A roundup of news and commentary from around the interwebs.
David French has continued his evolution away from conservative Christianity—he has now announced his public support for the redefinition of civil marriage and for the Orwellian “Respect Marriage Act.” From Al Mohler:
In a piece published last week at The Atlantic, French argues that the Respect for Marriage Act rightly “protects same-sex marriage” and “contains religious-freedom protections for religious dissenters, including explicit protections for tax exemptions.” His main argument is that the legislation codifying same-sex marriage nationwide rightly balances competing interests (LGBTQ rights and religious liberty) and thus represents “how pluralism is supposed to work.” He argues that the bill just maintains “the legal status quo.”
But French’s piece also appeared to argue civil marriage should include same-sex marriage, or at least should do so after the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision of 2015. He asserted that the bill, while imperfect, “still contains provisions that can comfort (almost) everyone.”
Well, I remain uncomforted. I agree with the religious freedom advocates who see the “protections” offered in this bill as woefully inadequate. In expansive language, the bill offers vague promises that, in turn, assert protections already in place, address arguments no one was making, or leave religious schools and organizations extremely vulnerable. French once worked as an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, but the ADF president has called the claim of real religious protections in this bill “hogwash.” I am not sure that was meant as a technical term of law, but it is language clear enough we can all understand.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, stated by tweet: “I offered to support the bill if the sponsors would include my amendment to prohibit the government from removing tax-exempt status based on religious beliefs about same-sex marriage (for or against). The sponsors adamantly refused even to consider that. Why?”
We know why, of course. Read the whole thing here. It has been sad to watch French slowly prove his most strident critics correct.
In case you’re wondering whether David French’s analysis on the protections for religious liberty in the Respect for Marriage Act are adequate, here’s Wesley Smith in National Review explaining why they are not.
French’s evolution, however, pales in comparison to the groveling others are doing to make their allegiances known. FIFA President Gianni Infantino, answering questions from reporters in Qatar, of all places, attempted to emphasize his empathy and tolerance by noting that he deeply feels the oppression of groups he is not part of. “I feel gay,” he noted. He did not say if he also feels pretty and witty.
The latest dispatch from the trans revolution: “New surgery provides trans patients with BOTH male and female genitals.” An excerpt:
The latest ethically dubious growing trend in the consumerist world of gender medicine is nonbinary-affirming surgeries that serve the wishes of patients requesting no genitals or both sets of genitals. These surgeries either create a smooth sexless appearance for those non-binary individuals who identify as neither male nor female, or involved preserving the existing genitalia while constructing that of the opposite sex, for those who identify as both male and female.
Technology is removing all barriers to self-creation just as we unharnessed ourselves from any concept of objective truth—and now, here we are.
First, the New York Times finally admitted that “puberty blockers” may have negative consequences. Now, Reuters is asking questions that nearly got Abigail Shrier unpersoned:
Adolescents assigned female at birth account for a significant majority of minors receiving gender-affirming care, including top surgery, fueling debate about the influence of peer groups and social media https://t.co/mGylXDZCQL via @specialreports pic.twitter.com/cv2UiksRKT
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 18, 2022
Note—they’re being careful to use all of the trans-approved language (“assigned female at birth”) but there are cracks forming in the elite consensus.
This is also very good news:
An 18-state coalition, led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, has filed a brief in support of parental rights in a lawsuit against an Iowa school district’s policy that withholds information on a child’s gender identity from their parents and leaves parents in the dark about their child’s mental and emotional well-being.
“Parents have a fundamental constitutional right to direct the upbringing and care of their children. School policies cannot intentionally leave parents in the dark about their child’s mental and emotional well-being,” Attorney General Knudsen said in a statement. “The courts must step in to protect these kids and stop the violation of parental rights at the hands of woke school administrators.”
Read the whole thing.