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Proposed New Rule Would Allow “Third-Gender Option” on WA Birth Certificates

The Washington State Department of Health has announced its intention to adopt a new rule allowing a “third-gender option” on birth certificates.

If implemented, the new rule would formalize the department’s process for changing sex designation on birth certificates and add an option for a “non-binary” sex designation.

The Department of Health plans to begin gathering comments on the proposed rule next month. It hopes the rule will be adopted and implemented by January 2018.

In 2009, the Washington State Department of Licensing made it more difficult for Washingtonians to change their gender designation on driver’s licenses in an effort to reduce identity fraud and aid policing. The department has since reversed its policies.

Washington State isn’t alone in its proposal to offer a “third-gender option” on government documents. Oregon became the first state to offer the option on driver’s licenses and state ID cards in June, and California will shortly follow suit if a bill recently passed by the state legislature is signed by the governor.

The California bill faced opposition from the California Family Council, which “believes government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification and medical purposes,” said Greg Burt, the organization’s director of capitol engagement.

“Eye color, hair color, height, weight, and Sex: These are all listed on a driver’s license because these physical characteristics can be independently verified by physical evidence,” he said. “If you allow someone who is physically male to list themselves on a government document as a female, or vice a versa, then the government will be legalizing a lie.”

Up north, Canadians can now choose the “gender X” designation on their passports after their government changed its policy earlier this week.

Commenting on the “gender X” designation now available on Canadian passports, Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews that “the government is trying to force its citizenry, en masse, to deny scientific fact and biological reality.”

According to Fonseca, the “sexual revolutionaries” pushing for these changes “are willing to put our country’s national security and our privacy at risk.”

WA Human Trafficking Sting Highlights Importance of New Law

A recent human trafficking sting in Washington State led to the arrest of 12 men, all of whom are being accused of trying to sexually exploit children.

The charges include attempted child rape, communication with a minor for immoral purposes, and commercial sex abuse of a minor.

The sting, which was conducted in Pierce County by Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force, involved officers posting and responding to sexual ads online, according to the Tacoma News Tribune. The officers impersonated “preteens or parents offering their children for sex.”

Officers say they rescued two children during the latest sting. Detective Sergeant Carlos Rodriguez, who runs the task force, told the Tacoma News Tribune that suspects who unknowingly meet with undercover officers often bring along children.

The recent sting highlights the need for recently passed legislation that helps protect those who are trafficked for sexual exploitation.

In addition to experiencing inconceivable trauma, victims of sex trafficking often find themselves with criminal records after being convicted of engaging in prostitution and other crimes.

Thankfully, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation earlier this week that allows victims of sex trafficking to petition the court to vacate their convictions stemming from their time being trafficked.

The new law empowers victims of sexual exploitation to begin the arduous process of rebuilding their lives free the criminal records resulting from their time as sex slaves.

Although most Americans mistakenly assume that slavery has been eradicated in the United States and throughout most of the world, “sex trafficking in the U.S. a ‘problem of epidemic proportion,’” according to an FBI law enforcement bulletin quoted in the Washington Times.

Human trafficking victims are often prostituted or forced to participate in pornographic videos distributed online. It is believed that there exists an “inseparable link” between porn and sex slavery:

“The truth is, there is no way for [viewers of pornography] to tell if what they are watching was made illegally or if all parties are there willingly. And even if they’re there willingly, performing on camera, were they coerced or threatened into agreement? For this reason, clicking porn directly fuels the demand for sex traffickers to make money by selling video of their sex slaves to porn sites.”

Washingtonians need to be aware that human trafficking for sexual exploitation is occurring in their communities. Any progress against human trafficking in our beloved state will need to come through a concerted effort by law enforcement, legislators, and concerned citizens to prevent exploitation, punish traffickers, and protect victims.

 

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

New Video: Why We Must Still Vote

Given the widespread dissatisfaction across the political spectrum for this year’s presidential nominees, we’ve heard from a number of registered voters who are considering tossing out their ballot. But before you make that decision, please check out this quick, 2-minute video:

Good people with good values need to vote on a number of other races and issues than just who will occupy the White House.

Washington residents can still register to vote at their county elections department, until October 31st.

For more information on the candidates running for office, races to watch, issues at stake, and more, you can visit FPIW’s Elections Hub, or text your Zip Code to 77039 for a personalized non-partisan voter guide.

 

Think Progress: Muslims Awarded Damages While Christians are Fined

The case of the Muslim truck drivers who wouldn’t deliver beer is making Christian florists, bakeries, and photographers around the country cry foul.

In 2013, an Illinois trucking company called Star Transport fired two Muslim employees who refused to deliver alcohol.  The employees claimed that delivering alcohol would violate their religious beliefs about alcohol.

After two years of litigation, a jury awarded the drivers $240,000 in damages because their religious beliefs were violated by their employer.

The Obama Administration, through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, filed the lawsuit on the side of religious freedom on behalf of the employees.

Employers have long been required to make reasonable accommodations for their employees’ religious beliefs.  This has allowed Seventh Day Adventists to keep their jobs despite not working on Saturday and allowed Muslims to wear a hijab in the workplace despite uniform policies that would otherwise forbid it.

The principle is, “people shouldn’t be forced to choose between their faith and their income.”

And everyone nods their head in agreement.

Still, the reason the story of the Muslim truck drivers is remarkable (especially the fact that the Obama Administration took the side of the employees) is because of all the recent stories about governments working to force people to violate their beliefs in the course of their employment.

Here in Washington State, Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued a grandmother in her personal capacity because she did not feel she could decorate for a same-sex wedding.

The State of Oregon fined Aaron and Melissa Klein $135,000 because they declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

A baker in Denver was sent to government retraining because he would not bake a cake supportive of same-sex ceremonies.

The principle of equal protection under the law requires the government to treat people who are similarly situated in a similar way.

It seems like the truck drivers, bakers, and florists are in similar situations. “They asked me to do something for my job I felt like I could not do.”

But one of them gets government aid while the others get sued.

The First Amendment’s guarantee to the free exercise of religion applies to the Muslim truck driver just as it does to the Christian florist.  No one disputes this.

No one disputes the idea that the right to decline to participate in events that violate your religious beliefs was once protected under the First Amendment either.

The difference, however, lies in the fact that state governments have declared a “compelling state interest” in ending discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and that law is now being interpreted to mean that florists and bakers must participate in same-sex ceremonies.

The effect of this interpretation of non-discrimination laws is that state legislatures have seized the authority to repeal constitutional rights.

The Muslim truck drivers are likely unaware their right to decline to deliver alcohol will disappear the moment Illinois bans discrimination against alcohol and those who drink it.

Just wait until some state declares a compelling state interest in eliminating hate speech.

Sarcasm may soon be illegal.

If your response to that development is, “I thought the First Amendment guaranteed the right to free speech,” leftists will look at you like you have a third eye.  “We’re protecting you from that, of course.”

The Constitution describes how to change the Constitution, but that process does not include, “Have your state legislature declare a compelling state interest in eliminating the constitutional right you find most offensive.”

But that’s how we’re operating now.  And a lot of us are naïve enough to call it progress.

Vote Finder

The Family Policy Institute of Washington has been working to protect marriage, life, religious freedom, and parental rights in Washington State for seven years.

Today might be our greatest moment.

There are no elections and no legislative debates.  But today we are launching the tool that could change all the elections and legislative debates to come.

Today we introduce FPIW’s Vote Finder.

 

Vote Finder gives every pro-family voter in Washington State the ability to do something that has never been possible before.

You can find out if someone has turned in their ballot…before the election is over.  If you knew that your conservative friends, children, or co-workers simply hadn’t gotten around to voting, wouldn’t you like to know so you can remind them before it’s too late?

Now you can.

Vote Finder is easy.  It’s so easy my mom can use it to create a personalized list of friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers, and church members.

Vote Finder provides you with two critical pieces of information.

First, we’ll tell you if they are a registered voter or not.  If they are not, Vote Finder and provide a shockingly easy way to get them registered if not.

Second, we will provide daily updates about whether or not they have turned their ballots in…before the election is over.

In fact, you can upload a list of everyone in your church at once. As long as you have first names, last names, and street addresses, within seconds we can tell you if they are registered and if they have turned in their ballots.

On the Sunday before the election, pastors can upload their church list, congratulate those who have already voted, and give a friendly reminder to those who haven’t.

How cool is that?

The leadership in the Washington State Senate changed over the last two years because of 78 votes in Vancouver.

Since 2008, 14 races have been decided by fewer than 1,000 votes.

In 2010, a state legislative race in Puyallup was decided by 37 votes.

Close elections are common and they often end up in the election of people with very different worldviews simply because lots of people who think like we do never got a friendly reminder to turn in their ballots.  There are no more excuses.

But there is a catch…

People have to use it.

If it’s just my mom and I using it…well, we know for sure that our family will vote.  But that may not be enough to create the kind of change we want.

Vote Finder will only be as powerful as the number of people using it.

So we need all of you to create an account and find 10, 15, or 30 friends who will vote the right way. Then make sure they do.  And if you find they aren’t registered because they moved recently…well by all means get them registered.

The “Invite Users” button in Vote Finder makes it simple to invite other people to do  their part as well.

Before you know it, tens of thousands of pro-family ballots will be turned in that otherwise would have found their way to a landfill. So do your part to save the planet and make sure your friends turn in their ballots.

What are you waiting for?  Sign up.

If we all do our part, this could be the best thing we’ve ever done.