Bathroom Policy Needs Some Remodeling

Bathroom Policy Needs Some Remodeling

November 30, 2018

Alexis Lightcap may have graduated from Boyertown High, but she's not done fighting for the students there. Someone has to. And based on the last three years, it's not going to be school officials.

You don't ever dream you're going to sue your high school, Alexis says. "But that's exactly what several of my peers and I had to do." If the adults aren't going to do their job protecting kids, then a handful of teenagers in Pennsylvania are determined to do it.

Like most students at Boyertown, Alexis had no idea the school's policy had changed until she walked into the girl's restroom and saw a teenage boy. "My first thought was to get out," she remembers. So she did. On the school's security cameras, you can watch her running out and down the hall. What happens next is a story she tells in this morning's USA Today. "I tried to get the attention of administrators to explain to them how uncomfortable -- how scared -- I felt sharing the girls' restroom with a boy," she says. "They wouldn't listen. The principal simply wrote down my concerns on a Post-it note and said he'd contact me soon. He never did."

Alexis's parents, who'd adopted her out of the state's foster care system, were just as shocked. "Boyertown officials kept it a secret from them, too." Not a single parent had been told about the change -- which meant that school locker rooms were also open to everyone. One of Alexis's classmates found that out the hard way when he walked into the boys' changing area and saw a teenage girl in a sports bra and shorts. The administrator he talked to told him to "tolerate it" -- to "make it as natural as possible."

"Hollywood movies and TV shows try to make that kind of moment seem funny," Alexis explains. "But in real life, it's embarrassing and unnerving. Locker rooms and restrooms are supposed to be a refuge for students, and adults, too, for that matter... Why is it so hard for school officials to understand that young girls care about the privacy of their bodies? It's natural for us and our parents to worry about who might walk in on us in a vulnerable moment."

Boyertown officials may not care about her privacy, but Alexis and her attorneys at ADF are hoping the Supreme Court will make them. She and other students, listed in the suit as Joel Doe and Jack Jones, are hoping the justices will step in and decide an issue that could have been resolved to everyone's satisfaction months ago. See, the problem isn't that schools are trying to accommodate these confused kids. The problem is that their solution is taking everyone's privacy away in the process.

"Schools can," Alexis writes, "and should be compassionate in supporting students who experience gender dysphoria. So should other students. But a truly fair and genuinely compassionate policy doesn't have to be kept secret from students and parents. And an effective policy would be one that secures the privacy of every student."

Ironically, that's the kind of common sense policy that states like North Carolina worked to pass into law. Like most of these debates, it wasn't a fight the Tar Heels picked. Leaders were just responding to some activists on the Charlotte city council that had an agenda and the Obama administration who were trying to force this gender free-for-all on Americans against their will. One of the biggest lies the Left trotted out in an effort to kill the efforts to protect women and children from predators was that it would cost the state billions of dollars in business. What a joke that turned out to be!

North Carolina didn't just weather the storm of H.B. 2 -- it thrived in it. For two years in a row, Forbes named the Tar Heel State #2 on Forbes's top states for doing business. This week, it surpassed even that -- winning the #1 spot for 2018! Two years after the law, more businesses are moving to North Carolina than away from it. "The outlook is also strong. Job growth and gross state product growth are expected to rank among the strongest in the country over the next five years," Forbes points out. As for all of those people moving out of the state because it dared to protect women and children? "The population is growing twice as fast as the U.S. average..."

If liberals were hoping to make a case study out of the fallout, they'll have a tough time trying! Other states have considered measures like H.B 2 -- and based on these numbers, it might be the best decision they ever make.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

A Marriage Message Made in Taiwan

November 30, 2018

Taiwan was supposed to be the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Then, they asked voters. And like countries the world over, the island's leaders got the same answer: No.

Of the 10 questions on the Taiwanese ballot, none got more attention than the five dealing with LGBT "rights." "Do you agree that marriage defined in The Civil Code should be restricted to the union between one man and one woman?" voters were asked. An overwhelming portion of the country -- 70.1 percent -- said yes. Of course, you'll have a hard time finding the actual number in American newspapers, since our media is doing its best to ignore the landslide. But the message from the country off the east coast of China could not be clearer: there is no significant international movement toward same-sex marriage.

Some people might see the results and think the island has a massive Christian population. They'd be wrong. Less than five percent of the country are Protestants or Catholics. And although they were vocal about their opinion on the issue, the fact of the matter is, most of the world's population knows how unnatural the idea is. Until 2015, when the Supreme Court forced same-sex on America, LGBT activists here at home insisted the U.S. was outside the mainstream. But the irony is, we're only outside of the mainstream now that it's legal! There are 195 countries on this planet, and only 27 of them allow same-sex marriage. That's 13 percent -- hardly the stuff of global consensus.

Besides, not even global consensus is a substitute for truth. And as the Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan of Taipei told his church's leaders, no law can change God's design for marriage. While the Church does not condone discrimination, he said, "We cannot support same-sex 'marriage' and same-sex unions," he insisted. "The legalization is... not in line with our teachings."

Seven thousand miles away in America, the vote is having an interesting effect on our own debate. In a country where natural marriage is still the popular view, it's become difficult -- if not impossible -- to voice those views without backlash. Scott Chen, who was educated in Taiwan, found that out when he posted a message about the vote in Chinese. "Some people think that marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman, I think so too, but that's your own business." You can imagine how well that would be taken by the LGBT movement if Chen were an average businessman. They'd demand his resignation. The problem is, Chen isn't just an average businessman. Three months ago, he was named president of an app facilitating same-sex dating. For how much longer, after this backlash, no one knows.

Chen tried to defend himself. "I said marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman is based on my own personal experience," he said. "I am a straight man married to a woman I love and I have two beautiful daughters I love from the marriage. This is how I feel about my marriage. Different people have their different feelings about their marriages. You can't deny my feelings about my marriage."

Now, we expect that kind of backtracking from a lot of people in corporate America. The problem for believers, however, is that some Christians are doing the same thing. They become so intimidated by the cultural bullies that they put the fear of man above the fear of God. They shrink back and go silent on truth that is found not only in the Bible, but history and science as well. If Christians, who know the truth and are called to speak the truth ignore the truth, then what hope do we have? As a church in this country, we need a clarion call for courage. In a culture where 62 percent of student conservatives are too afraid to share their ideas in class, America is in a crisis situation.

Fortunately, this country has a president who, when it comes to doing and saying the tough things, refuses to be intimidated. That kind of courage breeds courage. It only takes one person -- an Isabella Chow -- doing something radically brave, to help others find their voice. And before you know it, people like Isabella won't be standing alone, because tens of thousands of people will be standing with them and behind them, inspired by their bravery. We need more Isabellas in this country -- and if we're going to change anything, we need them now.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

The Skype's the Limit for Abortion

November 30, 2018

For the last several years, businesses like Planned Parenthood have done everything they can to make abortion more appealing. They've added spa robes and hot tea. They made it available by carry-out, through pills, and on video conference. And while Americans can order plenty of things over the internet, most people agree: abortion shouldn't be one of them.

Fortunately, the Michigan Senate agrees and just voted to ban one of the worst ideas in modern medicine: prescribing abortion pills over a webcam. By a 25-12 vote, Michigan leaders decided that abortions are dangerous enough with a doctor's supervision. They don't need to jeopardize more women by making pills like RU-486 more "convenient." In most cases, chemical abortions are so dangerous that some physicians won't even prescribe the drugs -- let alone Skype them.

In some states, though, women can video-conference with doctors instead of meeting them face-to-face. As one reporter says, "The doctor can... tap a button on the computer to [open] a special drawer at the [other] location that'll... allow the patient to receive [RU-486]." It's like a remote vending machine – except that these drugs are lethal to a baby -- and potentially to her mother as well.

Getting high-risk abortion drugs without a doctor's direct supervision is bad enough. But if these women have complications -- and many do -- they're on their own. In the latest report, the FDA admitted that there were more than 1,445 more cases of "adverse events from the abortion pill" between 2012-2017. That can mean anything from blood loss that requires transfusions, to infections (with many categorized as "severe"), hospitalizations, and at least 22 women deaths. Despite all of this, Planned Parenthood and others continue to argue that "the abortion pill is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy." Tell that to the 22 families who will never see their daughters, mothers, and sisters again.

Now that chemical abortions are becoming more popular, we applaud the Michigan Senate for doing what it can to keep women as safe as possible. Let's hope the state house -- and more states -- follow suit! For more information on the dangers of these pills, check out our publication, "Planned Parenthood Is Not Pro-Woman."

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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