Freedom of Association: Does it Exist or Not?

Last month, fashion designer Sophie Theallet said she would refuse to dress First Lady Melania Trump and encouraged fellow designers to follow her lead.

Believing that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign unleashed “the rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia,” Theallet said that her personal convictions of “diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles” disallowed her from “dressing or associating in any way” with the first lady.

“As a family-owned company, our bottom line is not just about money. We value our artistic freedom and always humbly seek to contribute to a more humane, conscious and ethical way to create in this world,” Theallet wrote in an email to the fashion designers.

Many of those on the political left cheered Theallet’s courage in taking a bold stand against ideas she finds contemptible. After all, isn’t Theallet’s decision to discriminate against the president-elect’s wife protected under freedom of association, the constitutional right that enables her to decide for herself who she will do business with?

Maybe freedom of association only applies to those on the left?

Ironically, the same people that extolled Theallet’s choice not to dress Melania Trump have long denied that Christians share the same right exercised by the fashion designer.

Here in Washington State, Barronelle Stutzman, a septuagenarian Christian florist, is facing the wrath of the state after she refused to decorate a same-sex wedding. Like Theallet, Stutzman believed that her moral conviction demanded that she not provide a service. And like Theallet, Stutzman felt that her conviction precluded her from using her artistic talents to support or endorse something she views as morally inappropriate.

Unlike Theallet, who was celebrated by liberals everywhere, Stutzman ended up in court being sued for discrimination by the homosexual couple and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Because the state has sued her in her personal and professional capacities, she stands to lose her home, life savings, retirement, and business.

In oral arguments presented to the Washington State Supreme Court last month, Attorney General Ferguson claimed that Christians surrender their right to act upon their religious convictions when they start businesses.

To make matters worse, Stutzman isn’t alone. Christians in other states are also being targeted for exercising their right to free association – the same right that protects Theallet’s decision not to dress the wife of a man who holds views she believes to be immoral.

According to the ACLU, “Religion is being used as an excuse to discriminate against and harm others…. The ACLU works to defend religious liberty and to ensure that no one is either discriminated against nor denied services because of someone else’s religious beliefs.”

I’d love to ask the ACLU why they believe it’s permissible for a fashion designer to discriminate against First Lady Trump because of political convictions, yet it’s unacceptable for a Christian to refrain from using her artistic expression for an event she finds morally objectionable.

Our nation’s founding fathers believed that all individuals, including business owners, were entitled to freedom of association. Businesses and customers had the right to decide whether they wanted to do business with someone else. If the other party engaged in morally objectionable behaviors, or if the other party was asking you to violate your personal convictions, then you had the right to refuse to do business with them.

Yet the political left, which has long denied that businesses and individuals possess this fundamental right in issues of sexual orientation and religious conviction, seems perfectly fine with a fashion designer not providing a professional service to the First Lady of the United States.

This intellectual dishonesty from the political left is noxious.

America needs to decide whether it will remain faithful to its historical tradition of protecting freedom of association and other conscience rights for everyone, regardless of their religious and political beliefs. If not, it needs to apply the standard consistently. There shouldn’t be a different standard for Christian florists and liberal fashion designers.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Are We “Worthless Pieces of Trash”?

Colleges and universities are widely known to be hotbeds of liberal progressivism, but one public university administrator’s recent comments about supporters of traditional marriage are beyond the pale.

Andrew Bunting, George Mason University’s Senior Assistant Director of Admissions, shared his feelings about supporters of traditional marriage, calling them “worthless pieces of trash.”

The incident began last week when Bunting shared on Facebook a blog post written by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a grassroots organization that advocates for traditional marriage.

The blog post shares NOM’s desire to work with the Trump administration to protect religious liberty, nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court, overturn President Obama’s gender identity directives, and oppose efforts to redefine marriage.

Commenting on the blog post, Bunting parroted the Southern Poverty Law Center’s claim that NOM is a “hate group.”

He went on to write, “If you agree with [NOM about traditional marriage] then that is your opinion. Just know that to the rest of us, you are a worthless piece of trash.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a far-left political group known for designating as a hate group any organization that supports traditional marriage. According to SPLC, mainstream, pro-family organizations like the American Family Association, Family Research Council, and Liberty Counsel (Liberty University) are “extremist, anti-LGBT hate groups.”

Bunting’s comments reveal what Campus Reform has termed “liberal privilege” on college campuses. This “liberal privilege” on college campuses is evidenced by the way students who share conservative ideas are maligned and punished by professors and administrators, most of whom are radically progressive and many of whom are openly Marxist.

The groupthink on college campuses has gotten so bad that the conservative perspective often isn’t even shared with students. Conservative speakers are often disinvited from campus events, if they’re even invited at all. If conservatives do make it onto campus, they’re often verbally and physically abused by protesters comprised of students and faculty.

With college administrators like Bunting making incendiary comments disparaging half of the U.S. population, it’s no wonder that conservative students fear retaliation from liberal professors and administrators.

Additionally, given Bunting’s senior position in George Mason University’s admissions department, prospective students who happen to be conservative are probably left wondering whether they are welcome on campus, and if their political views will affect their admissions chances or opportunities for scholarships.

Bunting’s comments are even more troubling because GMU is a Virginia state public university. So far, it doesn’t look like he’ll be fired, despite his comments dehumanizing those who believe in traditional marriage.

Andrew Bunting’s views are representative of those held by college administrators in schools all over the country. Knowing that this is the predominant ideological perspective on most college campuses, it’s unsurprising that college students at the University of Washington and Seattle University say things like this and this.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

New Video for Pastors and Churches: Don’t Be Afraid of the IRS

We’ve heard from a number of Washingtonians who are frustrated with their church’s lack of engagement in the ongoing culture battles. Pastors commonly cite IRS rules as a reason to stay quiet on the issues, afraid that their church might lose its non-profit status if they say or do the wrong thing.

What they don’t know is that thousands of pastors have been deliberately challenging the IRS to come after them, and to this point, the IRS has refused to do so.

FPIW has just released a new video, entitled, Why Your Church Won’t Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status. We’d be grateful if you’d watch the video, and then pass it on to your pastor and church leadership.

Please feel free to call our office at (425) 608-0242 if you have any questions, or email us at info@fpiw.org.

The Shakedown of Chef John Howie

 

A popular chef got cooked last week.  By the tolerance mob.

Chef John Howie owns a number of Seattle area restaurants and is also the chef for the Seattle Seahawks.  By all account he’s a really decent guy; generous and active in the community. But isn’t that kind of what you’d expect from the guy preparing Russell Wilson’s food?

In addition to being a decent guy, Chef Howie made a modest contribution earlier this year to the Just Want Privacy campaign in Washington State.

Just Want Privacy sought to repeal a dangerous new law that gives men the legal right to be present in a women’s bathroom, locker room, spa, or changing facility simply by declaring themselves to be female.

The chef was apparently part of the more than 70% of Washingtonians who believe it is problematic to take away the right to privacy women and children have long enjoyed in private spaces.

Probably because he is visible and active in the community, last week the Seattle Times and others from the LGBT mob decided to make an example out of him.

Capture

A Seattle Times food columnist—of all things—decided to write a post about Chef Howie’s contribution.

Why now?  Who knows.

But when you’re in the business of trying to ruin the lives of people who think differently than you, there truly is no time like the present.

The story quoted Chef Howie saying some really reasonable things that almost no one disagrees with. “Sex offenders scare the living daylights out of me,” he told the Times. “I think pedophiles can take advantage of this.”

Of course this is true.

But none of that matters anymore because “equality” means that women have to allow men who believe they are women equal access to their body.

Notwithstanding the bumper-sticker, the mob has no interest in “coexisting” with people who are different than them.

They are here to accept your surrender.

SO, within twenty-four hours, Chef Howie had created a video recanting his previous statement.

The video was quickly distributed by a number of local LGBT activists groups including the Seattle Times.

You really need to watch the video.

We’ve all seen statements written by terrorists that were read by hostages. The similarities are inescapable.  You kind of expect there to be a rainbow flag and a guy in a mask holding a knife standing behind him.

An obviously shaken Howie opened with an apology. “I’m sorry to the people that I have harmed or negatively affected with my words or my actions.”

Stating an opinion about privacy in bathrooms is now apparently harmful all by itself.

The chef promised to never support another effort to protect women’s privacy again and concluded by assuring the audience that, “I am reaching out to several leaders in the LGBT community so they can help me to understand their challenges so that I can help them in the future.”

Translation, “Yes, I’ll give you money when you ask for it.”

Everyone understands what happened.  They shook him down.

A guy doesn’t say one thing to a newspaper and then—within 24 hours—publish a video saying the exact opposite because he had a friendly chat with a buddy over a beer that caused him to reconsider his position.

The path to avoid the wrath of the mob was well planned and he took it.  Who knows, you and I might have done the same under the circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it’s not obvious and concerning.

The statement might have been more believable if it hadn’t contained the favorite talking points of the campaigns opposed to women’s privacy.  “I was motivated by facts not fear.”

If John Howie wrote his statement on his own then I’m John Wayne. Pilgrim.

The truth is, today’s social justice warriors have become modern day witch hunters.

Like the witch hunters in 17th century Salem, they have cornered the market on truth and consequently progressed beyond the need to listen.  With respect to issues of sexuality, marriage, and gender, views other than their own don’t deserve respect.

Other views can only be explained by ignorance or hate.  If you prove that you have been “educated” by recanting your beliefs, then they will have mercy.

Otherwise, your hate will be dealt with.

The irony of using totalitarian tactics to fight for tolerance is lost on them because their motives are good and the righteousness of their cause is beyond dispute.

Just like other witch hunters, they know God (or whatever non deistic life force entity they have chosen to believe in, or not) is on their side.

Once the bad guys have been eliminated, children will once again play safely in the neighborhoods, flowers will bloom, and the glaciers will heal.

Of course none of it is true, but the religious fervor with which they believe it is true means we have to deal with it.

Chef Howie was spared his economic life because he recanted, but others have refused to recant their beliefs and suffered the consequences.

Brendan Eich was a co-founder of Mozilla, but was forced out of his job as CEO of the company because of a contribution he made to a campaign in support of natural marriage in that state.

Kelvin Cochran was fired from his job as Fire Chief of Atlanta because he wrote a book on his personal time about biblical manhood that included his beliefs that homosexuality was not biblical.

Barronelle Stutzman continues her legal battle against the state of Washington because she refuses to recant her belief that she should not be compelled to decorate a same-sex wedding.

They don’t threaten people’s physical lives, just their economic life.  But the tactic is identical to how Jihadi’s control those in dhimmitude.  “Do as I say, or else…”

Yes, we can all sympathize with the Chef.

He clearly remembers a time when Americans had the right to express themselves publicly without fear of visits from strangers bringing threats.

But we’ve progressed.

So now he pays for protection.

For everyone else, this can be a lesson.  It can either be a lesson to keep our heads down and make sure we don’t offend our masters.  Or, it could be a lesson that it’s time to get together and tell the bully to go pound sand.

If we let them fight us alone every time, they’ll be happy to control us, tell us what we can say and what we can do, and shake financial contributions out of us whenever they decide its necessary.

Or we can decide that the right to work and live according to our beliefs, not someone else’s, is worth getting together and fighting for.

Bremerton School District to Use Taxpayer, Classroom Funds to Fight Kennedy Lawsuit

 

The Bremerton School District is lawyering up.

After filing a federal lawsuit against the District, Coach Joe Kennedy’s legal team made one thing pretty clear: Coach Joe just wants his job back.  “All we really want for him – is to be back on the sideline coaching those kids – and nothing more,” said Michael Berry, one of Kennedy’s attorneys with the First Liberty Institute.

Kennedy was fired last year after refusing to submit to the District’s demands that he stop praying before and after football games. His prayers, the District said, constituted an endorsement of religion, and were in violation of the separation of church and state. When this story broke last year, there was overwhelming support for Coach Kennedy from across the country, standing in support of continued protections under the First Amendment.

He didn’t stop praying, and the District put him on leave before ultimately firing him.

But there’s a new twist to this story: Bremerton School District must use taxpayer money to fight the discrimination lawsuit that Coach Kennedy has now brought against them in federal court.

The Kitsap Sun reported that the Bremerton School District has made the decision to pull needed legal funds from the general fund in order to beef up its legal team to fight this lawsuit in court.

Translation: the Bremerton School District is pulling funds from the classroom to keep Joe Kennedy off the field.

The District spent $6,600 in September of 2015 to cover the cost of legal work related to the Kennedy issue.  That amount increased to $10,512 in October 2015.  At present time, the District has dumped an additional $190,000 into its legal fund — all from the general fund — for legal work “in anticipation of legal costs for JK.”

As a taxpayer, how do you feel about this?  Sound off in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Why Planned Parenthood is Suing FPIW

 

Two days ago, FPIW’s communications director, Zach Freeman, was served legal papers naming him as a defendant in a lawsuit. The suit was filed by 10 unnamed plaintiffs, identified only as “Jane and John Does”, asking the court to prohibit the University of Washington from releasing public records that had been requested by Mr. Freeman.

Those asking for their personally identifying information to be withheld include four current or former employees of Planned Parenthood, one employee of Cedar River Clinic (a controversial late term abortion clinic) as well as an employee of Evergreen Hospital and the University of Washington.

David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, was also named as a defendant because he made a similar public records request.

Mr. Daleiden made national news last year with the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood and abortion industry executives discussing how to harvest the organs of aborted babies and maximize revenue.

Shortly after those videos were released, a group of Washington State legislators wrote two letters to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson asking him to investigate whether the parts of aborted babies were illegally being sold for a profit. (A copy of those letters can be found here and here).

After a couple of months had passed, the Attorney General wrote a memorandum to the legislators notifying them that he had done an investigation and Planned Parenthood had done nothing wrong. (A copy of that memorandum can be found here).

It is no secret that Bob Ferguson is a strong political ally of Planned Parenthood. Therefore, we thought it would be wise to verify that the evidence supported the Attorney General’s office conclusion that nothing illegal had taken place.

As a result, Mr. Freeman filed a public records request seeking information relevant to the AG’s investigation into Planned Parenthood.  That request provided a number of documents, including an interaction between the AG’s office and the University of Washington from September 2015 that caught our attention.

In that correspondence, Deputy Attorney General Paige Dietrich asked Ian Goodhew, Government Relations Director at the University of Washington for “the contract you mentioned”.

Mr. Goodhew responded to this request by seeking assurances that “You will hold those confidential and not share with anyone without consent?”

In response, Ms. Dietrich said, “I don’t think we’ll need copies of the agreements.” (A copy of this correspondence can be seen here.)

While we don’t know what this contract they were referring to is, it seems plausible given the context that it would be an agreement UW had with an outside entity to procure aborted body parts.

The fact that the Attorney General’s office rescinded their request for information after UW expressed concern about that information becoming publicly available was interesting enough to warrant further investigation.

That, in addition to other things, is the reason Mr. Freeman filed the public information request with the University of Washington. Even if the Attorney General was not interested in those contracts, we decided we were.

Since they are public records, the public is has the right to inspect them.

It is entirely possible that those records are innocuous and/or irrelevant to the investigation. We simply don’t know.

Still, the response to our request for those records as well as others has done nothing to dampen our curiosity.

While the requests were not intended to gather information about any individual, it is inevitable that public records will reveal the identity of people involved in public work. As a general matter, if you are having conversations with public entities you can expect that the public might discover that through public records.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that their safety would be in jeopardy if their identities became public. They argue that because Mr. Freeman and Mr. Daleiden are pro-life that they intend to harass and/or commit violence against the individuals who might be identified in these documents.

Coming from an industry built on violence to others, this is deeply ironic. But that is beside the point.

The conversation about who is a bigger threat to whom is irrelevant to the legal question about whether anyone in Washington was illegally profiting off the sale of baby body parts.

It is possible that all relevant information will be turned over once this distraction is resolved and the public will be able to see if anything illegal is happening. It also possible that this is just an initial attempt to keep information away from the public.

We don’t know. Yet. But we intend to find out.

We anticipate a hearing to be scheduled soon.   We will be sure to let you know what happens.

One more thing.

Thank you for your support that allows us to ask important questions like these. The abortion industry in Washington has been operating free of accountability for decades and Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar tax-payer funded giant.

We are still a ways away from our first billion and receive no money from taxpayers. Friends like you make it all possible.  If you want to support this effort, please consider partnering with us.

Thank you for standing with us so we can continue to fight for what is good, true, and beautiful. When the dark side is agitated, you know you’re doing something right.

BREAKING: FPIW, Daleiden Sued by Planned Parenthood in Federal Court

 

In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, lawyers for Planned Parenthood are seeking a judge’s help to keep records pertaining to its activities in Washington State sealed from public view.

The lawsuit, which specifically names David Daleiden and FPIW Communications Director Zach Freeman as defendants, comes after separate public records requests were filed by Daleiden and Freeman pertaining to information regarding Planned Parenthood’s relationship with the University of Washington’s Birth Defects Research Laboratory.

Following the filing of the lawsuit, Daleiden released the following statement:

“Planned Parenthood and their allies have yet again stormed into federal court, this time demanding the suppression of public records about Planned Parenthood’s supply of aborted baby parts to the taxpayer-sponsored, NIH-funded fetal harvesting service at the University of Washington.

Last October, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards hailed the partnership between Planned Parenthood Greater Washington & North Idaho and the University of Washington as the exemplary model of their new program for profit-neutral baby parts harvesting. Numerous headlines proclaimed Planned Parenthood’s new “policy change” purporting to stop receiving payment for fetal body parts, after CMP’s videos had revealed Planned Parenthood’s senior leadership callously negotiating the harvest and sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, and brains for profit.

Over the past year, the American people have watched as Planned Parenthood has scrambled to distract the public and public authorities from the scandal—even while Planned Parenthood has failed the answer the most basic questions about their baby body parts program. What is Planned Parenthood hiding about their new model baby parts program at the University of Washington? The American people, whose tax dollars make this entire barbaric industry possible, deserve to know the truth.”

Follow FPIW on Twitter @FPIW.

Police Dispatched to Stop 7-Year Old Boy from Reading Bible Verses at Public School

 

Officials at a public elementary school in Palmdale, California, dispatched a deputy sheriff after a first grader shared Bible verses with his friends at lunch.

Like many other loving mothers, Christina Zavala would send her seven-year-old son, Caleb, notes in his school lunch bag that included Bible stories. At the urging of his friends, Caleb soon began sharing the stories with them at lunch.

One of Caleb’s classmates excitedly shared one of the stories with their teacher, who then “informed Christina that [Caleb] could no longer read or share Bible verses or stories at lunch. Her note said, ‘Please tell your son that there is a separation of church and state,’” according to Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty nonprofit organization that is representing the family.

Ms. Zavala correctly informed the teacher that her son had a constitutional right to talk about his faith with his classmates during lunchtime. After Caleb’s mom continued sending the notes in his lunches, the teacher again publicly reprimanded him, causing him to leave school in tears.

Caleb was then told that he would have to wait until after school to share the Bible verses and stories with his friends, but shortly thereafter, the school again changed its policy, telling him that he could not share the notes while on school property. Caleb complied with the school’s demands.

Later in the day, a deputy sheriff, called by someone working for the school district, arrived at the Zavala family home, “demanding that [Caleb’s] note-sharing cease altogether because ‘someone might be offended,’” according to Liberty Counsel.

Yes, you read that right – the elementary school was so concerned about one of its students sharing Bible stories and Scripture with his classmates that it called the police.

“You have ignorance of the law, hostility toward Christianity, and a gross abuse of police power,” Roger Gannam, a lawyer with Liberty Counsel, said in an interview with Fox News.

Separation of Church and State

Does the First Amendment require schools to prohibit students from talking about the Bible or sharing their faith at school? Of course not.

One of the most commonly misunderstood principles of the American founding is the meaning of the phrase “separation of church and state.” Modern secularists falsely contend that separation of church and state – which appears nowhere in the Constitution – prohibits public schools from teaching Christian principles as truth in the classroom, bars legislators from appealing to religious principles in debates about public policy, disallows city council sessions and high school graduations from opening with prayer, and forbids schools and courthouses from displaying the Ten Commandments.

These assertions are incompatible with the vision and intent of those who framed our Constitution.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states, in part, that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Not only does the First Amendment preclude the establishment of a particular denomination, but it also prevents the government from interfering with a person’s free exercise of their religion – which includes the right of a first grader to share Bible stories with his classmates at school.

A report adopted by the U.S. Senate in 1853 defined “established religion”. For a religious denomination to be considered established, Congress must fund it through the national treasury, give special political rights to its members, and/or compel nonmembers to attend services and participate in its sacraments through compulsory attendance laws.

Obviously, none of the scenarios previously given rise to the standard of Congress establishing a particular religion or denomination – and the First Amendment in no way implies that a school has the authority to prohibit a first grader from talking about the Bible with his friends at lunch.

The Founders’ Vision for Public Education

Our current system of public education would be unrecognizable to the founding fathers that conceived the First Amendment. It is indisputable that they believed that public schools should teach the general principles of Christianity, including the Bible.

In a letter to his cousin John Adams, Samuel Adams wrote that the foremost purpose of education was

“Inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system…”

Fisher Ames, one of the primary authors of the First Amendment, lamented that the proliferation of textbooks in the classroom diverted precious education time away from the Bible:

“It has been the custom of late years to put a number of little books into the hands of children… Why then, if these books for children must be retained (as they will be), should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book?”

Similarly, Benjamin Rush, a prominent founding father commonly referred to by historians as the Father of Public Schools Under the Constitution, wrote in his essay, “A Defense of the Use of the Bible as a School Book,” that the Bible “should be read in our schools in preference to all other books.”

The U.S. Supreme Court once affirmed that public schools had a responsibility to teach the Bible and the general principles of the Christian religion. Chief Justice Joseph Story, writing the unanimous opinion for the Court in Vidal v. Girard’s Executors (1844), declared,

“Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as Divine Revelation in the [school] – its general precepts expounded… and its glorious principles of morality inculcated? Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”

The founding fathers would be aghast if they could see a public school calling law enforcement because a first grader shared Bible stories with his friends over lunch. They would likely be equally concerned that the school cited “separation of church and state” as the basis for its actions.

If only our founders could see us now.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

 

Macy’s Employee Fired After Questioning Man in Women’s Bathroom

 

Javier Chavez, a Macy’s employee in Queens, New York, has been fired over his questioning of a man entering the women’s bathroom.

A concerned customer and her daughter had reported that a man had entered into the women’s bathroom.  They sought out Chavez, the store’s Senior Detective, to check on the situation and ask the man to leave the women’s bathroom.  Upon being questioned about his intentions, the man informed Chavez that he was really a transgendered woman, and promptly reported the Senior Detective’s “insensitivity” to the store’s managers.

The store’s management sided with the man who granted himself access to the women’s bathroom and fired their 26-year detective, Javier Chavez, on the grounds that he had broken the company’s policy of inclusion.

Chavez says that he was never told about the store’s policy that allowed men to utilize women’s facilities.  Initially, Chavez was suspended in the incident.  Even after informing the managers that he would submit to and abide by the policy, he was terminated after disclosing that his beliefs about sex and gender were faith-based.

“After my employer learned that I was a practicing Catholic, with religious concerns about this policy, I was terminated because of my religion, in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law.”

This is not the first time Macy’s has fired an employee over issues with men in designated women’s areas.  In 2011, Natalie Johnson, an employee at a San Antonio-area Macy’s was fired after blocking a transgendered person from using the women’s dressing rooms.

We’re living in a paradoxical time where our society will stand up, applaud, and affirm the speech and beliefs of some while standing against the beliefs and speech of others, and punishing those who object.  A major principle of the transgender movement is diversity and acceptance. However, it appears there is little acceptance by the LGBT community of those who hold beliefs which divert from their own.

Facilities laws being implemented all over our country aim to allow individuals to utilize whatever locker room, shower, or restroom they want without question, fear, or discomfort.  Again, it’s a paradox: our culture is passionately and adamantly against rape culture, as we should be.  Yet, we pass bills that invite biological men into women’s private areas.

If our nation really had respect for women and children, we’d do more than get #yesallwomen trending.  If we actually cared, we would fight these laws that directly and negatively impact the privacy of our women and children.

Seattle City Council to Vote to Ban Same-Sex Attraction Therapy

 

The Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee of the Seattle City Council has unanimously approved a measure that would outlaw all therapy or counseling for minors that does not fully affirm their chosen sexual orientation.  The legislation is expected to be approved by the full Council at its August 1 meeting.

The therapy in question, often called sexual orientation conversion therapy, or conversion therapy, generally involves a licensed therapist or counselor working with a client who is experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction.  This move by the Seattle City Council would block parents and guardians from allowing their children to participate in this type of treatment.

Mayor Ed Murray stands in full support of the legislation.

Once adopted, the City of Seattle would levy fines of $1,000 on any licensed therapist caught offering any sort of counseling or therapy to children that doesn’t affirm their chosen lifestyle and sexuality.

With passage, the City of Seattle would join just three other cities in the country — Cincinnati, Ohio, Miami Beach, Florida, and Washington, D.C. — in efforts to remove the rights of parents to seek proper and appropriate treatment for their children.

Seattle residents and concerned citizens are encouraged to contact the Seattle City Council to share thoughts on why this ban would be harmful to children and to the promotion and benefit of healthy sexuality.  The public is also welcome to attend the Seattle City Council meeting on August 1st from 2-3pm.