POLL: GENDER CHANGE NOT A MORAL ISSUE

Baptist Press

NASHVILLE — Most Americans see nothing morally wrong with gender change, a study released July 14 shows.

Six in 10 Americans don’t think it’s wrong for people to identify with a gender different from their birth sex, according to a LifeWay Research survey conducted Sept. 14-28, 2015.

And more than half don’t think it’s wrong to switch genders by taking hormones or having surgery.

The findings indicate most Americans don’t see moral significance in being born male or female, said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. A majority of Americans reject the view of a creator giving them a gender that shouldn’t be changed,” he said.

“We freely change many things about ourselves — we have cosmetic surgery, we use teeth whitener, we dye our hair, we get tattoos. Many Americans view gender as one more thing on that list.”

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MORE STATES OPPOSE TRANSGENDER DIRECTIVE

Baptist Press

160517bathroomLINCOLN, Neb. — Ten more states have signed on to sue the Obama administration over its transgender directive that forces schools to allow students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their perceived gender identity rather than their biological sex.

The states join 13 others, including Tennessee, which filed a suit in May. [Read more…]

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ORLANDO MASSACRE SPURS PRAYER, COMPASSION

The massacre of 49 and the wounding of 53 at an Orlando gay bar in the early morning hours of June 11 was the deadliest mass murder in U.S. history. Screen capture from CNN.com

The massacre of 49 and the wounding of 53 at an Orlando gay bar in the early morning hours of June 11 was the deadliest mass murder in U.S. history.
-Screen capture from CNN.com

Baptist Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP) — Calls for prayer and compassion rang out from Southern Baptists nationwide hours after the mass murder of 49 and the injury of 53 early Sunday (June 12) at an Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Armed with a handgun and an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, a U.S.-born citizen of Afghani parents, walked into the Pulse nightclub around 2 a.m. and began shooting among the more than 300 patrons at the club as it prepared to close for the day.

Police killed Mateen around 5 a.m. after a three-hour standoff as the gunman held at least 30 hostages inside the club. During the horror, Mateen called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS Islamic terrorists, ABC News reported. Mateen had killed 49.

First Baptist Church of Orlando, the pastorate of David Uth, will host a community-wide prayer meeting at 7 p.m. June 14 in cooperation with the Greater Orlando Baptist Association and several pastors across various denominations. [Read more…]

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11 STATES SUE OBAMA ADMIN. OVER TRANSGENDER DIRECTIVE

By Bonnie Pritchett
Baptist Press

public restroom signs male female gender bathroom toiletAUSTIN, Texas (BP) — Eleven states and two school districts filed a lawsuit May 25 challenging President Barack Obama’s directive demanding all federally funded schools apply a controversial interpretation of Title IX requiring schools to define a student’s sexual identity based not on biological traits, but on feelings.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, and Georgia; Governor of Maine Paul Lepage; the Arizona Department of Education; Harrold Independent School District (HISD) in Texas and Heber-Overgaard Unified School District in Arizona. [Read more…]

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INCLUSIVITY V. IMPROPRIETY

By Todd Brady
Vice President for University Ministries, Union University

Todd Brady

Todd Brady

Inclusivity is one thing.  Impropriety is another. And decisions fueled by feelings are often unstable.

After North Carolina passed a law recently stopping transgender people from using bathrooms for the gender they identify with, the Target corporation announced on a blog entitled, “Continuing to Stand for Inclusivity,” that they “welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” Target concludes its announcement by saying, “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.  And you’ll always be accepted, respected, and welcomed at Target.” [Read more…]

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WHITE HOUSE ISSUES TRANSGENDER ORDER

By Baptist Press

160517bathroomWASHINGTON — The Obama administration has issued an order May 13 instructing all public schools to permit transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their gender identity instead of their biological sex.

The across-the-board directive met quick protests from Southern Baptist leaders.

Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, described the federal guidance as “an outrageous attack on our Creator Himself, human sexuality and morality, and an advancement of the attack against religious freedom.” [Read more…]

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BAPTIST COUNSELORS WEIGH IN ON BILL

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

tennessee-state-capitol-buildingBRENTWOOD — Two Tennessee Baptist counselors have voiced opinions about the new Tennessee law which allows licensed counselors to opt out of serving patients whose goals “conflict with the sincerely held principles of the counselor.” The American Counseling Association condemned the measure as discriminatory against the LGBT community.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed Senate Bill 1556 into law April 27, noting it does not leave anyone without mental health care. The law takes effective immediately. [Read more…]

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STATES, CITIES ISSUE TRAVEL BANS TO N.C., MISSISSIPPI

Baptist Press

160421nc-travelJACKSON — At least nine U.S. cities and five states have banned non-essential travel by government employees to North Carolina, Mississippi, or both, claiming religious liberty bills adopted there discriminate against homosexual and transgendered persons.

A Mississippi pastor told Baptist Press he’s proud of his state legislature’s courage and confused by the seeming hypocrisy of some critics. Pastors in Vermont and Washington — two states to enact bans — said such actions are a predictable outworking of the secular worldview that dominates their local cultures.

Joining Washington and Vermont in instituting travel bans were the states of New York, Minnesota, and Connecticut. Cities to institute bans included Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Calif.; Santa Fe, N.M.; and Washington, according to USA Today. [Read more…]

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LEGISLATORS CONSIDER BILL

Editor’s Note: Last night The Tennessean reported, on Wednesday, March 23, the “Bathroom Bill” was given new life in the House and advanced in the Senate. Although the House Education Administration and Planning Committee voted against the bill on March 22, when the committee reconvened on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Coley, R-Bartlett, made a motion to force the committee to reconsider its action. Tennesseans can still call their legislators to express their views on this bill.

 

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

public restroom signs male female gender bathroom toiletNASHVILLE — A bill that would require students in public education institutions in Tennessee to use restroom and locker rooms that are assigned to their biological sex is currently circulating in the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 2387 and House Bill 2414 are commonly referred to as the “Bathroom Bill.”

David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee and a former state senator, has been monitoring the progress of the bill. [Read more…]

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WILL TENNESSEE’S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FLUSH BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES DOWN THE TOILET?

By David Fowler
President, Family Action Council of Tennessee

160308toiletWhen I got into state politics 22 years ago, I never thought I would see the legislature having to debate certain things like who can use a bathroom designated for males. But perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that the Tennessee Department of Education is officially okay with our public schools allowing boys to use the restrooms and locker facilities designated for girls.

A bill will be heard March 8 in the House Education Administration and Planning Subcommittee that would prohibit our public elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools from allowing someone of one biological sex to use the facilities designated for use by those of the opposite biological sex. It does allow those educational institutions to construct or allow sex-confused students to use a separate bathroom or locker room facility. [Read more…]

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