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Privacy Wins in North Carolina

A recent North Carolina primary race and a new national business report show it’s not political or economic suicide to support privacy rights by requiring men and women to use locker rooms and bathrooms based on their biological sex, not subjective states of mind. Doing so will not result in the dire economic consequences claimed by the Left.

From an economic perspective, the truth is that North Carolina’s privacy bill, HB 2, did not put a damper on that state’s economy. Earlier this year a Forbes report ranked North Carolina number one for Best State for Business. As we have previously reported, business and tourism statistics for 2016, the year HB 2 was in effect, showed similar positive outcomes.

Politically, N.C. Sen. Dan Bishop, the chief Senate sponsor of HB 2, overwhelmingly defeated a primary challenger, Beth Monaghan, who made HB 2 the keystone of her campaign.

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Is Your Legislator in the Big-Business Echo Chamber?

The overwhelming defeat of the mass transit referendum in Metro Nashville this week should serve as a lesson for the candidates for governor and the state Legislature. But they won’t learn if we don’t insist that they do. Here is how you can “school them.”

To understand the lesson they need to learn, you need to know two things. First, you need to understand what currently seems to drive legislators when it comes to legislation that takes a commonsense approach to some of the social issues we’re facing.

What Is Driving Legislators’ Thinking

It is not what regular Joe and Jane Tennessean think about these issues, but what the Human Rights Campaign, the largest pro-homosexual advocacy organization in the country, and its business allies think. Those business allies are, for the most part, represented by a group called Tennessee Thrives.

Increasingly Republicans, particularly those in positions of leadership, are afraid to do anything that would upset these corporate bigwigs. So, when legislation comes up, as it has for the last three years, that would help keep a 12-year-old biological boy from showering in the junior high girls’ locker room because he thinks he’s a girl, Speakers Randy McNally and Beth Harwell, along with Gov. Haslam (the “Big Three”), begin to “encourage” legislators to kill the bill.

For example, this year a proposed bill would have simply allowed the state to help a local public school system afford the cost of defending itself against an ACLU lawsuit if it got sued for adopting a policy prohibiting biological males from being in the girls’ locker room. The bill died for lack of a second on the Senate Judiciary Committee (kudos for Sen. Mike Bell moving the bill).

Was this bill, and the ones dealing with this subject over the previous two years, opposed because the Big Three and our legislators think it’s great to let a boy shower with a girl? No. They would tell you that they are opposed to a boy being able to do so. So what’s the deal?

It is most likely this: Tennessee Thrives said that the state supporting school systems that believe boys are boys and girls are girls and that boys and girls shouldn’t share locker room shower facilities is “discriminatory” and “will harm our economy and damage our state’s reputation.”

Are you kidding me? Protecting the privacy and safety of kids when they are in a locker room by keeping their biological opposites out is discriminatory? Recognizing objective biological realities over subjective psychological states of mind is discriminatory? Doing that is going to harm our economy?

I think Joe and Jane Tennessean, particularly those with kids and grandkids using those locker rooms, would strongly disagree. It’s common sense. And this leads to the second thing you need to understand.

Big Business Can’t Outvote You

According to The Tennessean, “[t]he for-transit campaign . . . was very much the product of the chamber of commerce. . . . Rather than broadening support . . . boosted by small individual donors, the transit coalition chose to build its coffers almost exclusively with checks from large companies, firms and powerful institutions.”

In other words, the critical importance of the mass transit plan was echoing around in the heads of the chamber elites, but it sure wasn’t resonating among the masses of the regular people who vote.

Our next governor and those who seek to serve in our Legislature need to get out of the “echo chamber” of the big business chamber-type elites whose only corporate value is the bottom line and who could care less about what Joe and Jane Tennessean think.

The number of votes that will be cast in August and November by Joe and Jane Tennessean will outnumber the corporate heads of the businesses belonging to Tennessee Thrives. But they have to remind legislators and the gubernatorial candidates of that. And here’s how.

How to ‘School’ the Political Candidates

First, when it comes to who should be our next governor, at TNVoterGuide.org you can watch videos of how the candidates answered nine questions we posed to them.

The two who chose not to participate and the one who chose to participate but did not answer any of the actual questions, let alone follow the directions, just told you what they think about those of us who care about these issues—we don’t really matter to them, regardless of what they may say on a television commercial. As to the rest, listen to what they said and listen to how they said it, and take your conclusions to the ballot box.

Then, in a few weeks, we’ll urge you to ask your state legislative candidates to answer our 15-question voter guide survey. Let them know that you expect answers if they want your vote.

If we who are just regular citizens don’t weigh in on these issues during this election cycle, then only the corporate bullies aligned with Tennessee Thrives will thrive.


David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.

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GQ Blasts Bible as ‘Foolish,’ ‘Ill-Intentioned’

GQ recently published the article “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read” that includes the Bible at number 12. In fact, the GQ reviewer, Jesse Ball, wrote, “It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.”

Fox News religion contributor Father Jonathan Morris responded with, “Even if you don’t believe this is an inspired word of God, in the last 50 years 3.9 billion people have read this book, 3.9 billion Bibles have been published. That dwarfs every other book [that] has been read in the last 50 years.”

And Franklin Graham noted on one of his Facebook posts, “The Holy Bible is God-breathed, it is living and active, and it is sharper than a double-edged sword. There’s nothing more powerful, and there’s nothing more needed by mankind than the Word of God.”

Some might argue that most folks don’t read men’s magazines like GQ for its literary critiques. But the fact that a secular magazine is renouncing the Bible so brashly says a lot about our increasingly godless culture.

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Google Ads Refuses to Serve Conservative Lutheran Publishing House

Google Ads is refusing to do business with Concordia Publishing House (CPH), the publishing arm of the conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

CPH CEO Bruce Kintz said on Facebook he believes it is “because of the faith we express on our website.” It seems CPH’s Bible challenge and Vacation Bible School programs could have triggered Google’s ban. “Incredibly sobering and disappointing,” Kintz wrote. “It is an uphill battle but our mission and customers are worth it. It is why we are here.”

Google responded via Twitter that it welcomes advertising from religious institutions, including Christian organizations, but has developed policies that “restrict how advertisers may use data to show ads to users, this includes someone’s religious affiliation.”

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TN Rep Kills Own Bill Protecting Conservative Business Owners

An unusual thing happened Tuesday in the Tennessee Legislature when the sponsor of a bill failed to show up to present his bill to the committee to which it had been assigned. Rep. Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) had sponsored House Bill 54, which would have protected all businesses from discrimination by city governments in the bidding process for contracts, in regard to access to and the use of city facilities, and in regard to participation of city programs based on whether they did or did not extend special rights to employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity or provide coverage of abortion under employee group health insurance policies.

Even though proponents of the bill had updated Rep. Zachary on the bill’s status and the potential vote count among the committee’s members not less than thirty minutes before the committee convened, he came down to the committee room after it adjourned for the year, which means the bill is dead. Rep. Zachary’s reasons for his disappearance were murky.

Rep. Zachary cancelled a meeting this Wednesday with proponents of the bill desirous of finding out what happened, but it was rescheduled yesterday for next Tuesday.

The bill had passed the state Senate last year 25-5. In the Senate, it was sponsored by Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville).

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