Feds: All public schools must redefine gender
(WNS)–The Obama administration officially took the so-called bathroom debate to the national stage May 13 by issuing a directive requiring all public schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom or locker room facilities of their choice. Schools that refuse, risk losing federal funding. In a joint letter, the U.S. departments of Justice and Education told every school district in the country that sex under Title IX is not defined by a student’s birth certificate but rather his or her gender identity. Under new school standards outlined in the letter, as soon as a parent or legal guardian claims a child’s gender identity differs from previous records, the school must treat the student accordingly. That means if a male student claims to be a girl, the school must allow him to use the girl’s restroom and locker room facilities without the need to produce a medical diagnosis or birth certificate. Women face the draft after lawmaker’s protest amendment backfires
Women face the draft after lawmaker’s protest amendment backfires
(WNS)–Before the end of May, the House of Representatives likely will take up the next National Defense Authorization Act and with it a controversial proposal to require women to register for the draft. The author of the amendment said he expected—even hoped—it would get shot down in committee. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., drafted the measure as a kind of protest. He wanted to prod lawmakers into taking congressional action to override the Obama administration’s recent decision to remove the combat exclusion for women in the military. “It’s our families who we represent who are affected by this, and we should give them a say,” Hunter said. “This should not be a unilateral decision made by the commander-in-chief. This should be our decision.”
Is sex-change treatment Planned Parenthood’s new moneymaker?
(WNS)–While pro-life legislation chips away at its taxpayer-based revenue, the nation’s leading abortion provider might have found a new cash cow. At 32 of its centers in 10 states, Planned Parenthood now offers hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for clients wanting to change their gender expression. Despite the long-term physical and psychological risks associated with gender reassignment treatments, the abortion giant’s little-known but emerging enterprise hasn’t incited the same public backlash as another of its formerly hush-hush business practices—trafficking in aborted babies’ body parts. Capitalizing on an upswing in the growing acceptance of transgender rights, Planned Parenthood is expanding its brand into a potentially lucrative market.
Justice Department sues North Carolina to strike down HB2
(WNS)–Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the Justice Department will file a federal civil rights lawsuit to declare North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill” discriminatory and bar its implementation. Lynch accused legislators of creating state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals. “This law provides no benefit to society, and all it does is harm vulnerable Americans,” she said in an afternoon press conference to announce the suit. “This action is about a great deal more than bathrooms. This is about the dignity and the respect that we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we as a people and as a country enacted to protect them—indeed to protect all of us.”
Harriet Tubman: Behind the face of the new $20 bill
(WNS)–Former slave and faith-driven abolitionist Harriet Tubman will be the face of the new $20 bill, becoming the first woman to appear on U.S. paper currency since the 19th century, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced on April 20. The back of the new bill will feature the White House and an image of President Andrew Jackson, whom Tubman is displacing from the front of the bill. Lew said the Treasury Department will unveil the new bill in 2020 to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. “Harriet Tubman was a woman of faith who wasn’t afraid to act on her beliefs to fight for justice,” said Kristina Arriaga, executive director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in a written statement. “Her incredible moral and physical courage is an example to all Americans, as is her willingness to act on her Christian faith.”
Doctor, pastor sues Georgia after sermons cost him new job
(WNS)–A public health expert and Seventh-Day Adventist preacher who lost a job offer from the State of Georgia over sermons posted to YouTube is suing for discrimination. A week after offering Eric Walsh a job in 2014 as district health director for Northwest Georgia, state officials combed through his online sermons, which allegedly ranged from topics such as the sin of homosexuality to the corrupting influence of pop culture. They met together the following morning, and revoked his job offer the next day. Walsh holds a medical degree and a doctorate in public health, served on President Barack Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and until early 2014 was director of the Public Health Department in Pasadena, Calif. In 2013, he opened California’s first city-run dental clinic for patients with HIV/AIDS.
ACLU sues Mississippi over law protecting freedom of religion, conscience
(WNS)–A Mississippi law set to take effect July 1 to protect business owners who believe marriage should be between one man and one woman is now under attack from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of gay couple Nykolas Alford and Stephen Thomas seeking to block House Bill 1523. Last month, hundreds of protesters stood outside the Governor’s Mansion with signs such as “No Hate In My State” while Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill into law. He said at the time the new law would “protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.”