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Legislative Session Starts Next Week

Next Tuesday, January 9, marks the day that the 110th General Assembly will reconvene. And this new legislative session is critical. Now is the time to be in prayer for our leadership at the Capitol. Our elected officials need wisdom and courage to stand for godly principles amidst increasing pressures from the Left. You can follow the legislation that the Family Action Council of Tennessee will be tracking at this link. The deadline for filing new legislation will be late January.

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Decades-Old Frozen Embryo Gets Birthed to Knoxville Mom

A Knoxville woman recently birthed a healthy child from a 24-year-old cryopreserved embryo. Baby Emma, who was born through the help of the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville and in vitro fertilization, holds the record for the longest-frozen embryo to be birthed. The faith-based NEDC is the world’s leading embryo adoption program, touting nearly 700 pregnancies through embryo adoption. Interestingly, the 26-year-old mother, Tina Gibson, was only 18 months old when the embryo who became her child was conceived. Hopefully, news of this miracle of science will result in more embryos being adopted and birthed instead of being destroyed.

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Tennessee Companies Receive Perfect Score on LGBT Index

Six Tennessee-based companies were among the 609 companies nationwide to receive 100 percent on this year’s Human Rights Campaign’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index. The index gauges the extent to which businesses embrace LGBT employees and causes. The Tennessee companies include FedEx; Nissan North America; Eastman Chemical Co.; Unam Group; and two law firms, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC and Bass, Berry & Sims PLC.

Getting a perfect score goes beyond having policies extending special employment rights based on a person’s sexual orientation/gender identity. Companies must also be willing to make a financial investment in LGBT causes and provide medical benefits that include sex reassignment treatments. Moreover, the index also deducts 25 points for any business that makes corporate contributions to entities that are deemed to be anti-LGBT.

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Blackburn, Cooper Bill Would End Hush Fund for Sexual Harassment Claims

Tennessee Congressmen Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) and Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) have joined with three other U.S. House members to out those in Congress who have used taxpayer money to settle sexual assault and harassment claims secretly.

The bipartisan Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act would ban the use of taxpayer funds to settle such claims and require the public release of the names of congressmen who used a confidential Treasury Department fund to settle such claims in the past by posting their names on the congressional Office of Compliance website. Names of the victims would not be made public, but victims could make public statements about their claim.

Any member of Congress who has used the Treasury Department fund to settle sexual harassment claims since 1995 would be required to reimburse the government, with interest. The bill also prohibits nondisclosure agreements as a precondition to address sexual harassment or assault claims.

“We need transparency, safety, and appropriate behavior,” said U.S. Rep. Cooper. Sexual misconduct has no place here, or anywhere.”

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Sen. Tracy Picked by Trump to Lead U.S. Agriculture Office

Republican state Sen. Jim Tracy has been appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as state director of the USDA’s Rural Development office. Tracy has since resigned from his current position serving the 14th senatorial district, which includes Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore, and parts of Rutherford Counties. Tracy joins a growing list of state legislators who are either seeking another state political office, retiring, seeking a federal position, or have already resigned.

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