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Ohio Passes ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Bill

Eschewing the approach taken by Tennessee’s Senate Judiciary Committee, the Ohio House of Representatives passed its own fetal heartbeat bill this week and the Ohio Senate, which had passed the bill in March, quickly approved changes made by the House. It has now been signed by the governor. The bill prohibits abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, which is generally at about the sixth week of pregnancy.

“Since 1973, countless unborn children have lost their lives to abortion in Ohio. Thanks to the compassion and commitment of the Ohio General Assembly, the Buckeye state will end this atrocity,” said Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values, in a press release.

Naturally, pro-abortion groups threaten to fight back. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland suggests that gerrymandering allowed conservatives to capture the legislative seats necessary to pass bills such as this and, viewing that as an abuse of power, she stated, “We will work day and night to upend this attack on democracy to ensure that Ohio will once again have fair elections that result in elected officials that share our values and support reproductive freedom.”

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Taylor Swift Funds LGBT Advocacy Group

Singer Taylor Swift, who grew up in Nashville, gave $113,000 to Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBT organization that lobbies at the state Capitol.

Along with the donation, Swift sent a note to Executive Director Chris Sanders that said, “Dear Chris, I’m writing you to say that I’m so inspired by the work you do, specifically in organizing the recent petition of Tennessee faith leaders standing up against the ‘Slate of Hate’ in our state legislature.”

That “slate” includes a bill to prevent adoption/foster care placement agencies from being sued for not placing children with same-sex couples if doing so is based on religious or moral conviction, as well as Family Action of Tennessee’s Business Protection Act and School Protection Act.

Last year, Swift broke her silence concerning her personal political views to endorse Phil Bredesen for Senate over then-Congressman Marsha Blackburn and said in reference to Blackburn’s viewpoint, “These are not MY Tennessee values.”

Well, Ms. Swift, we say in reference to what you are now endorsing, “These are not OUR Tennessee values.”

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Amazon Pulled into ‘No Gay? No Way!’ Campaign Targeting Tennessee Legislature

Many Tennesseans have been excited that Amazon will have a major hub in Nashville, creating 5,000 new jobs in our state, but is there a downside to having this well-known company in our state? Unfortunately, yes.

Because Amazon has been vocal about its pro-LGBT stance, it has been pressured by national “No Gay? No Way!” campaign to fight back against legislation that the campaign thinks discriminates against the LGBT community in Nashville. In a letter to the Glamazons, the LGBT employee advocacy group at Amazon, the campaign states, “The time is now to demand Amazon publicly condemn these anti-LGBT bills and fight to repeal existing state laws that discriminate against you and your families. Amazon has done this in Texas, and the threat [of anti-LGBT laws] in Tennessee is just as real.” Then on April 2, the campaign flew a plane with a banner saying, “Amazon HQ2: No Gays? No way!”

The “No Gay? No Way!” campaign focuses on preventing pro-family bills (what they call the “slate of hate”) such as Family Action of Tennessee’s Business Protection Act (SB 364 / HB 563) and School Protection Act (SB 1499 / HB 1274), and bills that look out for the religious beliefs of adoption and foster care agencies.

Amazon responded to the campaign’s pressure tactics by saying, “Amazon has a long history of supporting equality and we’re opposed to laws that discriminate or encourage discrimination.”

This campaign should remind us to pray that our state legislators will not be swayed by the perceived economic influence of businesses like Amazon.

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Catholic High School Fights for First Amendment Rights

The Lyceum, a Catholic classical high school in South Euclid, Ohio, is fighting for its First Amendment rights in a lawsuit challenging a sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) non-discrimination ordinance passed by the South Euclid City Council in 2018 that does not include an exemption for religious or moral convictions.

The ordinance would severely impinge on the school’s faith-based beliefs about sexuality and marriage by potentially forcing the school to hire or enroll those who disagree with the school’s teachings. The school said it would rather close its doors than give in to this governmental meddling.

Administrators at The Lyceum attended several city council meetings trying to understand how the SOGI ordinance might affect the school but got no answers, so Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the school against the city challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance.

On its website, ADF notes, “Tolerance is a two-way street. Government officials are constitutionally bound to protect these freedoms even if their own personal beliefs about marriage and sexuality are different.”

Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values (CCV), a sister organization to FACT, said, “South Euclid passed one of the most offensive and egregious sexual orientation gender identity laws that I have ever seen, and Christian ministries across the country should take note of what these laws would mean to them.”

Ohio’s state legislature is currently considering state-level SOGI legislation called the Ohio Fairness Act.

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Canadian Man Slapped with Steep Fine for ‘Misgendering’ a Male

In 2017, during a British Columbia election, Canadian William “Bill” Whatcott distributed flyers informing voters that a local candidate for Parliament, Morgane Oger, who presented as a woman, was actually a biological male called Ronan Oger.

Today’s pro-LGBT culture would call that “misgendering,” which so far in America is still not a crime. But for reporting the truth to Canadians, Whatcott was arrested, jailed, and fined $55,000 for committing a “hate crime” by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, $35,000 of which will be paid to Oger as compensation for injury to her dignity, feelings, and self‐respect” and $20,000 to Oger for “improper conduct.” Plus, Whatcott was ordered to cease and desist from doing anything like this again.

“The Supreme Court of Canada has long held that freedom of expression is the lifeblood of democracy,”  protested John Carpay, president of the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedom, which defended Whatcott. In his column for LifeSiteNews, Michael L. Brown completed Carpay’s line of reasoning by adding, “But not when it crosses the lines of transgender activism. Freedom halts there.”

Americans were warned against complacency in a statement made by the Catholic news website Mass Resistance: “Whatcott’s ‘offence’ [sic] is still considered perfectly legal in the United States. But for how long? (We are already seeing private censorship regarding transgenderism on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo!) Passage of the pending federal ‘Equality Act’ (H.R. 5) will insert ‘gender identity protections’ throughout federal law.”

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