Friday, February 22, 2019

SOGI Laws Discriminate Against Religious People

The acronym SOGI stands for sexual orientation and gender identity. There’s a movement—going on now for over a decade—making its way through international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and into societies.

Yogyakarta Principles logo
Back in 2006, November, there was a four-day conference in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The purpose was to draft a set of statements connecting human rights concepts with new ideas concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. A few months later their 29 statements were revealed at a UN Human Rights Council in Geneva: The Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

If it seems like these ideas have rather suddenly appeared practically everywhere you look, that’s been intentional. They put their fingers into education, religion, health, housing, business—practically everywhere. If your ideas have changed since 2007—or, more likely, you’re noticing changes in the views of people around you, maybe especially millennials and younger—that has been the purposeful manipulation of language and society from these Yogyakarta Principles, which have, as Daniel Moody put it in a 2017 piece,

throbbed away in the background, shaping the terms of legal debate more by association and insinuation than by formal adoption, with the ideas therein gradually becoming the loudest voice in the conversation.
In short, the change in views isn’t organic; it’s been inculcated. It’s not about research or enlightenment; it’s about indoctrination. And it isn’t about changing hearts to lead to greater equity, but binding laws coercing behavior regardless of sovereignty; it’s about power.

Without the infiltration of these ideas into our society, would the US Supreme Court have ruled to redefine marriage in 2015 in Obergefell? Probably not. The questions brought up at that time—about the harm to religious people who would still hold to the millennia-old definition of marriage—were acknowledged by Justice Kennedy, but were ignored with no more than a shrug of the shoulders.

Since then, people are literally persecuted—bullied, publicly shamed, prosecuted, put out of business—for holding to the fact that marriage is about the permanent commitment of a man and a woman for the sake of possible offspring.

As Ryan Anderson, author of Truth Overruled, says, “SOGI laws imperil religious liberty, privacy, economic freedom, and child welfare, creating more problems than they aim to resolve. They are a solution in search of a problem.”

Texas Legislature Online home page
We’re not immune, even here in the free state of Texas. During this legislative session we’re facing a number of SOGI bills, attempting to codify discrimination against religious people, but disguised as “anti-discrimination” bills. If you’re in Texas, these are bills to oppose; outside of Texas, watch for these ideas to show up in your laws:

·         SB 153 (and companion bill HB 978) requires gender-neutral language in marriage licensing.

·         SB 151 (and companion bill HB 244, as well as similar bill HB 254) is a general SOGI bill; it prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. It includes a $100 per day fine for any violation.
·         HB 850 prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, without regard to what the employer does and what image that employer wants to present to the public, and it includes Christian-owned or other religiously led businesses.
·         HB 188 prohibits housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. That means that religious colleges and universities can be forced to allow biological males to sleep next to women in dormitories. Same for religious homeless shelters for abused women.
·         HB 517 (and duplicate HB 1190) prohibits counseling related to sexual orientation or gender identity of a child—unless it is to encourage homosexuality or transitioning as the treatment for gender dysphoria. In other words, it allows only the SOGI-preferred type of counseling and criminalizes anything else—even when the patient wants other counsel. Even providing overwhelming science and research that refutes the pro-LGBT views would be illegal to provide.
·         SB 154 (and companion HB 1835) forces doctors to change vital records, against conscience, concerning name and sex changes.
·         SJR 9 (and companion HJR 64) attempts to repeal the Texas Code definition of marriage as one man and one woman—ignoring the will of the people of Texas to align with the five Supreme Court justices who extra-constitutionally imposed a new definition on us.

It’s still early in the legislative session, but so far these SOGI bills are not progressing. Senate bills have been assigned to committees (to State Affairs), but only a few House bills have been assigned to their various committees.

Meanwhile, there are some bills intended to prevent damage to religion freedom. If you believe in the God-given First Amendment right of freedom of religion, these are bills to support:

·         HB 1035, the “Free to Believe Act,” is intended to protect freedom of conscience from government discrimination. This would protect from most of the bills we’re against, because all those try to wield government power against religious believers.

·         SB 85 is intended to protect counselors who refuse to provide services against their beliefs.
·         HB 2109 grants the right of recusal from performing marriage ceremonies that go against the official’s religious beliefs.

Only the Senate bill has been assigned to committee. Committee assignment is done mostly in order filed, so higher numbers will take longer. That means we don’t know how they’ll do once they get debated.

At any point, it’s worth contacting your state representative and state senator, to let them know your views on these issues, and to encourage them to sign on as co-authors or co-sponsors to bills you support. Once the bills are in committee, then contacting committee members is worth doing. You can follow all of these bills on the Texas Legislature Online site. I’ve linked the bills to that site. You can also go there directly:

If having the freedom to believe what you believe is important to you, and you don’t want that taken from you because of some international NGO agenda, then this is a time to stand up and use your voice.

No comments:

Post a Comment