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FACT Files Motion to Intervene in Knoxville Custody Case

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (September 9, 2016) —Today, the Constitutional Government Defense Fund, an initiative of The Family Action Council of Tennessee, Inc. filed a Motion to Intervene on behalf of fifty-three Tennessee state legislators in a very important case flowing from the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision last year, Obergefell v. Hodges. The case tests the extent to which Obergefell dictates policy results in other areas of family law and transfers those policies to the judicial branch.

The Motion was filed in a divorce proceeding pending in Knoxville involving a marriage between two women. During the marriage, one of the women conceived a child by artificial insemination. The issue involves the custody rights of the woman who has no biological relationship to the child.

The controversy centers on a statute that deems a child born to a “married woman” by means of artificial insemination, with the consent of the “married woman’s husband,” to be the “legitimate child of the husband and wife.”

The two women have asserted that that statute, enacted in 1977, is unconstitutional if it is applied according to the plain meaning of the words used and is not interpreted by the courts to apply to same-sex marriages.

David Fowler, attorney for the legislators, said:

“These legislators are to be commended for taking quick action in the midst of campaigning and preparing for a special session next week. They understand the importance of this case constitutionally. This is not a case involving the policy that should be applicable in situations such as this. Rather, this case involves a very important constitutional question—Does the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision authorize judges to determine for state legislative bodies what policies it must have relative to custody issues in divorce proceedings? If it does, then matters of family law, which have historically been within the constitutional powers of the states to determine, will have essentially been judicially taken from the states and placed in the hands of federal judges.”

“I hope their constituents appreciate the fact that they are defending the will of the people, who, through their state constitution, vested the power of determining public policies issues in the legislative branch that is directly accountable to them and for defending our state’s sovereignty from further encroachment as a result of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision,” Fowler concluded.

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications  |  Office Phone: 615-261-1338  |  Email: laura.bagby@factn.org

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FACT Celebrates 10 Wonderful Years

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (June 7, 2016) – This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, and as a way of celebrating this momentous occasion, FACT has created a special web section called “Celebrate 10 Years with Us!” that highlights key moments in FACT’s history including ten important milestones.

“As I think back on our ten years,” says FACT President David Fowler, “I see how often we have helped Tennessee become the first, and often only, state to enact certain socially conservative and biblically based laws. We are the first and only state in the nation that has no state or local sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) law, has a religious freedom protection law, and has a law protecting businesses from having local governments impose sexual orientation/gender identity laws on private businesses – the only state in which all three things can be said!”

“What has been accomplished in ten years, however,” continues Fowler, “is really a testament to the goodness and faithfulness of God expressed through the many who, over the years, have prayed for us, volunteered at our events, and invested their financial resources in our work. All of them are a vital part of what has been done.”

By the grace of God and the help of faithful supporters, FACT will continue to press for a state in which marriage is honored, families thrive, life is cherished, and religious liberty flourishes. FACT will do this by equipping the citizens and elected officials of Tennessee to effectively promote and defend God’s design for the family through public education, electoral accountability, effective advocacy, and strategic alliances with other like-minded organizations.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), which Fowler heads, was formed June 6, 2006, by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on marriage, families, life, and religious liberty. For more information, visit FACTn.org.

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications  |  Office Phone: 615-261-1338  |  Email: laura.bagby@factn.org

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FACT President Commends Attorney General for Lawsuit

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (May 25, 2016) – The following statement regarding the decision of Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery to join the lawsuit filed by the state of Texas and eight other states over Title IX can be attributed to FACT President David Fowler:

“Attorney General Slatery is to be applauded for taking affirmative action in response to the attempt by the Obama administration to use Title IX to tell parents that their children have to be exposed to a member of the opposite sex while in a state of undress. His office is doing exactly what it should be doing, fighting to protect the rights of parents to protect their children’s privacy and the right of our state to set its own domestic policies.

“It is particularly encouraging to see ten states joining North Carolina in suing the Obama administration for its outrageous overreach in using a mere ‘letter’ to change the law as it’s been interpreted for decades. This is the kind of unified pushback against the federal government that has been needed for years.

“With the Attorney General’s action today, the need for a special session to encourage the type of action that has been taken has been abated. Hopefully, the lawsuit will allow our state’s schools to operate in accordance with Title IX as it has always been interpreted without fear that they will be left to fend for themselves if actions against them are threatened.”

The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on marriage, families, life, and religious liberty. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values God’s design for the family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit FACTn.org.

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications  |  Office Phone: 615-261-1338  |  Email: laura.bagby@factn.org

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FACT President Blasts Obama’s Unconstitutional ‘Bathroom Edict’

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (May 13, 2016) – The following statement related to President Obama’s “guidance letter” regarding Title IX can be attributed to FACT President David Fowler:

“President Obama has outdone himself with his latest attempt to violate the right of parents to protect their children, violate the privacy of children, and trample on the Constitution and rule of law by pretending that a “guidance letter” can have the force of law. The thought that a “letter” from a government agency can change the meaning of the word “sex” to “gender identity” in a law passed in 1972 is repugnant to the Constitution and the concept of the rule of law. It is akin to an “edict” from a man who thinks himself a king.

“If this is allowed to go unchallenged, then mere letters from cabinet members will from now on become “law” and members of Congress, who have already been AWOL on this issue, can finally just permanently adjourn. Presidents acting like kings, with cabinet members as henchmen and members of the Supreme Court as consultants, can just rule us.

“We call on Gov. Haslam and Attorney General Slatery to advise our schools across the state that President Obama’s ‘guidance letter’ is not the law and can be disregarded or initiate a federal lawsuit to have the court declare the ‘guidance letter’ for what it is, a letter not a law. If our governor and chief law enforcement officer will not protect the Constitution and rule of law, then they are failing to discharge their constitutional duties, and members of the General Assembly and the public should take notice.”

The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on marriage, families, life, and religious liberty. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values God’s design for the family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit FACTn.org.

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications  |  Office Phone: 615-261-1338  |  Email: laura.bagby@factn.org

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FACT ‘Profoundly Disappointed’ That ‘Bathroom Bill’ Will Not Proceed in Legislature

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (April 18, 2016) – The following statement regarding House Bill 2414, the “bathroom bill,” can be attributed to FACT President David Fowler:

“We are thankful that Rep. Susan Lynn and Sen. Mike Bell brought the bill and we appreciate their efforts in past weeks in the face of consistent opposition from the governor’s office and others, but we join the thousands of parents across the state who are profoundly disappointed that at this point in the process Rep. Lynn has decided not to proceed with a bill that would have simply protected the privacy of the children they have entrusted to our public schools.

“We are grateful for the legislators who said they would take the bill from Rep. Lynn this year and continue to push it forward; however, it was not to be. We trust that one of them will do so next year. If so, we stand ready to assist, even as we have tried to do on the legislation this year.

“In the meantime, we would encourage citizens to monitor the policies of their local school systems and demand that their schools defend the privacy of students if threatened with lawsuits, as has already happened with one local school system.”

The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on marriage, families, life, and religious liberty. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values God’s design for the family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit FACTn.org.

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications  |  Office Phone: 615-261-1338  |  Email: laura.bagby@factn.org