Ignore the Spin: Liberal Bullies Failed in North Carolina

Photo credit: Mr. TinDC via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The spin has begun from the results of the North Carolina governor’s race. Even as the votes are still being counted, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is suggesting that Governor Pat McCrory’s tight re-election race should warn Georgia officials against pursuing religious-freedom legislation in the 2017 session. This conclusion, though entirely predictable coming from the AJC, isn’t supported by the facts.

McCrory catapulted into the national spotlight last spring by signing a bill protecting the privacy of women and girls in taxpayer-funded restrooms. This thoroughly unremarkable action provoked the rage of wealthy radical interests from outside the state, who vowed to pull out all stops to defeat him in his re-election bid.

McCrory currently trails challenger Roy Cooper by a paper-thin margin, a few thousand votes, after 70,000 votes belatedly appeared from liberal Durham County. (The media had predicted McCrory would lose by several percentage points. Oops.) Results won’t be known until all provisional, military, and absentee ballots are counted, and there are more than enough votes there to erase Cooper’s tiny lead. But regardless of which way the election tilts, there is no basis for claims that McCrory’s action to protect privacy either hurt the state or violated the wishes of North Carolinians.

Despite the propaganda, North Carolina’s economy is humming along quite nicely. The state has welcomed dozens of new companies even since the privacy controversy erupted in the spring of 2016. In fact, other than PayPal, pretty much the only enterprises that have chosen to punish the state for exercising common sense are taxpayer-funded sports events, aging musicians, and leftist Hollywood types looking to make a political statement. Continue Reading

Catholic University Willingly Surrenders Title IX Religious Exemption

Loyola University New Orleans (photo credit: Louisiana Travel via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

On Thursday, Loyola University of New Orleans willingly relinquished its ability to claim a religious exemption from federal Title IX requirements. In a letter to the Department of Education, university officials wrote that they no longer need such exemptions because they no longer provide students health insurance.

The Department of Justice’s website describes Title IX as “a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.”

Many religious colleges and universities have sought exemptions from Title IX in the past because the law’s associated regulations require that health insurance offered to students provide coverage for abortion and contraception. However, Loyola and other Christian schools that have re-embraced Title IX in an effort to seem more “open and accepting” may be in for more trouble than they expect.

The Human Rights Campaign, one of the groups at the cutting edge of the LGBT movement, has been petitioning the government to seriously limit the ability of colleges and universities to live out their religious and moral convictions.

Writing for National Review, Andrew Walker explains:

Like any association with an expectation about belief and conduct, Christian colleges admit students on the basis and expectation of Christian kids promising to abide by Christian morality. The Human Rights Campaign, however, views any attempt by Christian colleges to live out their Christian ethics as inherently discriminatory because most Christian colleges, shockingly, dare to uphold the 2,000-year-old teaching that homosexuality is sinful and that gender is biologically determined, not socially constructed.

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Far-Left LGBT Group Launches Fierce Attack Against Donald Trump

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Well, that didn’t take long. Now that Donald Trump has effectively secured the Republican nomination for president, far-left special interest groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) are launching a blitzkrieg of misinformation and propaganda.

On Tuesday, Brandon Lorenz, Communications Campaign Director at HRC, wrote a blog post criticizing the “Four Ways Donald Trump Would Roll Back LGBT Equality As President.” In the post, Lorenz cites a letter Donald Trump sent American Principles Project (APP) in December of last year promising to sign the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) if the bill reached his desk as President.

You can read a brief summary about FADA here — what it is, who it protects, and why it is needed.

In a press release released yesterday, Frank Cannon, president of American Principles Project, praised Trump for his support of FADA:

Donald Trump deserves credit from social conservatives for his principled position on protecting freedom of religion. Last December, Trump assured American Principles Project, ‘I will certainly sign legislation that protects religious liberty for all.’ He is with us on this important issue.

Cannon called on conservatives to oppose the extremist Hillary Clinton:

[Trump] is with us on this important issue. Hillary Clinton is not.

Endorsed by the radical LGBT lobby, Hillary Clinton is an extremist who has staked out a position opposing religious freedom, a bedrock American principle as outlined in the First Amendment. By opposing the First Amendment Defense Act, Clinton has allied herself with radical anti-religious activists who would gleefully advocate shutting the doors of churches and synagogues with which they disagree…

Trump has demonstrated a commitment to the concerns of social conservatives on issues like life, marriage, and religious freedom, and he has promised to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia.

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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

LGBT Activist Group Announces Radical Agenda to Eliminate Religious Freedom Protections

Photo credit: Ted Mielczarek via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Following the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage, LGBT activists have decided that they’re not finished. The largest organization working to advance the LGBT agenda recently announced its newest set of goals for the upcoming months—goals which, according to the Witherspoon Institute, include “the most invasive threat to religious liberty ever proposed.”

At the 2015 Chicago gala last weekend, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin unveiled three new areas of focus: passing the Equality Act, stopping the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), and further “activating the LGBT vote.”

The Equality Act seeks to amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to federal non-discrimination laws.  If it passes, its “sweeping effects on religious liberty, free speech, and freedom of conscience would be historic.” The act would essentially elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to the level of race, therefore equating any dissenters with racists and bigots. It creates a “new form of discrimination” by socially isolating those with a traditional belief in marriage and sexuality.

The Equality Act would also have a devastating effect on protections for individuals and businesses who find it a violation of conscience to provide services for wedding ceremonies. It would prohibit the denial of any good or service to persons on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity but makes no distinction between baking a cake for a birthday party and baking a cake for a wedding ceremony.

Moreover, the Equality Act would cut the legs out from under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, barring any individuals, businesses, educational institutions, or religious institutions from appealing to RFRA. Continue Reading

Human Rights Campaign Targets Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Human Rights Campaign has announced it is going to be archiving all the GOP’s candidates pronouncements on gay marriage and gay rights, but its inaugural press release singled out and put a target on Gov. Mike Huckabee’s back.

The press release is very typical of HRC: it describes Huckabee’s rhetoric in negative terms without actually quoting anything he has said (in the last decade at least), except for this 2010 quote: “We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn’t work the same.”

That’s it?

Huckabee announced he is sitting out CPAC in favor of South Carolina and Tennessee swings. Continue Reading