet, leaders sent a bill saving women’s sports out of the state senate by a 27-6 vote. “To say it’s not a problem in Tennessee may be true, but it will be a problem in Tennessee probably sooner than we think,” state Sen. Kerry Roberts (R) warned.

Legislators seemed to agree, including some who refused to back the proposal last year. A handful of members switched sides, acknowledging that the march to include biological boys is gaining steam. “To deny that it’s a problem is to deny reality,” Roberts agreed.

There were the predictable arguments from the Left — fears over what the corporate culture would do and how the decision would impact tourism. “We’re looking at events like the Super Bowl, we’re looking at the World Cup in 2026. We all love our NCAA basketball tournaments, [and] all three of those organizations have said they will seriously consider not bringing their events to locations that have discriminatory laws on the books,” a local Chamber of Commerce CEO cautioned. Fortunately, most leaders chose to look past those threats to the real issue: fairness, opportunity, and safety. If the Left wants to hold states hostage for refusing to bow to their transgender agenda, fine. Let them explain to America why they want to strip women of the programs that they fought decades for. Or why our daughters’ futures are a worthwhile trade for a few rounds of March Madness revenue.

The more the mob pushes, the harder conservatives are starting to push back. At this point, what do they have to lose? Sixty-four percent of Americans are already worried the cancel culture is destroying their freedom. And if the last few weeks are any indication, the last thing they’re going to do is roll over and let it. Even Republicans who might have been reluctant to tackle the issue before are starting to openly challenge this ridiculous idea that transgenderism is good for kids. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) went toe-to-toe with Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of HHS, who wouldn’t even give a straight answer on whether he thought children should be sterilized without their parents’ knowledge. The fringe called Paul a “transphobe.” The rest of the country called him courageous.

These are the kind of leaders who are going to make a difference in the growing number of states trying to fend off this onslaught. Will the pressure keep coming? Absolutely. But, as Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said at CPAC, “You know what? The Leftists, the Democrats, the radical progressives, they can go ahead and crank up the heat seven times hotter. We’re going through with Jesus, and we’re coming out not even smelling like smoke. We are not going to be singed by the radical flames of this cancel culture.”

So join the team who refuses to be canceled. Contact your state leaders and urge them to protect kids from this dangerous movement. Then, email your senators and tell them to vote no on the Equality Act. For more on what the bill would mean for Christians, check out David Closson’s blog post, “The Equality Act Demands Conformity to Moral Anarchy.”


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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