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FACT Signs onto Amicus Brief Upholding Biological Definition of Sex

An amicus brief was filed last week with the United States Supreme Court on behalf of family policy councils around the country, including FACT in a case that will decide whether the word “sex” as used in Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination in the workplace includes “gender identity.”

The case, Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, involves a male funeral home worker who now identifies as a woman and wanted to dress as a woman while at work. The funeral home declined this request and fired the employee based on its sex-specific dress code and in accord with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission standards. Nevertheless, the EEOC sued the funeral home for sexual discrimination.

The amicus brief, which supports the position of the funeral home, states that interpreting “sex” to include “gender expression” or “gender identity” in Title VII would make any laws concerning “sex” discrimination meaningless and impossible to apply. This would ultimately affect the interpretation of corresponding terms in Title IX, which prohibits “sex” discrimination in education. That, of course, would affect the rights of parentals in regard to their child’s education, women’s sports, bathroom and locker room facilities, medical care, and the like.

As it says in the amicus brief, “The case here involves no children. But it asks the Court to declare, for the first time, that sex and gender–and terms like ‘girls’ and ‘boys’–lack any ‘fixed external referent’. . . Sex would be unmoored from testable ideas of biology and law. . . In one fell swoop, ‘mother,’ ‘father,’ ‘son,’ and ‘daughter’ would lose their legal meanings.”

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Next Steps on the Tennessee Heartbeat Bill

Thanks to the hundreds who sent emails and tweets to the nine members of the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to support the rewritten heartbeat bill, SB 1236, during the August 12-13 Summer Study.

Your participation—by contacting the committee members, sitting in the hearing room at the Capitol, or speaking for life on our social media channels—has greatly encouraged us.

There are two things you can do now before the bill comes back up in January to help protect the lives of the unborn in Tennessee.

First, visit the Heartbeat Bill Summer Study Hearing page on our website for resources that you can watch, read, and then share. These include the video of FACT President David Fowler and FACT CEO Gary Humble discussing the Ninth Amendment as it relates to the heartbeat bill and David’s testimony at the hearing as well as that of other proponents of the bill as amended.

Second, pray that the legislature will make the decision that would save the lives of the unborn and help begin the process of restoring the rule of law in our country. We believe many of the pro-life senators in the Senate Judiciary Committee are beginning to listen to the new Ninth Amendment arguments being made in support of the bill.

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shape of Tennessee on striped background with words Tennessee news

Tennessee Baptists Show Support for Life

In anticipation of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the “fetal heartbeat” bill set for August 12 and 13, the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board is circulating an “I Stand for Life” petition that is garnering signatures from Baptists across the state who believe life begins at conception and abortion is wrong. Currently, more than 4,200 have signed the petition.

About this new initiative, TBMB President & Executive Director Randy C. Davis says, “We want to let this committee—and the full legislature when it reconvenes—know that Tennessee Baptists stand for life and that we want laws in our state that protect the lives of precious unborn babies.”

FACT certainly applauds efforts like this in the Body of Christ to broadcast the pro-life message to both our state legislature and our culture.

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shape of Tennessee on striped background with words Tennessee news

Heartbeat Bill Gains Support of Key Legislative Leaders

Gov. Bill Lee and two of Tennessee’s top lawmakers, House Speaker Glen Casada and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, have announced their support for a bill introduced by Rep. Micah Van Huss that would ban an abortion as early as six weeks if a fetal heartbeat is found.

This is the third year that Van Huss has proposed such legislation because as he says, “One of our primary responsibilities as government is to keep our citizens safe. And the killing of our citizens need [sic] to stop.” While Van Huss will not rule out the possibility of minor amendments this year, he stated that it will either pass or fail as it is written.

This latest push comes on the heels of similar legislation that has either passed or is currently working through legislatures in other states. An Iowa judge recently struck down that state’s heartbeat bill holding that it violated the state’s constitution and federal courts have struck down similar laws several years ago.

However, Van Huss expressed optimism that the law would be upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which includes Tennessee. “The Sixth Circuit is considered the most conservative circuit court in the country, so I’m hopeful if this legislation gets challenged that the Sixth Circuit would side with life,” says Van Huss.

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