Gay Left Targets Christian Schools Seeking Conscience Protections

Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

The Human Rights Campaign has a new mission. They are trying to get the U.S. Department of Education to require religious colleges and universities to “post” a notice when they seek an exemption provided by Title IX (the federal sex discrimination in education law). The Department has recently interpreted the 1972 statute to create a new rule against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. Title IX has long allowed schools to request an exemption from the statute if “application of the law would conflict with specific tenets of the religion” so as not to lose federal funding and open themselves to private lawsuits. The exemption will be granted as long as a school can show it is controlled by a religious organization and it identifies which applications of the law conflict with its religious teachings.

In the last two years, 57 schools have sought an exemption, 34 of which have been granted. The timing is related to the Department’s new interpretation, the legal redefinition of marriage by the Supreme Court and a settlement between the Department of Education and a school district in Arcadia, California. The settlement resulted in the district allowing a girl who identifies as male to use the male restroom and locker room and to stay with boys on an overnight trip. HRC has published a report identifying the schools seeking exemptions but argues that more publicity is needed. That’s why they are pushing for a posting requirement for schools, as well as publicity on the Department of Education website and a report on exemptions to Congress. Continue Reading

Scott Walker: If the Supreme Court Redefines Marriage, a Federal Marriage Amendment is the Only Viable Option

With a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether states can retain in their laws the understanding of marriage as the union of a husband and wife expected in June, it is worth highlighting Governor Scott Walker’s support for a federal constitutional amendment, reported earlier here.

In an interview with Shane Vander Hart in Iowa for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Governor Walker held out hope the Supreme Court would do the right thing but said that if they did not, “the only other viable option out there is to support a constitutional amendment, which I would, believing not just in marriage being defined as one man, one woman, but I also believe in states rights.  I believe that is an issue that appropriately belongs in the states.”

The full video is below:

William Duncan is executive director of the Marriage Law Foundation. Continue Reading

Fiorina Describes Herself as a “Proud, Pro-Life Conservative”

In her speech to the South Carolina Freedom Summit, Carly Fiorina bookended her remarks by distinguishing herself from Hillary Clinton and from the current Administration. She began with a strong attack on Ms. Clinton’s unwillingness to answer questions, contrasting it to her own willingness to go on the record.

The biographical section of her speech focused on her rise from secretary to company president but also included a tribute to her mother-in-law for choosing not to have an abortion. This allowed her to tout her own pro-life bona fides, nicely highlighting the extreme position of the Democratic Party on the issue:

As you know, I ran for the Senate against Barbara Boxer in California in 2010 and I ran as a proud, pro-life conservative and you don’t do that unless you really mean it. For those of us who believe in the sanctity of life, we know that science is proving us right every day. We now know that the DNA in a zygote is precisely the same as the day you die. Life is a continuum a gift from God passed through the union of a man and a woman and every life is filled with potential. I don’t know about you but I am really tired of being called extreme on this issue. The platform of the Democratic Party is that a life is not a life until it leaves the hospital. That, ladies and gentlemen is extreme.

She did not say anything about marriage, religious liberty or Common Core. Continue Reading

Perry’s Animated Speech Focuses on Homeland Security

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rick Perry’s enthusiastic and animated South Carolina Freedom Summit speech was long on Texas. Talking about his “personal favorite” among the Bill of Rights, the Tenth Amendment, he contrasted the “gross incompetence” of the current Administration with his own record in Texas. He spent a lot of time talking about defense issues, with particular emphasis on border security. He recounted telling President Obama that if the federal government wouldn’t secure the border, Texas would and described the state’s success in limiting border crossing using Texas National Guard troops.

Texas was also touted as a model of job creation, educational success and tort reform.

Unfortunately, he didn’t have anything to say about life, marriage, religious liberty or Common Core. He did briefly contrast the strength of Wall Street with less-prosperous Main Street.

William C. Duncan is executive director of the Marriage Law Foundation. Continue Reading

Cruz Makes a Strong Case for Religious Liberty and Against Common Core

Senator Ted Cruz got something of rock star treatment before and after his strong speech to the South Carolina Freedom Summit. He began with a jab at Republican leadership for wanting to be rid of him. He complained that Americans are no longer confident their children will have a better life than they did.

He outlined a three-point program. The first point focused on economic recovery and his calls for a flat tax, abolishing the IRS (and sending its agents to the southern border), and repealing Obamacare got a good response.

His second point, defending constitutional rights, was particularly strong. His First Amendment comments included a strong defense of religious liberty:

We need to defend the First Amendment, our free speech, our religious liberty. You know all of us, are hearts were breaking as we saw what unfolded in Indiana and Arkansas as those states stood up to defend religious liberty and the modern Democratic Party in a perfect storm joined with big business to say their commitment to mandatory gay marriage in all 50 states trumps any commitment to the First Amendment. It wasn’t too long ago there was bipartisan consensus on the First Amendment. We might disagree between Democrats and Republicans on marginal tax rates but when it came to religious liberty we stood as one. How far we have come. And let me say Indiana was a sorting moment as Reagan would say, a time for choosing. There are candidates running in 2016, even candidates in the Republican field who when Indiana was being battled they were nowhere to be found.

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