THE TRANSGENDER BATHROOM BILL
On May 13, the Department of Education, Civil Rights Division, issued a letter to schools, with a weight and consequence behind it that will forever change religious freedom and child safety in our nation.
The “bathroom bill” was started in North Carolina and became a line drawn in the sand by a brave North Carolina governor, Pat McCrory. It could be the “shot heard ‘round the world” for this issue in our nation. Shortly after the bathroom bill standoff began between the White House’s Justice Department and the North Carolina Governor, the administration expanded their reach and battle to school administrators across the nation.
The letter cites Title IX, originally introduced to give girls and women equal treatment and access to sports in schools, now being used by this administration to mandate equal treatment and facilities for transgender students. It states in part, “… a school’s Title IX obligation to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex requires schools to provide transgender students equal access to educational programs and activities even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns. As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”
By making this issue a “civil rights” issue, they bring in a whole new classification of prosecution, enforcement, and consequence for those opposed to or not upholding the law. While the letter goes on to say that this is a recommended practice from the Department of Education, they later share a 25-page document that outlines that federal school funding is tied to the compliance of this one issue.
The Obama Administration just doubled down.
Now a civil rights issue in their argument, what are the consequences for good and protective families and administrators who are trying to protect the children in their care from those who would force their transgender and whimsical identity desires on the remainder of those they share a restroom, locker room, and even a dormitory with? The answer is, prosecution for a hate crime. Even talking against this issue will be prosecutable under this administration’s Justice Department. Where does that leave parents, pastors, and grandparents who are just as concerned for the children’s well-being?
The fight on this one issue alone is a large one. It is not just about bathrooms. It is not about equal access for those confused children who are calling themselves transgender. It becomes a religious freedom issue that threatens the very ability for the Church to speak plainly and clearly on what the Word of God says about issues in our culture. It essentially outlaws free speech by those who cite God’s Word. This movement by the administration is calculated and becomes a narrow door to a broad field of applications and implications for our nation.
People are already beginning to formulate a response. The “bathroom bill” in North Carolina brought out protective parents, grandparents, and other decent people everywhere who seek to strike down this ludicrous bill.
“A group of North Carolina parents are joining forces to fight the Obama administration over its policy that forces public schools to allow transgender students into restrooms, showers, and locker rooms that are opposite from their biological sex. “It’s not safe for my daughter,” Tammy Covil, a mother from Wilmington, N.C. told The Daily Signal. The parents, part of a nonprofit called North Carolinians for Privacy, allege in a lawsuit filed May 10 against the Department of Justice and the Department of Education that the federal government is forcing them to choose between their children’s privacy and educational future.
“This is tantamount to extortion,” said Donica Hudson, a mother of three from Charlotte, N.C., “to threaten to take away our public funding, for education, no less, if we don’t allow them to come in and jeopardize the safety and privacy of our children.”
There comes a time for civil disobedience—many are calling for that with this matter. David Limbaugh, a conservative writer, calls this issue a “hill to die on.” Writer and theologian Michael Brown states, “Across the nation, parents, school boards, principals, administrators, and teachers must say no to President Obama and his administration. They must do it for the sake of the children. They must do it for the sake of moral sanity. They must do it to honor the Lord.”
Brown goes on to share facts about the transgender issue—facts that the Obama administration will not acknowledge or share:
- Kids who identify as transgender represent the tiniest minority of the population, perhaps two or three out of a thousand.
- The great majority of kids who identify as transgender do not do so once they pass through puberty, so for most of them this is a temporary condition.
- Some parents of transgender-identified kids, along with LGBT activists, have rejected compassionate solutions for these kids (such as letting them use a faculty, single-stall bathroom). Instead they insist that the child’s struggles be imposed on the rest of the students.
- Parents of transgender-identified kids, along with LGBT activists, have also sought to introduceradical transgender curricula to students as young as 5.
- Schools are ignoring reports of other children feeling violated, embarrassed, and even traumatized by the presence of kids of the opposite biological sex in their bathrooms and locker rooms, and the parents of those traumatized kids have been told that nothing can be done because of laws against discrimination based on gender identity.
- Already one university that introduced gender-neutral shower stalls had tore-evaluate its policy after heterosexual males were caught using cell phones to record the girls showering in the adjoining stalls.
- Some kids have admitted to using transgender identity as a way topush back against the “dominant society.”
- In the vast majority of cases, we are not talking about children with biological or chromosomal abnormalities, and mental health professionals and brain scientists still do notagree as to the exact nature of transgender identification. (Is it a mental disorder? Is perception now reality? Is it the best course of action to give hormone blockers to children, followed by sex-change surgery and then hormones for life?)
- The American College of Pediatricians (branded a “hate group” by its radical critics) issued a documented statementurging “educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts — not ideology — determine reality.” (The statement is titled, “Gender Ideology Harms Children.”)
How can Americans get behind the movement to stand firmly against this blackmail against families and schools by the Obama administration?
Virginia State Delegate David LaRock shares that in addition to praying about this issue fervently, action is needed to be able to stave off the administration’s mandates. He, like many other believing and conservative lawmakers in our nation, are quickly crafting legislation that will help render this action by the Department of Education ineffective. Sharing your thoughts with lawmakers, school board members and school administrators as well as others in authority is an important way to speak out and be counted. This sample information sheet is a helpful source of information for communities to share with the public to educate them about the issue facing their schools and community. The top part of the fact sheet contains a sample email or letter concerned citizens can use in writing to local leaders. This letter was created for families in Virginia—tailor it to fit your state.
Sign a petition. The Family Research Council has one already created. You can sign it here.
This issue is not one that believers should take lightly. It is a turning point for those who wish to see America turn from the traditional Judeo-Christian values, and introduce confusion, and further indoctrinate our young people against the traditional family. It is planned and it is evil. What will you plan to do to stop it? (Contributor: By Kris Kubal for Intercessors for America)
This summary of the issues involved calls for a “faith plus works” response. First, we invite all believers to intercede fervently and urgently due to underlying principles of modesty and personal rights being violated. Second, we ask that you pray about becoming involved in a legal protest, such as signing a petition and writing letters to legislators at both the state and federal levels.
“And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, ‘Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.’” (Neh. 4:14)
500 EVANGELICAL LEADERS TO MEET TRUMP TO TEST HIS FAITH, VALUES
As many as 500 top evangelical and social conservative leaders, including Dr. Ben Carson and Tony Perkins, will have a closed-door meeting with Donald Trump on June 21 in New York City to ascertain what he has to offer to the country.
"Our goal is to be able to have a conversation that could lead to a better understanding of what Donald Trump has to offer to the country," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, according to Fox News, which says Trump has agreed to meet with the evangelical and social conservative leaders.
Perkins, along with Bill Dallas of United in Purpose, worked with former Republican candidate Carson, who has endorsed Trump, to arrange the meeting.
"I want to be actively supportive of a candidate who can help turn this nation around. With Trump – I'm not there yet. I hope to be there – but I'm not there right now," Perkins told Fox News' Todd Starnes.
Those leading the efforts include Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Faith and Freedom Coalition's Ralph Reed, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Bob McEwen, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, Kelly Shackleford of First Liberty, American Values President Gary Bauer, Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats, and megachurch pastors Jack Graham and Ed Young.
"There is no preconceived outcome here," Perkins added. "I'm hoping we can have a conversation that could lead to helping conservative leaders make a decision about what to do in this election."
SBC's Floyd said the meeting will help Christians share their hearts with Trump. "None of us have endorsed Mr. Trump, nor have we condemned Mr. Trump," he was quoted as saying. "This is about the possibility of being able to appoint the next four Supreme Court justices. This is about the dignity of human life from the womb to the tomb. This is about religious freedom. I'm not about to sit at home and not express something. I'm accountable to God and I believe I'm accountable to my fellow Americans."
On Friday, Trump also sent a two-minute video message to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in California.
"We're going to take care of minority unemployment. It's a huge problem. It's really unfair to minorities and we are going to solve that problem and it's going to be solved once and for all," Trump said in the video. "We're going to bring back jobs. You're going to start paying taxes after you make a lot of money. Hopefully that's going to be soon. We're going to make great, great trade deals. So important."
He continued, "We're going to stop drugs from pouring into our country. We're going to strengthen our country. People are going to come into our country, but they're going to come in through a process. They'll come in legally but we're going to stop the drugs and we are going to curb our debt."
Trump added, "We're going to take care of you. We're going to work with you. You're going to be very happy. You're going to like President Trump." (Contributor: By Anugrah Kumar for Christian Post)
Please pray as you are led for this meeting in June. We know the Constitution does not require the President of the United States to be a believer, so religious leaders should build bridges, give a witness, and gain understanding. Donald Trump does not profess to being a Christian, but God can work His purposes through any human instrument. Pray for divine wisdom, and plan to vote.
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Prov. 21:1)
OIL TURNS POSITIVE AS FOCUS TURNS TO U.S. SUPPLY OUTLOOK
Brent futures LCOc1 had gained 26 cents to $48.34 a barrel by 1242 GMT, after closing down 37 cents in the previous session.
U.S. crude futures CLc1 rose 14 cents to $48.49 a barrel, having settled down 33 cents the day before.
Commercial crude stocks in the United States likely fell by around 2.5 million barrels to 538.8 million in the week ended May 20, a Reuters poll showed.
The American Petroleum Institute releases inventory data later on Tuesday, while figures from the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration are due on Wednesday.
The API is scheduled to release its data at 2030 GMT, while the EIA numbers are due to at 1430 GMT on Wednesday.
"I think the market is preparing for the (U.S.) crude stock data today and tomorrow," said Andy Sommer, senior energy analyst at Axpo Trading in Dietikon, Switzerland.
Oil was stronger earlier in the session, gaining support from a report that Iraq's oil output has reached 4.7 million barrels per day (bpd) and exports are running at a record 3.9 million bpd.
However Falah Alamri, Iraq's OPEC governor and head of the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO), said at a conference in London that a decision to stop production of 170,000 bpd of Kirkuk crude, and the impact of bad weather and maintenance had slowed output.
A meeting of the OPEC exporter group, including Iran, is scheduled for June 2.
Plans for a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to shore up crude prices by freezing output fell apart in April when Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran, its main rival for influence in the region, participate.
A strike in France limited the market's gains by denting crude demand in Europe as refineries were disrupted by pickets.
French police using water cannon and tear gas broke up a strike picket that was blocking access to a large oil refinery in the southern port area of Marseille in a government-versus-union showdown over labor law reforms.
Sommer at Axpo Trading added that gains were likely to be short-lived, and that prices were likely to fall again in the coming weeks.
"There's an ongoing trend of increasing supply. Supply from unplanned outages in Nigeria and Canada are likely to come back," he said, referring to disruption caused in the two countries by protests and wildfires. (Contributor: By Simon Falush for Reuters News Service - Editing by Dale Hudson and David Evans)
Unless you are an investor in oil stocks, this news affects you by higher prices at the pump. However, our prayer focus is not on lower prices but for a shaky economy that exists on debt credit rather than on real wealth. Tennessee is calling for a return to the gold standard; other states may follow, but our national debt continues to rise toward $20 trillion. When will our nation crash? Please pray.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Ps. 127:1)
EVANGELICALS CHEER PRO-LIFE VOTE AT METHODIST CONFERENCE
Paired with the earlier vote to withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), the church took “two MAJOR steps in the right direction,” tweeted John Lomperis, the United Methodist director at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
The Book of Resolutions statement in support of legal abortion was adopted in 1976. It reads, in part:
We believe that continuance of a pregnancy that endangers the life or health of the mother, or poses other serious problems concerning the life, health, or mental capability of the child to be, is not a moral necessity. In such cases, we believe the path of mature Christian judgment may indicate the advisability of abortion. We support the legal right to abortion as established by the 1973 Supreme Court decision.
“In our system, resolutions automatically expire after eight years unless a General Conference re-adopts them,” Lomperis told CT. “The New York national headquarters of United Methodist Women submitted a petition to this General Conference to not only re-adopt this resolution, but also to amend it to make it even more strongly supportive of abortion.”
The resolution was defeated 59 percent to 41 percent.
The quadrennial conference also saw some smaller pro-life victories. Lomperis blogged:
On pro-life issues, we … adopted a resolution decrying sex-selective abortion while describing abortion as “violent” and criticizing those done for “trivial reasons,” and allowed the expiration of a 16-year-old official UMC resolution bewailing an alleged “crisis” of some hospitals not offering abortions. While much work remains in more firmly establishing a clear pro-life commitment in our denomination, these were HUGE steps in the right direction.
Evangelicals celebrated the United Methodist Church’s decision yesterday to leave a pro-choice advocacy group it co-founded 43 years before.
At its general conference, delegates voted 425-268 to withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), an interfaith organization whose broad support extends to late-term and sex-selective abortions—a practice that the church’s social principles “unconditionally reject.”
“This is a necessary and good step towards affirming that the unborn are persons of sacred worth,” said John Lomperis, a conference delegate and United Methodist director at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “This also shows the UMC moving away from other liberal, declining, ‘mainline’ denominations to embrace a new faithful, global identity.”
Lomperis’s evangelical colleagues at the conservative think tank praised the decision, as did Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore.
“It's a major victory for all gospel Christians. Let's sing some Wesley hymns in solidarity,” the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president tweeted.
Members of the United Methodist Church are less likely to support abortion than other mainline Protestants (including mainline Presbyterian, Lutherans, and Episcopalians). According to the Pew Forum, 58 percent believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to 64 percent of all mainline denominations. (Around 36 percent of evangelicals said abortion should be legal in all or most cases.)
The UMC position on abortion states, “we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child.” The church supports abortion as a legal option in certain cases, but opposes late-term abortion, sex-selective abortion, and abortion as birth-control.
Given its members’ disagreement over abortion, the UMC has debated its relationship with the pro-choice coalition for years, including its past three quadrennial conferences. Supporters said retaining membership in RCRC—despite the clash in views between the church, its members, and the organization—allows them to maintain a “voice at the table,” the denomination stated.
This year, though, Methodists from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida North Carolina, Indiana, and Pennsylvania petitioned the UMC to finally withdraw from the RCRC, after being involved since 1973, the United Methodist Reporter (UMR) wrote.
The recent vote comes amid a national wave of pro-life furor, including stricter abortion regulations in dozens of states and plummeting abortion rates. The UMR quoted delegate Katherine Rohrs, who urged fellow delegates to vote against the church’s involvement:
RCRC refuses to talk about unborn children as just that. They refuse to condemn abortion as a form of birth control or gender selection.
They affirm abortion in any way….
I don’t speak for all young women who are United Methodist, but as a mother of two, I speak for those who have not been surrounded by the church’s support to cheer them on to life.
RCRC membership includes mainline Protestant organizations, Jewish denominations, and groups like Catholics for Choice. United Methodist Women and Methodist Federation for Social Action, an independent network, will remain members even after this week’s vote. Individual church members and clergy are also still involved; several spoke out to express their disappointment in the UMC vote and urge others to donate to the pro-choice cause.
At this year’s conference, the United Methodist Church failed to come to a decision on same-sex marriage. Days after a committee rejected a series of divestment resolutions, the church also voted to cut ties between its missions agency and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which some consider anti-Israel. (Contributor: By Kate Shellnutt for Christianity Today)
Give thanks for faithful Christians in the United Methodist Church (UMC) who remain committed to biblical values and vote accordingly. Give thanks for victories in votes that clearly represent Bible-based convictions on the “humanness” and sanctity of unborn children. In other areas, the UMC is slipping away from its biblical foundations. Pray for a widespread return to God’s Word.
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude, verse 3)
ISLAMIC STATE AIMS TO DESTROY ISRAEL WITH SINAI TERRORIST FORCE
The terrorist group’s propaganda units have gone into high gear for recruitment this month to build a force in Sinai large enough to one day conquer Jerusalem — the same way its fighters took over large parts of Syria and Iraq.
Last week, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned of the Islamic State’s presence in Sinai, where the group may have placed as many as 1,000 terrorists. The general’s concern is a signal that the U.S. faces another war front against the Islamic State in addition to Iraq, Syria and Libya.
More than a dozen Islamic State media arms in Iraq and Syria have produced videos narrated by a who’s who of hardened jihadis, who are surely on a U.S. kill list for daily airstrikes.
Islamic State propaganda promises recruits that they will one day “liberate” Jerusalem and end the state of Israel, according to analysis by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which tracks jihadi communications. The Egyptian army, the force standing in the way, is threatened with beheadings if soldiers continue to fight.
Such a massive propaganda effort for one mission is unusual for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL. Analysts says it means leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi views the land as increasingly important to his group’s ultimate goal of bringing down governments in the region and expanding its so-called caliphate, or Islamic state.
“I think ISIS sees the Sinai as a steppingstone for launching greater attacks against Israel, which would boost its claim to primacy in championing the Arab/Muslim cause against Israel, an issue that strongly resonates with many Arab Islamists,” said Jim Phillips, a Middle East analyst at The Heritage Foundation. “The Sinai cells also pose a long-term threat to Egypt, a key state with the largest Arab population. Nature may abhor a vacuum, but terrorists love them.”
Steve Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, said the Islamic State is applying lessons learned in Anbar, Iraq, parts of which it controls, as it tries to persuade Egyptians and people in Hamas-controlled Gaza to join. Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.
“One of the videos noted that ISIS in Sinai has learned from the experience of ISIS in Al-Anbar as the two areas are similar in terms of its desert geography,” Mr. Stalinsky said.
“They have been calling Egyptian and Gazans to join them. They believe that ISIS in Sinai will be the gate towards the liberation of Palestine,” he said.
For now, the Islamic State lacks the firepower to repeat its success in Anbar, where it captured a number of towns including the disputed Fallujah, after invading Iraq.
“Their strategy now in the Sinai is basically hit-and-run kind of attacks,” Mr. Stalinsky said.
Egyptian forces on the peninsula are hit by those attacks almost daily.
The Islamic State made an enormous statement in Sinai in October when it placed a bomb on Metrojet Flight 9268, sending the Russian airliner crashing onto the desert landscape. The Islamic State claimed it sabotaged the plane, killing 224 people, with explosives hidden in a soda can. If so, the bomb was likely placed on the plane by an Islamic State insider at the Sinai Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
“ISIS leadership views the Sinai province as a key extension for the organization outside of its core area of control in Syria and Iraq,” says an analysis by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “Indeed, the Sinai province is considered one of the most powerful and effective among these extensions.”
Mr. Phillips said the Arab Spring uprising centered in Cairo fed the Islamic State the fighters it needed in Sinai as many Islamists were released from prisons.
“Extremist groups flourished in the Sinai, where they recruited disaffected Bedouin tribes, which had long resented what they perceived to be neglect and marginalization at the hands of the Egyptian government,” he said. “The Sinai also offered a conduit to Gaza, where extremists received support from Hamas and other radical Palestinian Islamist groups.”
A sampling of some of the more than one dozen Sinai-centered Islamic State videos provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute:
- Two jihadis in Iraq, Abu Qaswara Al-Masri, an Egyptian, and Abu Omar Al-Maqdisi, likely a Palestinian from Gaza, urge Egyptians to join the Islamic State in Sinai.
Al-Masri tells the Egyptian army: “We advise you to repent before we manage to find you. If we find you, there will be no other [fate] but beheading for you. There will be no mercy for you and you are aware of that. You have seen what the soldiers of the caliphate have done with your colleagues and you will see. I advise you to repent. I am a truthful adviser to you.”
- Islamic State fighters Abu Suhaib Al-Ansari and Abu Omar Al-Ansari, in Iraq’s Ninawa province, appear in a recruitment video. Abu Omar Al-Ansari urges Egyptians to attack Egyptian government officials and “spill their blood and communicate with them with guns and explosives and turn them into corpses with bombs.” He specifically called on Gazans to travel to Sinai.
- A video produced in Aleppo province, Syria, attacks the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as mainstream.
A fighter says, “You are the preachers for polytheism and falsehood, you are the ones who issued the fatwa for people to take part in the polytheist democracy, and you are the ones who issued the fatwa for people to vote for the pagan constitution, which puts sovereignty in the hands of the people instead of Allah.”
He added: “You have deceived your followers that [adhering to] democracy and entering the parliament will lead to [the implementation] of Islamic Shariah. Now, where is the Shariah, O enemies of Allah?”
The Brotherhood’s overriding goal is to spread Shariah, or Islamic law, around the world by undercutting secular governments.
Gen. Dunford, the Joint Chiefs chairman, raised alarm last week about the Islamic State’s growing presence in Sinai and said Egyptian forces had begun a counteroffensive against its units.
“We have seen a connection between the Islamic State in the Sinai and Raqqa,” Gen. Dunford told reporters, according to a dispatch by Voice of America. “We have seen communication between the Islamic State in the Sinai and the Islamic State in Libya and elsewhere, so we are watching that pretty closely.”
Raqqa is the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital in central Syria, from which it directs media operations and terrorist attacks.
“The Egyptians are taking the fight to the Islamic State right now,” he said aboard a flight for a NATO meeting in Brussels.
The Egyptian military said this weekend that it conducted a series of raids in Sinai that killed 51 Islamic State fighters, according to the Arab news site Al Bawaba.
“Just being able to have a presence and cause some disruption in between Egypt and Israel gives ISIS some propaganda value, at the very least, said retired Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington. “It also causes Egypt to look both East and West and may, therefore, provide some operational flexibility to ISIS planning.” (Contributor: By Rowan Scarborough for The Washington Times)
This is complicated politically but very clear spiritually. Pray that our U.S. administration, principally President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be led to issue unequivocal U.S. support for Israel’s right exist and to flourish as a Middle East democracy. This will require God’s sovereign, over-ruling grace. Committed intercession will help shape history.
“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations. (Ps. 22:27-28)
COURT VICTORY IN BATHROOM BATTLE
A week after the Obama Administration issued "guidance" to public schools that would result in students being exposed in bathrooms, showers and locker rooms, a court in California handed a victory to the proponents of a referendum to overturn that state's own "bathroom law."
On Friday, a Superior Court judge in Sacramento granted a motion to compel the production of documents requested by proponents of a referendum to overturn AB 1266. The Secretary of State and 55 counties had resisted production of these documents, citing privacy concerns.
"Today the court gave us a roadmap that we believe will ultimately allow us to prove that the necessary signatures were submitted to qualify the referendum," said Kevin Snider, Chief Counsel for Pacific Justice Institute. "We are pleased that the court rejected attempts by elections officials to prohibit access to this necessary information."
Before bathroom access became a national issue, California passed a statute that would allow access to public school facilities based on gender identity as opposed to biological sex. In the 90 days that followed passage of the law in August of 2013, Privacy For All Students (PFAS) collected more than 620,000 signatures of registered California voters to qualify a referendum to overturn the new law.
But elections officials disqualified more than one in five of the signatures leaving the referendum effort 17,276 signatures short of the requirement to qualify for the ballot. PFAS has been in court for more than two years, battling scores of government attorneys trying to withhold both the disqualified names and the reason for their rejection.
Gina Gleason, proponent of the referendum and member of the PFAS executive committee, was pleased with the outcome of Friday's hearing but was critical of government efforts to keep the referendum off of the ballot. "It is difficult to miss the irony of elections officials using privacy as grounds for opposing production of evidence to back their claims," said Gleason. "Privacy For All Students sought to qualify this referendum to protect the privacy of school children threatened with unwanted exposure under the new law."
In the matter heard Friday, backers of the referendum asked the court to compel Kings County to produce documents related to the invalidation of signatures, including the petitions submitted in support of the referendum. Objections to production of the requested petitions are based on concerns of privacy and confidentiality of voters' records, even though the party seeking these petitions possessed and controlled the petitions up until they were turned over to the counties to be counted. Kings County was a starting point as it is expected that petitioner will return to court to have other counties similarly compelled to produce these documents.
In addition to granting the motion to compel production of the requested documents, the court issued a protective order to assure that documents produced were treated as confidential.
Karen England, a privacy advocate and member of PFAS's executive committee noted, "The people of California object to bullies in bathrooms and bullies in elected office. We are now one step closer to maintaining privacy for all students in public school bathrooms, showers and locker rooms." (Contributor: By Karen England for Christain News Wire)
Give thanks for Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner, who has overturned an earlier judicial attempt to suppress a bathroom privacy petition by claiming thousands of signatures were invalid. Now the door is open again for the citizens to be heard. Keep praying, as (sadly) our federal government does not want the people heard on this issue. (See the first article in this Alert.) Please continue to pray.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Gen. 1:27)