Get a quick snapshot of some of the stories about life, family, marriage, and religious liberty covered from a conservative perspective.

U.S. House Overturns Obama Order Prohibiting States From Redirecting Title X Funds

Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.J. Res. 43, sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), which seeks to overturn the Obama executive order that forbid states from redirecting Title X funds from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood to comprehensive care clinics. The bill heads to the U.S. Senate.

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DOJ Takes Measure to Protect Privacy in Transgender Bathroom Mandate Case

The Department of Justice, under new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has withdrawn a request from the Obama DOJ that would have blocked a federal court injunction against enforcement of Obama’s “guidance letter” purporting to mandate that bathrooms in public schools be designated by feelings rather than biology.

According to Gary McCaleb, senior counsel with the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, this is “good news for the privacy, safety, and dignity of young students across America.” The injunction now prohibits the ACLU and others from threatening lawsuits against schools based on the “guidance letter.”

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Housing Commission Tries to Ban Michigan Church

A federal court recently ruled that the Housing Commission for Lancing, Michigan, cannot bar His Healing Hands Church from a community meeting space available to other groups.

The housing commission tried to prevent the church from using the public facilities because they wanted to use the community center for religious purposes. The church was forced to use an outdoor space in the interim.

An ADF-allied attorney represented the church in this victory for freedom of speech.

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Trump’s Education Plan Looks to Conservatives

Trump recently picked Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. to head up a task force under U.S. Education Secretary DeVos that will scrutinize the U.S. Department of Education policies and procedures.

Trump is putting his finger on what The Atlantic calls “conspicuous conservativism,” which is a growing movement among Christian colleges to proclaim their politically conservative views to prospective students and to deny federal funds so that the federal government cannot control them.

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NFL Tries to Strong-Arm Texas Over Privacy Bill

Texas was warned by the NFL that if it passes its bill prohibiting biological boys from using girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms (and vice versa) that Texas may not be considered for future Super Bowls.

But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott fired back that the “NFL is walking on thin ice” and that they should “get the heck out of politics.” ADF’s Senior Web Writer Marissa Mayer points out the hypocrisy of this latest news: “[C]ommonsense separation of the sexes sure seems to be an NFL value. After all, you don’t see NFL players and cheerleaders sharing locker rooms and showers do you?”

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WA Supreme Court Rules Florist Must Put Aside Religious Beliefs at Work

The Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the government can force 72-year-old great-grandmother and florist Barronelle Stutzman—and, by extension, other Washingtonians—to create artistic expression and participate in events with which they disagree. Stutzman provided a gay customer with flowers for more than 10 years, but when she politely declined to participate in his same-sex wedding, the state’s Attorney General and the ACLU sued her. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) will be appealing Stutzman’s case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

ADF Notes Important Points to This Case

Says ADF Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek about this case, “This is a grave injustice. The Court’s opinion is about crushing dissent. In a free America, people with differing beliefs must have room to coexist. It’s wrong for the state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will. Freedom of speech and religion aren’t subject to the whim of a majority; they are constitutional guarantees.

“Our nation has a long history of protecting the right to dissent, but simply because Barronelle disagrees with the state about marriage, the government and ACLU have put at risk everything she owns. This includes not only her business, but also her family’s savings, retirement funds, and home.

“It’s no wonder that so many people are rightly calling on President Trump to sign an executive order to protect our religious freedom because that freedom is clearly at risk for Barronelle and so many other Americans.”

Barronelle Defends Her Freedom of Expression

Says Barronelle Stutzman about the ruling, “Rob Ingersoll and I have been friends since very nearly the first time he walked into my shop all those years ago. There was never an issue with his being gay, just as there hasn’t been with any of my other customers or employees. He just enjoyed my custom floral designs, and I loved creating them for him.

“But now the state is trying to use this case to force me to create artistic expression that violates my deepest beliefs and take away my life’s work and savings, which will also harm those who I employ. I’m not asking for anything that our Constitution hasn’t promised me and every other American: the right to create freely, and to live out my faith without fear of government punishment or interference.”

FACT hopes you will also stand with Barronelle because Americans don’t abandon their freedom when they open a creative business. If you share this story on Twitter, please use this hashtag: #JusticeForBarronelle

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Pregnancy Care Centers in Hawaii Fight Abortion Referral Mandate

Through a House and Senate bill, state lawmakers in Hawaii are trying to force pregnancy care centers to tell pregnant women where they can go to abort their babies. Care centers must share a pro-abortion statement on posted signs in the waiting area or deliver the statement to clients. If care centers don’t, they could be fined $500 the first time and $1,000 for each subsequent offense and could get sued by women who report a violation.

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Pro-Life Groups to Protest at Planned Parenthood Clinics This Saturday

This Saturday, as part of the #ProtestPP movement, a coalition of pro-life groups will demonstrate outside more than 200 Planned Parenthood clinics in 44 states and Washington, D.C., hoping to influence the debate in Congress over defunding the abortion giant. “The federal government has been subsidizing Planned Parenthood to the tune of more than $430 million annually,” said Eric Scheidler, national organizer of the #ProtestPP campaign.

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Unlikely Team Speaks Up for Women

Family Policy Alliance, with whom The Family Action Council of Tennessee is allied, and radical feminist group Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) have joined together in an amicus brief to oppose Obama’s Title IX transgender bathroom mandate that would open all women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and showers to men who self-identify as women. The unlikely pair agrees that the privacy and safety of women are paramount. Said the chair of WoLF’s board of directors, Kara Dansky, “If we define sex, under Title IX, to mean gender identity, what we’re essentially saying is that ‘women and girl’ can mean anyone who self-identifies as ‘women and girl,’ which makes the category ‘women and girls’ meaningless as a category.” Sign the petition to support the safety and privacy of women and girls.

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TN Counselor Group Takes a Chill Pill

The American Counseling Association and its Tennessee counterpart had come unglued in recent weeks over state Sen. Jack Johnson’s bill that prohibited Tennessee’s licensing board from farming out its duty to develop rules governing professional counselors to a private organization. But on Wednesday Sen. Johnson announced that he would not pursue his bill and instead support a bill introduced by Sen. Mike Bell and Rep. Dan Howell that would prohibit any Tennessee licensing board from turning over their power to a private association. The Tennessee Counseling Association said the new bill was an “improvement” because it treated all groups the same.

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