Here are some of the historical highlights and “firsts” in FACT’s 10-year timeline.
- Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT) is officially incorporated June 6, 2006. Three-term state Senator and lawyer David Fowler becomes President and CEO.
- FACT becomes a Family Policy Council.
- FACT coordinates and leads the Real Marriage campaign to pass the Tennessee Marriage Protection Amendment, which specifies that only a marriage between a man and a woman can be legally recognized in the state of Tennessee. The amendment passed in November by the second-highest margin of all the 38 states that eventually passed marriage amendments. That’s more than 80 percent!
- FACT is presented with the Stewardship Award from Focus on the Family.
- First Ministers’ Day on the Hill event.
- FACT’s legislative arm, Family Action of Tennessee, works with legal experts during FACT’s first legislative session to pass one of the few statewide zoning laws regulating the location of adult entertainment businesses.
- Launch of the Family Action News (FAN), a periodic commentary on current events and policy issues.
- The Fact Report one-minute radio segment launches.
- More than 100 County Commissioners attend one of three half-day seminars on how to constitutionally and lawfully regulate adult entertainment businesses in their communities.
- FACT begins first voter education effort by surveying all candidates running for state office and providing print and online versions of the results.
- FACT, and its legislative arm, Family Action of Tennessee (collectively “Family Action”) bring state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to TN legislature to protect the religious liberty of people of faith in Tennessee.
- FACT becomes the official trainer for Focus on the Family’s Truth Project, a Christian worldview training curriculum.
- Opens satellite office in Memphis, which leads the effort to defeat a proposal before the Shelby County Commission to extend special rights and protections based on sexual orientation. The proposal fails by one vote.
- First time FACT uses direct mail to voters in key legislative races to draw them to the Voter Education Headquarters to help them cast informed votes.
- Launches Community Impact Seminar, which becomes the nuts and bolts portion of The Stand for Truth Seminar.
- FACT and its legislative arm, Family Action of Tennessee (collectively “Family Action”) fight opposition from the Tennessee Equality Project to bring a bill that blocks sexual orientation/gender identity “non-discrimination” (SOGI) law.
- In its first year of launch, The Stand for Truth Seminar, a Tennessee-specific training based on the Truth Project that connects biblical worldview with today’s cultural and political issues, trains 150 Tennesseans in four key cities.
- FACT ramps up efforts to inform the public about abortion in Tennessee by placing 30,000 “Choose Life” inserts into the leading Memphis newspaper.
- FACT partners with Michael DelGiorno of SuperTalk 99.7 FM WTN in Nashville for WTN University’s “Civics 101” course that teaches “classes” via radio on Christian and American principles of government and law. SuperTalk 99.7 reaches 80,000 listeners.
- FACT’s legislative arm, Family Action of Tennessee, creates legislation considered the “strongest pro-abstinence law in the nation” by the National Abstinence Education Association that provides recourse for parents whose children experience something egregious in state sex education courses.
- FACT debates First Amendment issues related to anti-bullying policies against the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center at a symposium at Vanderbilt University Law School.
- FACT makes Family Action News a weekly email newsletter and renames it Five Minutes for Families.
- CitizenLink (now Family Policy Alliance) presents FACT with their Family Champion Award.
- FACT’s legislative arm, Family Action of Tennessee, joins forces with the Discovery Institute to evaluate Tennessee’s science curriculum and biology textbooks.
- FACT brings legislation that encourages science teachers to develop critical thinking skills of students regarding evolution, making Tennessee the second state in the nation to pass such a bill.
- As part of its Voter Education Headquarters, FACT’s legislative arm, Family Action Council of Tennessee, starts offering incumbent state legislator scorecards that score a legislator’s pro-family voting record.
- FACT’s President and chairman of the board join leaders from other organizations to form the Yes on 1 Ballot Committee.
- FACT partners again with Michael DelGiorno of SuperTalk 99.7 FM WTN in Nashville for WTN University’s one-hour, 15-week “Worldviews 101” course that reaches 100,000 listeners per program across Tennessee.
- FACT, through its legislative arm, Family Action of Tennessee, becomes the second state in the nation to enact protections for college campus ministries that are being targeted by the college’s non-discrimination policy for requiring their student officers to adhere to the belief that sex is to be confined to marriage.
- FACT launches massive effort to educate Tennesseans about Amendment 1, the measure that would appear for a vote on the November general election ballot that proposes abortion regulations that would further protect women and the unborn in Tennessee. Efforts paid off; Amendment 1 passes!
- FACT utilizes social media and automated phone calls to voters in key districts in key legislative races to inform them of the scorecards and voter guides.
- Thanks to FACT leveraging citizens through prayer and a petition drive, Chattanoogans vote in August to repeal a city ordinance that would have provided domestic partnership benefits to city employees in unmarried homosexual and heterosexual relationships.
- FACT President David Fowler attends and reports on the oral arguments about the constitutionality of marriage in 6th Circuit from the Cincinnati courthouse on August 6.
- Forty-day Pray4Marriage Facebook and website initiative gets folks across the state to pray before the Supreme Court oral arguments about the constitutionality of marriage on April 28. The response is so large, efforts continue to encourage people to pray for marriage in light of Obergefell ruling.
- FACT participates in first-ever Williamson County state fair to engage the public.
- The launch of the Reclaiming Our Liberty initiative in October gets Tennessee citizens involved in sending petitions to County Commissioners to uphold state sovereignty and reign in federal overreach in light of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges marriage ruling.
- In the midst of a tornado warning, the first live-streamed State Legislative Issues Briefing brings information about upcoming legislation to everyone in the state with an Internet connection and allows for review of the briefing via video clips post-event.
- FACT files lawsuits in both Williamson (January 21) and Bradley (February 4) counties to challenge the Obergefell same-sex “marriage” ruling through its Constitutional Government Defense Fund.
- Family Action of Tennessee champions House Joint Resolution 528, which calls on members of Congress to adopt an amendment returning authority over the definition of marriage back to the states and to take specific steps to make the federal judiciary more accountable to the people. Resolution passes the state House 75-19 and state Senate 24-1.
- Family Action of Tennessee also brings House Joint Resolution 529, which affirms the legal principle that the Obergefell Court overreached its judicial authority by purporting to require states to affirmatively enact same-sex “marriage” license laws. It passes the state House 73-18 and the state Senate 27-2.
- FACT’s legislative arm, Family Action of Tennessee, continues to push legislation that began as a landmark bill in 2013 that would protect Christian students pursuing degrees in psychology or some other counseling-related field from having to counsel students who do not share their strongly held religious beliefs. Despite intense opposition from the ACLU and LGBT advocacy groups, Tennessee passes a first-in-the-nation law to ensure that counselors could make a referral to another counselor if they could not in good conscience help a client achieve his or her therapeutic goals and objectives.
- FACT fights challenges to Amendment 1 in both state and federal courts. The state of Tennessee is vigorously defending the federal lawsuit, and the state has fought back by filing its own lawsuit to have the vote upheld in state court.
- FACT President David Fowler will participate in the inaugural Statesmen Academy, hosted by FACT’s national ally, Family Policy Alliance (formerly CitizenLink) that will instruct 50 select state legislators from various states so they can better advocate for biblical values.
Thanks to your faithful prayers and generous financial support, we have come a long way in a decade to stand in the gap and advocate for life, family, marriage, and religious liberty in our state. If you want to help us continue the work, please consider joining other Tennesseans by giving your special gift to our “Ten Years for Tennessee” campaign today!