RFRAs have NEVER Harmed a Homosexual Person

By Casey Mattox
The Federalist

It has been 22 years since President Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. For two decades it has applied to every law in the District of Columbia and the federal government. In the intervening decades, 20 other states have followed suit with their own state RFRAs. These RFRAs hold government to a high burden of proof when it burdens religious exercise. Under RFRA, there are no guaranteed outcomes, but the government cannot take burdens on religious exercise lightly.

In two decades of RFRAs, the world has not ended. In fact, not a single person who identifies as homosexual has been harmed by these RFRAs. None. This may come as a surprise to you if you have watched any of the media coverage or been on social media for the last several days. The unhinged claims from the Left have been entirely detached from the reality that these laws have actually existed for decades and have never resulted in any of the things they worry will happen. This is not new. Dire warnings that are unsurprisingly not confirmed by future events have been a common theme in arguments from the Left in recent years.

Prophesying Doom that Never Materializes

The Equal Access Act is the reason your child can have a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at school. Most Americans would think that permitting students to voluntarily get together before school to pray is a good thing. But when Congress considered the act in 1984, some Democrats, including then-Rep. Barbara Boxer, opposed it because allowing Christian students to gather to pray “could usher in KKK and Nazi” student groups. More than 30 years later, it is clear Boxer was on the wrong side of history. Her worry that letting kids study the Bible would lead to “Mein Kampf” has not been realized.

Boxer’s worry that letting kids study the Bible would lead to ‘Mein Kampf’ has not been realized.

When the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2006, abortionists argued that approximately 2,200 partial-birth abortions per year were necessary for health reasons. This was important because the law lacked any health exception (except to save the mother’s life). When the Supreme Court issued its opinion eight years ago in April 2007, it held that the law was generally constitutional.

However, the Court invited any abortionist or woman filing a new challenge to show why a partial-birth abortion was necessary in one of those 2,200-per-year instances. Planned Parenthood warned of consequences for women’s health from the decision, just as Justice Ginsburg wrote in a dissent: “One may anticipate that such a preenforcement challenge will be mounted swiftly, to ward off serious, sometimes irremediable harm, to women whose health would be endangered by the intact D&E prohibition.”

Eight years later, no such complaint has been filed. I’m not aware of a single example of any woman who was harmed by not being able to have a partial-birth abortion procedure in that time.

There are three possible reasons: (1) by incredible fortune, the threats to women’s health making partial-birth abortion necessary ceased on April 18, 2007; (2) Women are harmed daily, but Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry lack the resources to file the invited lawsuits; (3) the claim that partial-birth abortion was necessary to protect women’s health was a lie.

Finally, when Texas passed HB2, the pro-life law that brought stardom to Wendy Davis, a primary focus of abortion supporters who opposed the bill was its prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks gestation, when the unborn child is capable of feeling pain. This provision was the centerpiece of the controversy, and Davis opposed it at length. But while virtually every part of the Texas law has been challenged in the intervening two years, the prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks has never been challenged. It has been Texas law since October 2013.

Time to Stop Listening

And Texas isn’t alone. Laws like it have been enacted in 13 states. But despite their cries of harm to women’s health, abortionists have only challenged these laws in the Ninth Circuit and in a now-pending Georgia state court case. At least 10 of these laws, including Texas’s, are in effect without legal challenge. As MSNBC reported, there is

a strategic reason to avoid challenging that [20-week] ban…. [A] Texas challenge would go to the conservative Fifth Circuit. Not only would that court potentially uphold the law…, the combination of decisions would create a split in the circuits that would make the Supreme Court likelier to hear it.

This is their choice. But at some point when your warnings of imminent harm are stifled by your own prudential choices, and none of the bad consequences you warn about ever happen, perhaps your claims just aren’t true. That’s critically important to keep in mind with the needless hysteria happening now over completely mischaracterized state religious freedom laws.

But history need not repeat itself. In the children’s story, when Peter repeatedly cries, “Wolf!” the townspeople finally stop listening. It’s time to stop giving credence to the Left’s cries.

Tell Mesa City Council to Vote NO on Unnecessary Gender Identity Resolution

UPDATE: The Mesa City Council did not pass the extreme resolution last night. However, the council appears determined to do so in the near future. WRITE TO THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL IMMEDIATELY TO EXPRESS YOUR OPPOSITION. THEIR EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE LISTED BELOW.

Dear Mayor and council members:

We are strongly opposed to the proposal known as:

NEW MESA CITY CODE TITLE 6, CHAPTER 14 “PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION, EMPLOYMENT, AND HOUSING ON THE BASIS OF RACE, COLOR, ETHNICITY, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, DISABILITY, RELIGION, SEX, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY AND EXPRESSION, VETERANS’ STATUS, MARITAL STATUS, GENETIC INFORMATION, AND FAMILIAL STATUS” AND ESTABLISHING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF.

The sections that are most objectionable are those pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

This proposal will create more problems than it will solve and is totally unneeded.

Sexual orientation is not an immutable trait, such as race. There is no comparison between the two.

Gender identity and expression is an indication of psychological problems. It is not an immutable trait.

Once you open this Pandora’s box, you will subject well-meaning, law abiding citizens to unreasonable penalties and punishments.

It is no wonder that Scottsdale and Fountain Hills have both recently defeated such measures and that Springfield, Missouri, Charlotte, N.C. and Fayetteville, Arkansas also rightly rejected these unnecessary and problematic resolutions, which are pushed by far-left radicals upon unassuming communities.

A few years ago, we warned members of the Mesa council that radical homosexual activists were urging political activists to move to the East Valley to enact extreme social change which is at odds with the strong family-oriented characteristics of Mesa and Gilbert. Most of the council members responded to that they were not going to allow this to happen.

We are asking you again to not let this happen. We do not have the types of problems in Mesa requiring this sort of radical legislation on the part of our city leaders. We must respect free speech and religious liberty — the First Amendment — before we ever consider any type of “sexual liberty” proposed by leftists.

Please vote NO on Thursday.

Thank you.

The Arizona Conservative

Lend your voice to opposing this radical proposal. Write to all members of the Mesa city council today:

ian.linssen@mesaaz.gov; alicia.white@mesaaz.gov; randy.policar@mesaaz.gov; district3@mesaaz.gov; councilmember.glover@mesaaz.gov; marrisa.ramirez-ramos@mesaaz.gov; matthew.clark@mesaaz.gov

The True Facts About Religious Freedom Laws

By Sarah Torre, Heritage Foundation

The mainstream media has launched an all-out blitz over a new law that protects the fundamental freedom of Indiana citizens from unnecessary and unreasonable government coercion.

The media’s gross mischaracterizations of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act ignore the truth: Religious Freedom Restoration Acts prevent government discrimination against religious free exercise and simply provide a way to balance religious liberty with compelling government interests.

Religious liberty isn’t an absolute right. Religious liberty doesn’t always trump. Religious liberty is balanced with concerns for a compelling state interest that’s being pursued in the least-restrictive means possible.

The First Amendment Partnership, an organization whose mission is “to promote and protect religious freedom for people of all faiths,” created the below infographic separating myth from fact on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts:

As Ryan T. Anderson and I explained Thursday, the Indiana law is good policy. Like the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana’s new law prohibits substantial government burdens on religious exercise unless the government can show a compelling interest in burdening religious liberty and does so through the least restrictive means.

These protections for religious freedom provide a commonsense way to balance the fundamental right to religious liberty with compelling government interests.

By passing its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana joins the 19 other states that have implemented such laws. Eleven additional states have religious liberty protections that state courts have interpreted to provide a similar level of protection. These commonsense laws place the onus on the government to justify its actions in burdening the free exercise of religion.

California’s Embryonic Stem Cell Research a Complete Failure

Investors Business Daily reports what we all knew 10 years ago when Californians foolishly passed an amendment for unproven, unreliable destructive embryonic stem cell research, which treats human life like a mere commodity …

A Casualty of Love: the daughter of two moms speaks out

A single Arizona judge has taken the audacious step of overthrowing Arizona’s constitutional marriagement amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman. He mistakenly and purposefully is denying children of what they need most: a mom and a dad. Read this account of what this judge, and many other judical activists around the nation, are doing by writing new, unwanted laws, from the bench.

By Meg

I was raised by my biological mother and her same-sex partner. I have only a few fuzzy memories of my father: a phone call here and there, his deep and unfamiliar voice wishing me a happy birthday, and a dim picture of the way the furniture had been arranged in his house. I have less than a handful of pictures of him. My mom and dad were married for a short time but she left him when I was too young to remember. She always knew she was gay and she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved—with a woman.

I was raised in an area that was pretty liberal, open, and accepting of gays and lesbians. I know my mother experienced a lot of pain at the hands of others because of her sexuality, but as a child of same-sex parents, I was never mistreated because of it. I had two loving mothers who cared for my every need and with whom I have many wonderful and sweet memories. There was one need, however, that they could never meet no matter how much they loved me: the need for a father.

I love my mom deeply, fiercely, and unconditionally. She is an incredible woman, but I cannot pretend that her decision to leave my father and raise me with another woman did not have long-term and devastating consequences for me. I am a casualty of same-sex parenting. You see, I also love my absent father. I love a man whom I don’t even know. A man who, by all accounts, is a lousy father. I don’t know why I love him, I just do. When you are separated from a parent, for whatever reason, a wound is inflicted upon you. I ached for my father to love me. I ached for the father I knew I would never have. Losing my father was a tragedy in my life and it is a loss that I feel deeply every day. It’s a loss that can be ignored or numbed, for a short time, but never forgotten. Growing up without my dad colored everything about me. I had abandonment issues. I expected and feared that everyone close to me would leave me. Even as an adult I still grieve for what was taken from me. It wasn’t until my husband and I had children and I watched him with our kids that the full weight of what I’d lost with my own father hit me. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. Many people believe that so long as a child has two parents, gender doesn’t matter. But it does. I shouldn’t love my dad, but I do. I should love my “other mom,” but I don’t. I can’t change that, though I’ve definitely tried.

My relationship with my “other mom” was awkward. She helped raise me through my most formative years and I cannot recall life without her. I have many fond memories with her, but what I mostly remember is how awkward and uncomfortable our relationship felt. I had a mom, a dad whom I ached for, and then I had her. I hated the times she would try to parent me by offering me comfort or discipline. I accepted her only as my mom’s partner, not as a parent. Later, when she and my mom split up I felt relieved. I felt sad for my mom but I didn’t miss my “other mom” despite the fact that she raised me as her own daughter.

As a child growing up within the gay community, I was exposed to a lot of inappropriate things very early on. From the adult toys and pornographic magnets in the local gay and lesbian bookstore, to the men who parade around in S&M costumes at gay pride festivals. My interaction with and exposure to these parts of the larger gay culture and my missing father created the perfect storm that led to my early sexualization. As I got older, I used attention from boys to try to fill the wound my missing father left. I found myself in two abusive relationships in college because I was looking for the love and approval of a man but I had no idea how a good man should treat me. I accepted almost anyone who would “love” me.

Do I wish my mom lived a miserable life married to a man she didn’t love? No. I want my mom to be happy. But I also wish that she and my dad did love each other and that somehow it could have worked out. Her happiness cost me a great deal. We have to recognize that all children of same-sex parents are being raised in brokenness. Something precious and irreplaceable has been taken from us. Two loving moms, or two dads, can never replace the lost parent. In my case, and in many like mine, I was raised by same-sex parents because I was intentionally separated from my other biological parent and then told that “all that matters is love” and “love makes a family”. Love matters, but accepting and promoting same-sex parenting promotes the destruction of families, not the building of families.