Gender Identity Proposal at the Rapid City School Board

On September 17, the Rapid City School Board will be voting on changes to the Western Dakota Tech Discrimination and Harassment policies. Among the changes is the addition of “gender identity” to the list of protected classes. Although we would never agree to the victimization or exploitation of any student, adding gender identity to the list of protected classes is a dangerous idea.

We need your help!

First – Sign the Petition. Click Here

Second – Come to the School Board meeting September 17, 5:30pm, Western Dakota Tech Pennington County Room, Rapid City, SD.

Click Here to Sign the Petition!

Email the School Board

Click here for talking points from Ed Randazzo

What’s a SOGI Ordinance?

Policy #2005

And Then There Were Three

A few weeks ago, Ed Randazzo published an article discussing a billboard that we spotted in Rapid City. Now, there are three such billboards that we have spotted. (See updates at bottom of page). We know they are sponsored by a foundation in Colorado, but what message are they spreading? What are they calling for? If you visit the website noted on the billboard and navigate to the South Dakota page, you will see the assertion that South Dakota is legally discriminating against members of the LGBT community. They give links to “fact-finding” pages, as well as the personal story of Crystal and Amanda. The article claims that Crystal was fired by an anti-LGBT boss, which caused great financial hardship. It never says that Crystal and Amanda are from South Dakota, but it makes the claim that a similar situation could easily arise here and that we need legal protections to prevent it. This request sounds quite reasonable and compassionate at first glance. Should someone be fired, or denied housing, or denied healthcare because of who they choose to be in a relationship with? Or because they identify as a gender other than their birth sex? The reaction of most people would be “No, that sounds really mean! We should protect against that.” And you’re right, we shouldn’t be mean. However, the solution they offer is to add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) to the list of legally protected classes (race, sex, religion, etc.) and here is the problem…

SOGI ordinances and laws that are presented as protective shields, often become swords used against those of a Biblical worldview. The most prominent example is that of Jack Phillips (click here to watch his story). Jack was simply living out his faith in his business, when someone used SOGI protections against him. The same is true for Baronnelle Stutzman in Washington. And Blaine Adams in Colorado. And the list goes on…

UPDATE: They are going after Jack AGAIN

Although we believe that we as Christians should show love towards those in the LGBT community and would never advocate for anyone to target them, placing sexual orientation and gender identity in the protected class list is not the right step. What is presented as a shield, will someday be used as a sword.

So what’s next? It’s yet to be seen. The BeyondIDo website doesn’t say what specific policy changes they will seek, nor does it tell us if they will be seeking state or local changes. But we do know this: once the proposals surface, we will need your help to spread the message of truth about these dangerous changes. Stay tuned, and let us know if you see a similar billboard in your community!

UPDATE: A fourth billboard has been spotted. (Rapid City)

UPDATE: A fifth billboard has been spotted. (Ft. Pierre)

UPDATE: A sixth billboard has been spotted. (Rapid City)

Laying the Groundwork for a SOGI

Recently, we have noticed a billboard in Rapid City that seems innocuous enough at first. But when you visit the website noted it is clear that its purpose is to promote LGBT individuals as a legal protected class in South Dakota.

It showcases a LGBT couple, Crystal and Amanda, who claim to have been the victims of discrimination because Crystal is male but has “transitioned” to female. The website seeks to influence states to enact laws making LGBT individuals a protected class. It is quite possible that effort may be forthcoming in South Dakota, promoted by organizations and interests outside South Dakota, to enact “sexual orientation or gender identity” (SOGI) laws which would then include LGBT individuals as a protected class.

These laws create new rights based on sexual behavior and identity, placing those rights at the same level as other freedoms, such as speech, religion and association. This inevitably leads to conflict with those who hold a Biblical view of sexuality that will increasingly find their voices marginalized and eventually banned from the public square.

AB2943 Forces Summit Ministries out of California

Jeff Myers, May 1 2018

When I heard about the California Assembly bill AB2943, I thought “So this is the kind of trick leftists pull when they have a veto-proof majority in a state legislature.”

But when AB2943 actually passed the California house, I got chills. The bill, which is nearly certain to pass in the Senate and be signed by the governor, includes a prohibition on “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

Bottom line: AB2943 is a dog whistle to the left that Christians holding traditional views are fair game for discrimination, smears and frivolous lawsuits. It denies constitutional protection to those who hold traditional views of sexuality and marriage.

With this legislation looming, I decided to suspend our California conference and arrange for registrants to join us at one of our other locations. Summit will not bend God’s truth to accommodate the state of California. Nor can we put our students, staff, and faculty at risk.

Fortunately, we are still free to present our conferences in 49 states – and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Plus, we’re doing everything we can to mobilize our California alumni to demand that their representatives stop attacking free speech and freedom of religion. Our friends at the California Family Policy Council have excellent resources that explain the next legislative steps Californians can take.

Do not be fooled. This insanity is coming to every state: Iowa, Arizona, Florida—all of them. We must be on guard and work toward restoring common-sense governance.

Send your best young people to Summit this summer and we’ll equip them to stand with you. Why would we watch idly as freedom is attacked generation after generation when we can put a stop to it by training godly leaders?

People have asked about the financial impact of leaving California. It’s not cheap. Many California families are financially-strapped and I’ve committed to buy airplane tickets for every student who needs help to relocate. If you can chip in, I’d be grateful. Your financial partnership helps us train and walk alongside those who love Jesus and love liberty.

Please watch the urgent 80-second video message I recorded to explain this crazy controversy.

We will not leave our friends in California behind, and we will provide a way for these students to still experience Summit at one of our other locations. Please read the full press release. Let’s fight together, shall we? When everything we believe is being attacked, it’s time to stand.

Cheering for you,

–Jeff

Jeff Myers, Ph.D. President

Stop the Military’s Transgender Policy

The following comes to us from our friends at FRC Action:
boykinThe U.S. military is suffering at the hands of the Obama administration, both financially and in terms of recruitment and retention. It has prioritized political correctness over military readiness. The latest social engineering experimentation occurred when the Department of Defense lifted regulations preventing those who self-identify as transgender from serving, which had long been in place due to medical and readiness reasons. In fact, the new policy allows the military to also pay for active duty service members who identify as transgendered to obtain hormone therapy or even sex-change surgery.

This is a problem for a number of reasons. First, this policy does not contain any religious freedom protections for chaplains, doctors, counselors and other service members who would object to providing counseling or medical treatment in a way that endorses a person’s identity as transgendered. Even commanders, through the administration’s new policy, will be forced to affirm “gender identity” by using the pronoun of the member’s choice, even if it does not correspond with the service member’s biological sex.

Second, this policy uses federal tax dollars to pay for service members’ gender transitions, resulting in a reduction in individual readiness of the service members undergoing the treatment during a multiyear transition process. Even after this process is complete, there is no scientific evidence that the transgendered person will be mentally or physically healthier after having undergone a sex-change operation. Further, the military will have to provide frequent exceptions for military standards. That could harm military force readiness by jeopardizing the deployability of people in the force because those undergoing mental health or physical changes may not be able to deploy with their unit during the transition process.

The good news is that Congress can delay the implementation of the Obama administration’s recent policy change by adding language in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017 (“NDAA”). This bill passed the House and Senate and Congress is “conferencing,” or negotiating, the two versions of the bill now. Call your Senators and Congressman at (202) 224-3121, or email them here. Ask them to tell their fellow Senators and Members of Congress involved in the NDAA negotiations to stop this policy from taking place.

Sincerely,

Lt. Gen. (US Army-Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin
Executive Vice President

Click here to urge congress to stop the federal military’s transgender policy

State of South Dakota Joins Lawsuit Against Bathroom Mandate

Marty2-105-Edit-2.jpgPIERRE, S.D.- Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that South Dakota has joined a lawsuit filed today in Nebraska Federal District Court against the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice over the bathroom mandate. There are a total of 23 states joining the Nebraska and Texas cases, 10 in Nebraska and 13 in Texas.

“As Attorney General it was and remains my hope that our country and state lawmakers can find a solution to the transgender bathroom concerns. However, the President’s mandate or directive that children of opposite sex must be required to share locker rooms and bathrooms under the threat of lawsuit and withholding of education funding is a solution that goes beyond his authority. I am therefore joining other Attorneys General in the Nebraska litigation to clarify that federal law cannot mandate that children of opposite sex be required to share locker rooms and bathrooms.”

States included in the Nebraska lawsuit are Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming.

A similar case was filed earlier in the 5th Circuit District Court by State of Texas joined by Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

There is no cost for South Dakota to join these proceedings.

Sioux Falls City Council to Withdraw Gender Identity Policy Amendments

daleIt’s been said, “God is seldom early…but never late!”  Well, He showed up in just the nick of time when it comes to our work on the Sioux Falls City Council and their proposed amendment to chapter 39.  The Sioux Falls City Attorney, citing South Dakota Attorney General’s pending litigation against the Obama Administration, announced that the City of Sioux Falls is withdrawing “gender identity policy amendments.”  Click here for the Sioux Falls City Attorney’s Press Release.

Our PRAYERS have been answered as we begin by thanking our God for his hand of grace and guidance in this matter.  Second, we thank our Attorney General, Marty Jackley, for his personal contact with the Sioux Falls City Attorney.  In case you have not seen A. G. Jackley’s PRESS RELEASE, click here.

We cannot thank enough our National Friends who came to our side in assistance to help STOP these Amendments:  Richard Mast of Liberty Counsel, Bruce Hausknecht of Focus On The Family, Kellie Fiedorek and Matt Sharp of Alliance Defending Freedom.  We would only but hope that they will stay CLOSE BY as both Amendment to chapter 98 and chapter 39 may well resurface in the near future.  If that happens, we will again rise to the challenge in pushing them back.

I wish to thank those who joined us in this effort!  I, and FHA Action, have been and are HONORED to stand by your side in this matter.  Now…onward and forward!

State of South Dakota to Join State Attorneys General Challenge to Federal Bathroom and Locker Room Mandate

Marty2-105-Edit-2.jpgFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:      Tuesday, June 7, 2016
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605)773-3215

PIERRE, S.D.-   Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that South Dakota will join other State Attorneys General in challenge to President Obama’s letter directive to school districts threatening both civil rights litigation and the withholding of educational funds to the States.

“As Attorney General it was and remains my hope that our country and state can find a solution to the transgender concerns without forcing children of the opposite sex into the same bathrooms and locker rooms. The President’s attempt to require children of opposite sex to share locker rooms and bathrooms under the threat of lawsuit and withholding of education funding is a one size fits all solution that goes beyond his constitutional authority.  It is my contention that federal law cannot direct local school districts on who can use locker rooms and bathrooms. These issues need to be handled as they have been for a long time- on the state and local level,” said Jackley.

In 1964, Congress enacted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, making it illegal for employers to invidiously discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 42 U.S.C.§ 2000e-2. Eight years later, Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX provides that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” 20 U.S.C. § 1681. Title IX regulations issued by the Department of Education likewise expressly allow recipients of federal funding to “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex,” provided that the facilities provided for “students of one sex” are “comparable” to the facilities provided for “students of the other sex.” The term “gender identity: does not appear in the text or regulators of Title IX.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Education (DOE) contend that Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of “sex” extends to discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.” Jackley contends that the DOJ and DOE lack any authority to issue such direction. It is the duty of Congress to legislate and the duty of the Executive Branch, including DOJ and DOE, to administer and enforce the laws that Congress enacts. Through this joint letter, DOJ and DOE have unilaterally attempted to change the clear meaning of law passed by Congress and impose new obligations on covered entities.

A case was filed May 25, 2016 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Several Attorneys General anticipate filing an additional challenge to the President’s authority to issue the letter.   This filing may be separate from the Texas case or filed in a different district court.

Sioux Falls City Council Update

Sioux_falls_sd_lg_reducedIf you have been paying any attention at all to FHA Action lately, you know that the “storm on our radar” has had to do with the Sioux Falls City Council and the agenda of some thereon to implement invasive and far-reaching policies regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.  We dodged a bullet (pardon the mixed metaphor) on HRO CH98, but only barely.  That extensive ordinance has been withdrawn but will likely return.  Now, we are tracking an amendment to another Sioux Falls City Ordinance that would include the same type of ‘gender identity’ protection in employment by the city.  This is an amendment to HRO Ch 39.

If you live, shop, worship, or do business in Sioux Falls, you have a voice on this issue.  Please contact the following City Council Members and Mayor Huether, urging them to OPPOSE the amendment to HRO Ch 39.  Be brief, respectful, and factual in your message.

Click here for up-to-date information on the amendment to HRO #39 provided by FHA Action, Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, and other faith based organizations.

Here are some immediate action steps for you.

  • We can all BE VIGILANT in PRAYER.
  • Attend the Council meeting on June 14. Mark your calendar. Be there.  This City Council meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Carnegie Town Hall, 235 West Tenth Street, Sioux Falls.
  • Contact the Mayor and the Council members – OPPOSE the amendment to HRO Chapter 39
  • Alert your friends.

Your Voice Was Heard – For Now Anyway

Editor’s Note:  This is an update to this article posted last week.  Article by Ed Randazzo, Public Policy Analyst for FHA Action.
edRecently we learned that the Sioux Falls City Council was set to approve the most invasive and overreaching “SOGI” (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity) Ordinance amendments in the nation.  This was the Human Relations Ordinance (HRO) CH 98.

FHA Action, along with other godly stakeholders including Liberty Counsel, Focus on the Family, and others, mobilized to oppose this dangerous attempt to make those grappling with sexual orientation issues and gender identity issues a protected class of citizens. If successful, this amendment to the Sioux Falls Human Rights Ordinance would have forced not only the City of Sioux Falls but businesses and even churches to comply, even if it was counter to their religious or moral convictions.

Your voice was heard. The mobilization has already produced limited success as the Sioux Falls City Attorney’s office has requested that this Ordinance Amendment (HRO CH 98) be withdrawn from the Council’s June 14th prepared agenda.  ABC’s Sioux Falls affiliate, KSFY files this report.  We will continue to be vigilant; however, as it is likely that some form of SOGI amendment will be forthcoming.

Already we know of the intent to amend another Sioux Falls Ordinance that would include gender identity protection in employment by the City of Sioux Falls.  This is the HRO CH 39.  FHA Action will oppose its passage.

FHA Action assures you that we will continue to make sure your voice is heard and we will inform you of further developments in Sioux Falls and across our great state.