August 6, 2021

Dear Friends,

Governor Edwards yesterday hosted a conference call with 300 pastors on his new mask mandate.

While I wasn’t able to attend the call due to a previous commitment, the word I got from attendees was: “yes the mask mandates do apply to churches; however, enforcement of those mandates within churches will not occur.”

My friend, Pastor Scott Holmes, offered this update in a letter after the call.

We’ll keep you updated on this as we learn more.

 

Heard about the “Infrastructure Deal?” The bill includes much more than just infrastructure.

Unfortunately, some have been lured by specific and generous provisions to accept some pretty awful language. Senator Bill Cassidy is one of the Republicans who agreed to vote YES, despite the possible implications for religious liberty.

I communicated this to Senator Cassidy days ago:

Senator Cassidy,

I am very concerned about Sinema/Portman #2137, substitute amendment to H.R. 3684, the legislative vehicle for the “infrastructure bill.”

The bill has a “non-discrimination” clause in Section 60307 of Title III, the Digital Equity Act of 2021, that elevates sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) to a specially protected class status. This is coercive. This clause is clearly agenda-driven, mirroring the Equality Act.

The “enforcement” and “judicial review” portions of this section are especially troubling because they refer to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If enacted this represents an overhaul of federal civil rights framework to mandate special privileges based on SOGI classes. Title VI is a “catch-all” civil rights provision that governs all federal funds. Should it come to include SOGI as a protected class, the door will be open for aggressively enforcement of this harmful agenda.

The definition of gender identity found in Section 60302 of the same title—“actual or perceived gender-related characteristics”—is troubling. It is overly broad, unhinged from objective standards, and is unmeasurable and un-confirmable. This legally leaves no room for precise enforcement and a lot of abuse. Further, this definition comes from the hate crimes statute, which Cassidy and I (and hundreds of Louisiana pastors) have a history disagreeing upon. I warned Cassidy that if hate crimes bill passed the result would be an advancement of LGBT lawsuits, He countered it only about preventing black churches being burnt down. Fast forward….years and now If #2137 is enacted it will burn both black and white churches to the ground as well as the people of faith who ‘identify’ with the Christian faith.

I respectfully asked Sen. Cassidy to move to strike the SOGI language from the bill, or reconsider his position on the infrastructure deal.

He responded candidly and respectfully, acknowledging potential concerns about discrimination against Christians but asserted that conservative courts have work to do in striking harmful SOGI provisions from federal law.

You can let your voice be heard with he and Senator Kennedy on the "infrastructure deal" by clicking here. 

 

Louisiana House Democrats attacked House Speaker Clay Schexnayder for disciplining the Democrats who misled him by reversing their votes on the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. These attacks launched after he started the process of removing some from their committee assignments – citing a lack of trust and transparency. Now, ironically, the Democrat Caucus is accusing the Speaker of partisanship!

But what Democrat Caucus have failed to address is the fact that 80% of Louisiana voters supported Fairness in Women’s Sports legislation, and two-thirds of legislators supported the original bill in a bipartisan fashion. In the end, they chose politics over principle.

Why did they change their minds? Because a Democrat Governor opposed the people. They chose Governor Edwards and his grip on power over the wishes of their Louisiana constituencies.

We applaud Speaker Schexnayder for taking initial steps to restore trust to the House leadership and implore him to continue to remove those who chose politics over principle.

 

Friends, there is never a dull moment in Louisiana politics!

LFF will stay engaged with what’s happening in the state and nationally every single day so we can make Louisiana aware of important news. We cannot do it without your prayers and support!

Stay in the fight!

In His Service,


Gene Mills
President
Louisiana Family Forum

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