22 Jan What do I say?
Do You Know What to Say?
With the U.S. Supreme Court deciding to rule on the Marriage issue, same-sex marriage is sure to be a robust topic of discussion around water coolers, kitchen tables, and Facebook pages.
Likewise, so will nondiscrimination laws. State Legislatures are convening as we speak, and many of them will be voting on whether to adopt statewide nondiscrimination laws that give special protections to “sexual orientation and gender identity.”
We all need to be a part of these public and private conversations!
Sometimes we are afraid to participate in discussions or contact our legislators because we don’t know what to say. Today’s alert may help. Here are some talking points you can use when discussing same-sex marriage and nondiscrimination laws. Choose some that resonate with you, and practice them! Then you will be ready with an answer when the topic comes up. Your friendly, reasoned voice will have a powerful impact on how other people think.
It is also critical to communicate your views to your elected officials. Legislators want and need to hear from you. For example, Idaho Legislators need your emails this week! Even if you don’t live in Idaho, please send an email to the Committee Members listed below, and ask them to “Vote No on HB2.”
Please remember, in discussing these issues, we stand for principles, never against people. Our job is to speak with civility and respect, and let the truth stand on its own.
- When we talk about rights, we need to remember the bigger picture, which includes the rights of children to be raised by a mother and a father.
- Redefining marriage does more than widen the circle to let more people in. It changes marriage from a child-centered institution into an emotional bond between consenting adults. Marriage is about more than emotion. It is about connecting children to the mother and father who made them.
- Men and women are not interchangeable. Fathers and mothers are different in distinct and complementary ways. For example: which parent tosses the baby up in the air, and which parent says, “Honey, not so high?” Fathers tend to challenge their children, while Mothers tend to be more protective. Children want and need one of each.
- Yes, many children today are growing up without a mother or without a father, for many reasons. But laws and policies should promote the ideal. One of the biggest problems today is absentee-dads. Kids growing up without a dad are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime. How can we insist that fathers are essential, if the law says that fathers are optional?• It’s true that not every couple has children, but it’s also true that every child has a mother and a father. Marriage exists to connect children with their mother and father wherever possible.
- Marriage existed before government. Government is not in the relationship business. It is in the marriage business to connect fathers and mothers to any children they create.
- We are not against anyone. We are for an ideal that has been upheld by thousands of years of history, law, and religion.
Nondiscrimination laws may sound like a good idea, but they’re not. They give special rights to some people at the expense of others. They harm our freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and our right to make a living. For example:
- A New Mexico photographer was fined $7,000 for deciding not to photograph a same-sex ceremony. The court ruled that she was obligated to photograph same-sex ceremonies as the “price of citizenship.”
- A Judge in Colorado recently ruled that a Denver baker cannot refuse to bake a wedding cake for same-sex ceremonies — or face fines and potential jail time.
- When a florist in Washington state politely declined to do the flowers for her long-time client’s same-sex wedding, she was sued and is facing a $2,000 fine.So in the end, Nondiscrimination laws are not fair after all.
On Monday January 26, at 8:00 a.m. the Idaho House State Affairs Committee will consider whether to vote for a proposed Nondiscrimination law protecting “sexual orientation and gender identity.” If you live in Idaho, please try to attend the Committee Hearing in the West Wing auditorium in the Capitol at 8:00 a.m. Just your presence will have a great impact.
- No matter where you live, please email the members of the Idaho “State Affairs Committee” (below) and ask them to “Vote No on HB2.” Feel free to use any of these talking points in your email:• Across America, wherever these nondiscrimination laws have been enacted, giving special protections to the LGBT community, it has been at the expense of the rights of others.
- The legal recognition of same-sex marriage creates conflicts with religious freedom, but it is the nondiscrimination laws that have been the legal vehicle to get those conflicts into court.• Anti-discrimination laws do not protect all people. State and city laws that include the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” do not provide equal protection under the law; they provide special protection under the law. Special protection is not equal protection. With anti-discrimination laws, someone will ultimately be discriminated against.• The religious liberty cases of the baker, florist, and photographer did not involve anyone saying they would not serve a gay individual. These business owners’ only concern was being asked to participate in or facilitate a ceremony that conflicted with their religious beliefs.• Nondiscrimination laws give special protections for LGBT citizens in all “Public Accommodations” including public restrooms, locker-rooms and showers. Some also include criminal penalties with potential jail time for those who do not comply.• Even without an explicit “public accommodations clause,” nondiscrimination laws set the stage for legal conflicts with freedom of religion and rights of conscience.
• Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, but no one should have to choose between making a living, and living their beliefs.
Your voice is critical in public and private conversations on same-sex marriage and nondiscrimination. It really does influence how other people think, and how elected officials vote. So practice some talking points, gather your courage, and please speak up!
United Families International
Idaho House State Affairs Committee:
Chairman Thomas Loertscher: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Vito Barbieri: email@example.com
Rep. Gayle Batt: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Ken Andrus: email@example.com
Rep. Linden Bateman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Lynn Luker: email@example.com
Rep. Brent Crane: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Joe Palmer: email@example.com
Rep. Kathleen Sims: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. James Holtzclaw: email@example.com
Rep. Don Cheatham: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Shannon McMillan: email@example.com
Rep. Pete Nielsen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Elaine Smith: email@example.com
Rep. Melissa Winthrow: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Paulette Jordan: email@example.com
Rep. John McCrostie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are more examples of what happens when “nondiscrimination rights” trump our First Freedoms of Speech and Conscience, and our Right to make a living:
- Evergreen College in Washington state is allowing a 45-year old man to use the women’s shower facilities–which is also used by a community children’s swim academy.
- A recent California law allows all public school students to use the restroom and locker room of their choice. Parents were told, “Discomfort is not an excuse for discrimination.”
- A Vermont country Inn was ordered to pay $30,000 for declining to host a gay wedding reception because of their religious beliefs.
- Catholic Charities closed their doors in several states, rather than go against their religious beliefs by conforming to a law that would force them to place adopted children with same-sex couples.
- A Colorado school district granted a transgender first grader the right to use the girls’ restroom. (The option to use the nurse’s bathroom was ruled as discriminatory.)
- A California gynecologist declined to perform an in vitro fertilization on a lesbian patient because of her religious beliefs, and was sued by her patient. The California Supreme Court ruled against the doctor, suggesting that she “take up a different line of business.”
- For more examples see: www.VoteYesPocatello.com and http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/iMapp.Brief.ReligiousLiberty.pdf