Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, September 8, 2017

 

FAMILY POLICY COUNCIL FILES BRIEF WITH US SUPREME COURT FOR CAKE BAKER

CHARLESTON—The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, advocacy organization that defends free speech and religious liberty, filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court today in support of a small business owner’s religious freedom rights.

The brief was filed in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case that will be going before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. The question before the court is whether Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, can be forced by the government to convey a message that goes against his religious beliefs. The brief cites a West Virginia case already decided by the Supreme Court, West Virginia Board of Education vs Barnett, 1943.

As a devout Christian, Jack has deeply held beliefs about God’s purpose and design for marriage. In July 2012, two men asked Jack to bake a cake for their wedding ceremony. Jack explained that he would gladly serve them any other baked-good they wanted, but that he could not design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.

Drafted by National Review Institute’s David French, the brief celebrates the long standing American tradition of allowing for individuals and business owners to live their lives in accordance with their conscience, free from government retribution. It cites historical Supreme Court cases and current stories of people refusing to communicate a message that would violate their conscience.

“This brief will relate stories of artists who refused to reproduce Bible verses they found objectionable, design clothing for politicians they dislike, or to recreate flags of American enemies,” the brief says. “But it will also go beyond, illustrating how corporations now view the decision to do business itself as a political act, granting or withholding economic opportunity on the basis of the rights of conscience of their leaders, employees, and shareholders.”

Family Policy Council President Allen Whitt believes this case should be an easy one for the court to resolve especially with the Justice Department announcing yesterday that they too side with Mr. Phillips.

“America is great because we can disagree about serious issues, and still live together in peace. If we truly believe in liberty and we truly respect diversity, then we must respect the rights of others to hold different religious views and opinions than us. This is an exceptional and almost an exclusively American freedom and it’s and why the court must not allow the State of Colorado to punish Jack,” said Whitt.

“From students declining to rise for the pledge of allegiance, to Walmart refusing to sell Confederate paraphernalia, to fashion designers refusing to make dresses for Melania Trump because they disagree with her husband’s politics, Americans understand that no one should be forced to participate in an event or communicate a message with which they disagree,” Baer said.

The Family Policy Council joined with 32 family policy organizations in filing the brief.  You can read it below: http://www.familypolicywv.com/press-releases/‎

 

For questions or further comments, contact, info@FamilyPolicyWV.com or 304-756-8567

Family Policy Council of West Virginia positively impacts laws, lawmakers and elections to defend faith, family and freedom in the Mountain State.

###

NO. 16-111 IN THE

Supreme Court of the United States

MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP, LTD., ET. AL., Petitioners,

v.

COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION, ET. AL.,

Respondents. On Writ of Certiorari to the

Colorado Court of Appeals

BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE 33 FAMILY POLICY ORGANIZATIONS IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS

DAVID FRENCH

Counsel of record

Senior Fellow
NATIONAL REVIEW INSTITUTE 215 Lexington Avenue
11th Floor
New York, New York 10016 (931) 446-7572 dfrench@nationalreview.com

Counsel for Amici Curiae

i

QUESTION PRESENTED

Whether applying Colorado’s public- accommodation law to compel artists to create expression that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.

ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

QUESTION PRESENTED ………………………………….. i TABLE OF AUTHORITIES ………………………………. iii INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE …………………………. 1 SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT……………………………… 2 ARGUMENT …………………………………………………….. 6

  1. If Freedom of Conscience Can Survive the World’s Worst War, It Should Survive the Sexual Revolution………………………………………… 6
  2. Creative Professionals and Corporations Consistently Exercise Their Rights under Barnette to Promote and Disassociate from Specific Values and Messages. …………………….. 13
  3. To Undermine Barnette Is To Cruelly Impoverish the Marketplace of Ideas. ………….. 21

CONCLUSION………………………………………………… 25

iii

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

Cases:
Craig v. Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc.,

370 P.3d 272 (Colo. App. 2015) ………………..17-18

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette,

319 U.S. 624 (1943)……………………………… passim

Other Authorities:

Accessories: 42mm Pride Edition Woven Nylon,

Apple, https://www.apple.com/ca/shop/ product/MQ4G2AM/A/42mm-pride-edition- woven-nylon (last visited Sept. 5, 2017). ……….23

Allyn Vannoy, Expanding the Size of the U.S. Military in World War II, Warfare History Network (June 26, 2017), http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii /expanding-the-size-of-the-u-s-military-in- world-war-ii/…………………………………………………9

Anna Giaritelli, Grocery store refuses to bake Trump- themed cake, Washington Examiner, Sept. 7, 2016, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ grocery-store-refuses-to-bake-trump-themed- cake/article/2601212. ………………………………….. 17

Obergefell v. Hodges,

135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015)…………………………….12, 26

iv

Eric Bradner and Jeremy Diamond, Mike Pence: ‘Was I expecting this kind of backlash? Heavens no.,’ CNN (Mar. 31, 2015) http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/31/politics/pe nce-will-fix-religious-freedom- legislation/index.html. ………………………………… 19

Libby Hill, Some call it religious freedom, others call it anti-gay. Here’s a look at the battle in some states, L.A. Times, Apr. 5, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et- states-antigay-battle-20160325-snap- htmlstory.html#. …………………………………….19-20

Mehera Bonner, Here’s the Growing List of Designers Who Refuse to Dress Melania Trump, Maria Claire (Mar. 11, 2017), http://www.marieclaire.com/fashion/news/g4 254/designers-who-wont-dress-melania- trump/?slide=10. …………………………………………15

MJ Lee, Walmart, Amazon, Sears, eBay to stop selling Confederate flag merchandise, CNN (June 24, 2015) http://edition.cnn.com/ 2015/06/22/politics/confederate-flag- walmart-south-carolina/index.html. ……………..20

Psalm 137:1-3 (KJV) …………………………………………22 Psalm 137:5-6 (KJV) …………………………………….22-23

v

Robin Givhan, Should designers dress Melania and Ivanka? The question is more complex than it seems, Washington Post, Jan. 12, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/ news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/01/ 12/should-designers-dress-melania-and- ivanka-the-question-is-more-complex-than- it-seems/?hpid=hp_local-news_givhan-945 am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term= .e4613ea57e41……………………………………….14, 15

Stephen Daggett, Costs of Major U.S. Wars, Congressional Research Service (June 29, 2010), https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22926 .pdf………………………………………………………………8

Susanna Kim, Walmart apologizes for making ISIS cake for man denied Confederate Flag design, ABC News (June 29, 2015), http://abcnews.go.com/Business/walmart- apologizes-making-isis-cake-man-denied- confederate/story?id=32103721…………………….16

Ted Johnson, Disney, Marvel to Boycott Georgia
if Religious Liberty Bill is Passed, Variety, Mar. 23, 2016, http://variety.com/2016/biz/ news/disney-marvel-boycott-georgia-anti- gay-bill-1201737405/…………………………………… 19

Timothy Cook, CEO, Apple, Address at the Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Awards Ceremony (April 18, 2017) (transcript and video available at https://www.c- span.org/video/?427127-1/newseum-presents -2017-free-expression-awards). ………………..24-25

vi

Tommy Tomlinson, How the NFL Helped Kill Arizona’s Anti-Gay Rights Bill, Forbes, Feb.
27, 2014, https://www.forbes.com/sites/ tommytomlinson/2014/02/27/arizona-gay- rights-and-the-super-bowl/#1dd14455214c. …..19

Va. Bakery creates stir online with Confederate flag cake, ABC7 WJLA News (July 10, 2015), http://wjla.com/news/local/va-bakery-creates- stir-online-with-confederate-flag-cake-
115430. ………………………………………………….16-17

1

INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE1

The 33 family policy councils and policy alliances listed below each work within their respective states to preserve religious liberty and rights of conscience from state overreach and government intrusion. They are nonprofits who advocate for the nation’s first liberty – religious freedom – in courts, legislatures, governor’s mansions, and in the court of public opinion. They are vitally concerned that the decision of the court below undermines a constitutional firewall against compelled speech and will drive from the marketplace creative professionals who dissent from state-mandated orthodoxy on matters of “

Alaska Family Council, California Family Council, Colorado Family Action, Family Institute of Connecticut, Delaware Family Policy Council, Florida Family Policy Council, Hawaii Family Forum, Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, The FAMILY LEADER, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, The Kentucky Family Foundation, Louisiana Family Forum, Christian Civic League of Maine, Massachusetts Family Institute, Minnesota Family Council,

1 Petitioners and Respondent Colorado Civil Rights Commission have submitted blanket consents to the filing of amicus briefs in this case. Both are reflected on the Court’s docket. Amici have obtained consent to file this brief from counsel for Respondents Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Amici state that no counsel for a party authored this brief in whole or in part, and no person other than the amici or their counsel made any monetary contribution intended to fund the preparation or submission of this brief.

politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of

opinion.” The complete list follows:

2

Montana Family Foundation, Nebraska Family Alliance, Cornerstone Action, New Jersey Family Policy Council, New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms, North Carolina Family Policy Council, Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota, Citizens for Community Values, Pennsylvania Family Council, Palmetto Family Alliance, Family Heritage Alliance, Family Action Council of Tennessee, Texas Values, The Family Foundation of Virginia, Family Policy Institute of Washington, The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, Wisconsin Family Council, and Family Policy Alliance.

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT

“Your wedding cake is lovely. Who made it?”

Words like those have launched countless relationships between baker and patron – a union of two parties who cooperate together to create a unique form of expression to honor the lifelong union of marriage.

One doesn’t have to be an expert in the wedding industry to recognize the extraordinary care, attention to detail, and artistry that is poured into the wedding cake, indeed into all of the trappings of the modern marriage. The cake has to be just so. The flowers have to be perfect. The photography is like a film production, preserving in virtual space the story of one of the most significant days of any man or woman’s life.

Who can doubt the creativity of the best artists in the wedding business? Moreover, who can doubt the

3

significance of the marriage act itself? Sacramental in Catholicism, sacred in Protestantism, holy in religions the world over, and precious beyond words for the nation’s secular citizens, the marriage ceremony isn’t just the dry and formalistic signing of a civil contract but rather a signal moment in a human life.

Critically, while it is vitally important for all participants, it does not mean the same things for each of them. For Mormons, for example, a marriage is an eternal bond, sealing man and woman together in this life and the next. For most orthodox Christians, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime bond, so that any subsequent marriages are inherently morally suspect unless there are specific, defined grounds for divorce or annulment.

To participate in a lawful, righteous marriage – however that is defined – is a cause for joy and celebration. For many, however, participation in an unlawful, unrighteous marriage is a cause for sorrow and even dread. Sin, after all, can carry with it eternal consequences.

It is for this reason, among others, that the state cannot, must not, compel any individual to participate in a wedding ceremony. To do so is an imposition on the human conscience every bit as grotesque and intrusive as a requirement that an individual blaspheme their own faith or pledge loyalty to a nation above their god. To do so is quite literally to compel the speech of the artist, to force them to cooperate in a vital act of expression, one with immense moral consequences.

4

Consequently, at issue in this case is nothing less than perhaps this Court’s most enduring and potent constitutional clarion call, issued in the depths of the worst war this world has ever seen, that “

any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is

[i]f there is

that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other

matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” W. Va. State Bd. of Educ. v.

Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943).

It is this call that has for generations helped

preserve the American conscience, limited the reach of American government, and cultivated the robust

diversity of American expression. It is this call that has clearly and plainly stated that the state bears the most difficult of all burdens to justify overcoming the

human will, imposing itself on the human conscience, and forcing human beings to express things that they

do not believe. If war could not justify such an action,

can a peacetime change in sexual mores?

The facts in this case are simple and painfully

clear. A baker has determined that he must not, consistent with the tenets of his faith, use his artistic

talents to design and bake a cake that would celebrate the union of a man and a man. For this baker, a same-

sex union is not a marriage at all, and to participate in celebrating an unrighteous union would render

him culpable before God.

He does not refuse to serve gay customers. He

only refuses to use his talents to celebrate or transmit

messages that he finds morally objectionable. He applies the same standards to customers gay and

straight, white and black. No person, of any identity, should compel him to speak. The transaction between

5

artist and customer should be what tradition and the Constitution dictate, a match between a patron and a

willing creator.

As this brief will demonstrate, artists

instinctively understand that they are not and should

be not be automatons, with their creative energies at the employ of the highest or first bidder, regardless of

the message. Liberties forged in the worst days of the deadliest war should easily survive the easy days of a

long peace.

This brief will relate stories of artists who refused

to reproduce Bible verses they found objectionable,

design clothing for politicians they dislike, or to recreate flags of American enemies. But it will also go

beyond, illustrating how corporations now view the decision to do business itself as a political act, granting or withholding economic opportunity on the

basis of the rights of conscience of their leaders, employees, and shareholders. In each case, the artist,

the CEO, and shareholder are exercising the right guaranteed by Barnette, to be free of any obligation

express support for a cause they despise.

This Court decided Barnette in a moment of

ultimate national crisis, before the tide had fully turned in a war not just for national survival but for

the survival of liberty itself. It allowed boys and girls to opt out of a pledge of national loyalty, a pledge that simply declared that we were in this great struggle

together, united as one nation. It allowed people of faith to shock the conscience and wound the dignity of

their friends and neighbors by standing apart from

6

the prevailing national will.

Surely, if this Court can decide Barnette when a

nation’s very survival is at stake, it can reaffirm its

central principle when rights of conscience collide with hurt feelings and personal convenience. The choice isn’t between cakes or conscience. Same-sex

couples enjoy an abundance of options, and in this very case the patrons easily found an alternative baker. Instead, reaffirming Barnette means our citizens can enjoy cakes and conscience. Let the

patron find a willing creator, and let the unwilling

artist keep his conscience clean.

ARGUMENT

I. If Freedom of Conscience Can Survive the World’s Worst War, It Should Survive the Sexual Revolution.

Follow modern American political rhetoric, and one will find that hyperbole, exaggeration, and outrage are the order of the day. Seemingly every week our nation confronts a new “constitutional crisis” or “existential threat.” But we should be clear, not every cry of “wolf” is false. There are true emergencies. There really are times when a nation stares into the abyss.

Even amateur students of history can think of our nation’s most perilous moments. There’s August 29, 1776, when General George Washington narrowly escaped the destruction of the young Continental Army when it slipped out of William Howe’s grasp

7

after defeat at the Battle of Long Island. Who can forget July 3, 1863, Pickett’s Charge, and the high- water mark of the Confederacy. The Battle of Gettysburg hung in the balance, and with it – arguably – the fate of the Union itself.

But there are other, later dates – like December 7, 1941, and the days and weeks that followed. American arms faced historic defeat after historic defeat. The bulk of the surface striking power of the Pacific Fleet was immobilized in the smoking ruin of Pearl Harbor. Japanese air, naval, and ground forces struck American possessions abroad with impunity, inflicting staggering defeat after staggering defeat. Hitler’s submarines roamed the Atlantic at will, inflicting terrible losses and slowly strangling our English allies. Hope was in short supply.

January 7, 1942, marked the beginning of the Bataan Campaign, arguably the lowest point for American arms in the history of our nation. American and Philippine forces, under the command of Douglas MacArthur made a fighting retreat to the Bataan Peninsula on the island of Luzon. There, more than 100,000 allied forces stood against the invading Japanese. Over the next three months, they were ground into the dust, and when defeat finally came, it was capped off with the humiliating, deadly Bataan Death March – a moment that lives in its own unique infamy.

These were dark times. Casualty counts were staggering, and rumors of Japanese invasion caused immense fear on the west coast. In Europe, Hitler’s empire was arguably at its apogee. Britain still stood,

8

but Nazi Germany dominated Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and a vast swathe of the Soviet Union. The Soviets had yet to inflict their staggering defeat on the Wehrmacht at Stalingrad. The fate of the world hung in the balance.

Thus, is it any wonder that on January 9, 1942, the West Virginia Board of Education adopted a resolution declaring that a salute to the flag be “a

regular part of the program of activities in the public schools?” Barnette, 319 U.S. at 626. The Board required a “stiff-arm” salute, with the student raising

his or her right hand, palm up, and repeating the Pledge of Allegiance. Failure to do so was an act of “insubordination” that could lead to expulsion. Id. at

628-629.

And why not? The nation was rallying for war:

“All recruiting records of the nation’s armed forces were shattered … as thousands of men attempted to

enlist for combat duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard,” reported the New York Times

on Dec. 10, 1941. At the height of the Second World War, fully 37.5 percent of total national gross

domestic product was dedicated to the war effort, an amount more than triple that dedicated to the Civil War and more than double that dedicated to World

War I.2 On July 1, 1939, the Army’s strength was limited to 174,000 men. By the end of 1945,

2 Stephen Daggett, Costs of Major U.S. Wars, Congressional Research Service (June 29, 2010), https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22926.pdf.

approximately 16 million Americans had served

9

under arms.3

With fathers marching off to war and the nation

preparing for a level of loss and sacrifice not seen since the Civil War, Americans craved tangible

evidence that we were all in this together. What would sons and daughters of soldiers think if their

classmates didn’t stand beside them? When students sat down, didn’t that mean they’d refuse the call if and

when it came time to take their own turn in the line of battle? If there was ever a compelling need for national unity, wasn’t it in January 1942? Surely, the

overwhelming weight of popular opinion was

decidedly against any who might object.

It is in this most intense atmosphere that this

Court issued one of its most stirring calls not for

ideological uniformity, but – critically – for constitutional fidelity. Just before the famous “fixed star” statement quoted in the introduction above,

Justice Jackson – writing for a six-Justice majority – wrote words every bit as meaningful and just as

applicable to the present dispute:

Nevertheless, we apply the limitations of the Constitution with no fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social organization. To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are

3 Allyn Vannoy, Expanding the Size of the U.S. Military in World War II, Warfare History Network (June 26, 2017), http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii/expanding-the- size-of-the-u-s-military-in-world-war-ii/.

10

voluntary and spontaneous, instead of a compulsory routine, is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.

319 U.S. at 641-642.

Note the key words: “[The] freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much.” National unity matters in war. Marriage matters to the vast majority of men and women. The test of the substance of the First Amendment is “the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.” In other words, are we free to disagree even when matters are important? Are we free to disagree even when lives are at stake?

Emerging from the Barnette precedent isn’t a narrow ruling that no man can be required to pledge allegiance to the flag, but rather a far more sweeping precedent – one that has resonated so strongly that it has laid down a nearly iron-clad principle: The government may not compel speech in support of even the most virtuous and well-meaning of causes.

11

In Barnette, those who argued for the compulsory pledge quoted Abraham Lincoln, “

of necessity be too strong for the liberties of its people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?” Id. at 636.

Must a government

Yet even in time of war, the Court held that to be a false choice. Justice Jackson wisely wrote,

“Government of limited power need not be anemic government. Assurance that rights are secure tends to diminish fear and jealousy of strong government,

and, by making us feel safe to live under it, makes for

its better support.” Id.

When threats to our national existence pale in

comparison to the age of Barnette, the Colorado Civil

Rights Commission oddly argues that government should be even stronger than it was when the danger

of disunity was defeat. Now the “danger” isn’t disunity in the face of a vicious enemy but rather disappointment in the face of a reluctant artist. The

“danger” is merely a slightly longer Google search as a patron finds a willing baker. For the sake of

preventing these few tears is the Court willing to

overturn one of its greatest precedents?

And make no mistake, a ruling against

Masterpiece Cakeshop would gut Barnette. To create

works of culinary art, a good baker engages in very real physical, expressive acts, creating expression every bit as meaningful as a salute to the flag. Even

the drawing or placing of two men or two women together on a cake expresses something deep and

profound about the meaning of marriage itself.

In fact, in this very case, the wedding cake that

the gay couple ultimately chose featured a rainbow

12

theme that unmistakably and quite particularly honored their gay union – the very thing that

Masterpiece Cakeshop was most unwilling to celebrate. The cake in this case carried with it a custom message – one that made its own statement

about the institution of marriage.

Just two years ago in Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice

Kennedy wrote at great length about the meaning and

importance of marriage, memorably declaring:

From their beginning to their most recent

page, the annals of human history reveal the

transcendent importance of marriage. The lifelong union of a man and a woman always has promised nobility and dignity to all

persons, without regard to their station in life. Marriage is sacred to those who live by their

religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm.

Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons.

Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound

hopes and aspirations.

135 S. Ct. 2584, 2593-94 (2015).

When an artist creates a cake to celebrate a marriage, then, he is creating a work of art dedicated in its own way to the “transcendent importance” of the union of his patrons. Must he be required, however, to dedicate himself to honoring all marriages the state deems lawful? Must he delegate the determinations of

13

his faith and his conscience to state officials who now purport to re-define what is to him a holy and sacred covenant?

In fact, if one doubts that designing a cake or providing artistic services of any kind to meaningful and important events isn’t an expressive act, then how does one answer the actions of many other bakers and artists in similar circumstances? How does one answer some of America’s largest corporations – entities that use their considerable economic power to influence public debate? From the smallest business to the largest multinational corporations, the decision-makers know their actions are expressive, and they make decisions accordingly. It is to their choices that we now turn.

II. Creative Professionals and Corporations Consistently Exercise Their Rights under Barnette to Promote and Disassociate from Specific Values and Messages.

It is self-evidently true that our nation is enduring not just a period of polarization but also of information saturation. Citizens are keenly aware of the political implications of their actions, and news of political statements spread with greater speed than ever before. Indeed, given the urgency of American political discourse, citizens often demand to know where their favorite companies stand on the great issues of the day. They seek to enlist those companies in political crusades, to shift and shape public debate.

This is true regardless of whether the corporate expression itself makes a specific statement (like a

14

Confederate Flag or a product containing a slogan or explicit message) or whether the decision to do business is the statement.

Creative professionals in the fashion industry have refused to provide service for persons espousing political views which they find repugnant. The justifications they offer confirm that they see both their business transactions and their creative work as bearers of political and moral messages.

For example, shortly after the election of Donald Trump, a number of fashion designers (artists, to be sure) declared that they would, under no circumstances, “dress” Melania or Ivanka Trump – this despite the fact that dresses themselves rarely (if ever) contain a political or cultural message as explicit as the rainbow cake the gay couple ultimately chose in this case. Merely doing business with the Trumps was an intolerable notion to creative professionals who abhorred the Trump family’s political methods and messages.

In an open letter rejecting the idea of working with the Trumps, designer Sophie Theallet said, “We value our artistic freedom, and always humbly seek to contribute to a more humane, conscious, and ethical way to create in this world.” She said, “As an independent fashion brand, we consider our voice an expression of our artistic and philosophical ideas.”4

4 Robin Givhan, Should designers dress Melania and Ivanka? The question is more complex than it seems, Washington Post, Jan. 12, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts- and-entertainment/wp/2017/01/12/should-designers-dress- melania-and-ivanka-the-question-is-more-complex-than-it-

15

And another designer, Naeem Khan, asserted: “A designer is an artist, and should have the choice of who they want to dress or not.”5

In reporting on the designer choices, the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan explained well how artists view their work:

Like other creative individuals, Theallet sees fashion as a way of expressing her views about beauty and the way women are perceived in society. Fashion is her tool for communicating her world vision. In the same way that a poet’s words or a musician’s lyrics are a deeply personal reflection of the person who wrote them, a fashion designer’s work can be equally as intimate. In many ways, it’s why we are drawn to them. We feel a one-to- one connection.

Givhan, supra n. 4.

This is precisely true. Men and women are drawn to creative professionals because of that connection, but that connection does not make the creative professional the servant of the patron or of the state. The creative professional need not facilitate and celebrate the patron’s message. These fashion

seems/?hpid=hp_local-news_givhan-945am%3Ahomepage% 2Fstory&utm_term=.e4613ea57e41.

5 Mehera Bonner, Here’s the Growing List of Designers Who Refuse to Dress Melania Trump, Maria Claire (Mar. 11, 2017), http://www.marieclaire.com/fashion/news/g4254/designers-who- wont-dress-melania-trump/?slide=10.

16

designers rightly see their creative work as expressing support for political and moral beliefs. They also testify how dearly they hold the right to choose the patrons with whom they will enter into business relationships in accordance with the uncoerced dictates of their consciences. While any given American may find Theallet’s protest overwrought, it is unthinkable that the state should have the power to override her declaration of conscience.

But acts of conscience aren’t limited to fashion designers. Stories are legion of bakers refusing to design and bake custom cakes containing messages they find offensive. For example, a Louisiana Walmart made headlines for refusing to craft a Confederate battle flag cake featuring the words “heritage, not hate” – but then mistakenly designed an ISIS flag cake at the same customer’s request. Walmart apologized, claiming that its bakers didn’t know the requested design was an ISIS flag.6

Not all bakeries operate in ideological lockstep. In 2015, an ABC News affiliate reported on a bakery that asserted it would be happy to design Confederate Flag cakes, but it would not bake an ISIS cake. The Fredericksburg, Virginia, bakery posted a picture of a Confederate Flag cake and then wrote underneath the post, “We post many special orders, and will

6 Susanna Kim, Walmart apologizes for making ISIS cake for man denied Confederate Flag design, ABC News (June 29, 2015), http://abcnews.go.com/Business/walmart-apologizes- making-isis-cake-man-denied-confederate/story?id=32103721.

continue to do so. No, we will not do ISIS or Nazi

cookie cakes, so don’t be ridiculous.”7

In fact, the court below also noted multiple incidents where other bakers made their own expressive statements. It distinguished Masterpiece Cakeshop from three incidents where bakeries refused to design cakes with religious messages denouncing same-sex marriage and same-sex relationships. In an oddly-argued attempt to distinguish the cases, the Court wrote, “The Division found that the bakeries did not refuse the patron’s request because of his creed, but rather because of the offensive nature of the requested message.” Craig v. Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc. 370 P.3d 272, 282 n.8 (Colo. App. 2015). The Court continued, “Importantly,

7 Va. Bakery creates stir online with Confederate flag cake, ABC7 WJLA News (July 10, 2015), http://wjla.com/news/local/va-bakery-creates-stir-online-with- confederate-flag-cake-115430.

8 Anna Giaritelli, Grocery store refuses to bake Trump- themed cake, Washington Examiner, Sept. 7, 2016, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/grocery-store-refuses-to- bake-trump-themed-cake/article/2601212.

17

Bakeries can get political as well. In September

2016, the Washington Examiner reported that an

Albertson’s grocery store refused to bake a Donald Trump-themed cake. After a public outcry (but not a lawsuit!), the chain apologized, claiming that the

refusal was due to a misunderstanding of copyright law. Albertson’s offered to create for the customer the

cake she wanted, but by then she had done exactly what a free market allows – she’d found another

baker.8

18

there was no evidence that the bakeries based their decisions on the patron’s religion, and evidence had established that all three regularly created cakes with Christian themes.” Id.

Follow the “logic.” The refusal of a religious customer’s request for a religious message is not discrimination on the basis of religion in part because the baker has helped convey other religious messages from other religious customers. Yet refusing a gay customer’s request for a message celebrating gay marriage is sexual-orientation discrimination even though the baker has helped other gay customers convey other messages. That’s not a legal principle. It’s classic, results-oriented jurisprudence.

In fact, if one applied the same judicial reasoning to the cases mentioned above, it’s easy to see how one could shoehorn virtually any refusal to express a message into an act of status-based discrimination prohibited by expansive public accommodation statutes. Women (a protected class) are disproportionately affected by a designer’s refusal to design new dresses. White Americans (a protected class) are disproportionately affected by a refusal to bake Confederate Flag cakes. Christians (again, a protected class) are disproportionately affected by refusals to print “offensive” Bible verses.

The court below called Masterpiece Cakeshop’s decision not to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding conduct “so closely correlated with the status that it is engaged in exclusively or predominantly by persons who have that particular status.” Id. at 281. Yet isn’t

19

that true for each of the categories of refusal outlined above?

But each of these refusals – like the refusals of Masterpiece Cakeshop to bake the cake at issue in this case – is small-scale compared to the immensely consequential actions of large politically-active corporations. The politicization of corporate action is too common to list all of the consequential examples, but if one wants to focus on action implicating the rights of protected classes (people of faith) consider the overwhelmingly negative corporate response to state efforts to expand protection for religious liberty.

The National Football League’s corporate threat to move the Super Bowl was instrumental in persuading then-Arizona governor Jan Brewer to veto a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act.9 When Georgia considered its own Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Walt Disney placed immense pressure on the state, threatening to pull filming from its Pinewood Studios outside Atlanta.10 And these examples pale in comparison to the multi-corporation offensive waged against the state of Indiana when it passed its own religious liberty bill.11 A Los Angeles

9 Tommy Tomlinson, How the NFL Helped Kill Arizona’s Anti-Gay Rights Bill, Forbes, Feb. 27, 2014, https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommytomlinson/2014/02/27/arizo na-gay-rights-and-the-super-bowl/#1dd14455214c.

10 Ted Johnson, Disney, Marvel to Boycott Georgia if Religious Liberty Bill is Passed, Variety, Mar. 23, 2016, http://variety.com/2016/biz/news/disney-marvel-boycott-georgia- anti-gay-bill-1201737405/.

11 Eric Bradner and Jeremy Diamond, Mike Pence: ‘Was I expecting this kind of backlash? Heavens no.,’ CNN (Mar. 31,

20

Times roundup of the state-by-state battles over religious liberty includes some of America’s most well- known and powerful corporations. Each of these corporations used their corporate voice to advance their corporate values.12

It’s important to note that in each of these examples, the corporate imposition was far less than the imposition on Masterpiece Cakeshop. Opening a facility or filming a movie in a state is not the same thing as creating a piece of art that actually expresses a point of view the artist abhors. In fact, the company could use the facility or the movie to express opposition to the state’s policies. Here, Masterpiece Cakeshop would be part of the very expression it opposes.

A better analogy – though still not nearly as intrusive because it does not involve the actual creation of the art itself – is to the corporate effort in the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina, church massacre to ban the sale of objects featuring the Confederate Flag. Walmart, Sears, eBay and many other vendors removed not just flags from their shelves, but also products that featured flag designs.13

2015) http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/31/politics/pence-will-fix- religious-freedom-legislation/index.html.

12 Libby Hill, Some call it religious freedom, others call it anti-gay. Here’s a look at the battle in some states, L.A. Times, Apr. 5, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et- states-antigay-battle-20160325-snap-htmlstory.html#.

13 MJ Lee, Walmart, Amazon, Sears, eBay to stop selling Confederate flag merchandise, CNN (June 24, 2015) http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/22/politics/confederate-flag- walmart-south-carolina/index.html.

21

A law requiring these entities to stock items that send a repugnant message would be blatantly unconstitutional. How much more unacceptable would be a law requiring these vendors to create the items they despise?

The creative professionals profiled above, including the creative professionals at Masterpiece Cakeshop, are engaged in conduct remarkably similar to the conduct of the stalwart Jehovah’s Witnesses in Barnette. When asked by others if they would participate in an act of expression they abhor, these creative professionals say no. They understand reality. They understand that no one would think that Melania Trump designs her own dresses, that customers create their own custom cakes, or that married couples make the beautiful elaborate confections that stand as the centerpiece of a wedding reception. They understand that the expression involved is thus joint expression with their patrons. They are lending their unique talents to acts secular and sacred. Doing so must be their choice.

III. To Undermine Barnette Is To Cruelly Impoverish the Marketplace of Ideas.

For if these acts of creation are undertaken, not by choice, but by compulsion, do not imagine that the baker will be merely passively complying with the law. The patron-artist relationship is not like a gumball machine that mechanically dispenses a product when payment is inserted. Quite the contrary, artistic work done at the behest of others involves the investment of the artist’s mind and imagination in the expression of ideas suggested by a

22

patron who has commissioned the artwork. This is, indeed, the major reason why artists are commissioned by patrons in the first place. We need not agree with those who say that all commercialized artwork is “prostitution” to understand why they speak that way. Artistic work involves the whole person – mind, body, and soul. The use of the artist’s creative talents must be undertaken willingly, or it is a violation of his integrity.

For this reason, there is something particularly cruel about coerced artistic expression, which was recognized even in ancient times. Indeed, the Psalmist gives voice to the suffering of the artist under duress:

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

Psalm 137:1-3 (KJV).

The psalmist also viscerally describes the feeling of inner revulsion the artist feels at the idea of employing his artistic talents under coercion:

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. . . .

23 Psalm 137:5-6 (KJV).

He would rather lose his ability to play the lyre, lose his ability to sing, than employ his skill for the schadenfreude of those who hate the city that he loves. A similar situation is at work in this case: The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop would rather go out of business than be forced to use his skill to celebrate homosexual marriage. Shall the State of Colorado become the agent of this compulsion?

It might be objected that a cake-baker is not Michelangelo; a cake is not a painting; it is a pedestrian, edible, commercial product. Such an objection would be quite misguided. The request to design this cake was made in the context of a fiercely contested cultural struggle, in which everyday commercial merchandise has been turned into means of communicating support for one side or the other. For instance, Apple sells a rainbow watch band for its Apple Watch. Is this product only expressive of the wearer’s views? Apple does not think so. It advertises the product with these words:

Apple is proud to support LGBTQ advocacy organizations working to bring about positive change, including GLSEN, PFLAG and The Trevor Project in the U.S. and ILGA internationally.14

If a rainbow watch band is an expression of advocacy for political and moral “change,” then so is a

14 Accessories: 42mm Pride Edition Woven Nylon, Apple, https://www.apple.com/ca/shop/product/MQ4G2AM/A/42mm- pride-edition-woven-nylon (last visited Sept. 5, 2017).

24

cake decorated with a similar motif. The only difference is that Apple’s expression of support for LGBTQ advocacy is freely created and freely offered, while Masterpiece Cakeshop’s would be under duress and legal coercion. Apple rightly understands that corporations have First Amendment rights, and that they should be free to use them to advocate positions in accordance with the dictates of their corporate consciences. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook explains:

It’s no accident that these freedoms are enshrined and protected in the First Amendment. They’re the foundation of so many of our rights, which means we all have a stake and a role in defending them. This is a responsibility that Apple takes very seriously. I see our work to fulfill this responsibility as twofold. First, we work to defend these freedoms by enabling people around the world to speak up. And second, we do it by speaking up ourselves, because companies can and should have values. We have a perspective on major public issues, and we are prepared to take a stand for things that we deeply believe in… a company is not some faceless, shapeless thing that exists apart from society. A company is a collection of human beings, and part of the fabric of our society. A company like ours has a culture, it has values, and it has a voice. Apple has spoken out, and will continue to speak out, for what we believe as a company. And the positions we take will continue to guide our actions. So we will continue to speak up for environmental protection. We will continue to

25

stand up for inclusion and diversity in all facets of life. And we will continue to stand up for human rights, including the right to privacy.15

Apple understands it has a First Amendment right as a corporation to participate freely in the shaping of public opinion, and it does this by choosing which opinions it will express via the designs of its products and its publicly announced partnerships.

The large corporations go even farther. Not only will they not create products that send unacceptable messages, they won’t do business in places that promulgate (to them) unacceptable laws. There is no serious effort to call into legal question their ability to do business where they choose to do business (nor should there be), yet the constitutional imposition of such a law would be far smaller than the constitutional imposition on Masterpiece Cakeshop. In this case, the state is demanding that a baker not only do business with a certain patron, it’s demanding that he create and speak the patron’s message. How could Colorado prevail and Barnette – and indeed, expressive freedom itself – survive?

CONCLUSION

If the state of Colorado prevails in this case, fundamental First Amendment rights have become

15 Timothy Cook, CEO, Apple, Address at the Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Awards Ceremony (April 18, 2017) (transcript and video available at https://www.c- span.org/video/?427127-1/newseum-presents-2017-free- expression-awards).

26

fragile indeed. They survived world war and the pressure for national unification in the face of an existential threat. Can they survive the sexual revolution and the modern pressure for ideological uniformity? That is what this Court will decide.

It is important to remember that this Court has clearly distinguished the constitutional right to marry from any legal obligation to adopt the state’s view about the nature of marriage. Writing for the majority in Obergefell, Justice Kennedy was clear:

Finally, it must be emphasized that religions,

and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts,

same-sex marriage should not be condoned.

The

First Amendment

organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles

ensures that religious

that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure

they have long revered.

135 S. Ct. at 2607.

This is the language that preserves the First

Amendment. This is the language that preserves Barnette. The owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop are religious persons who are not willing to violate “the

principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.” Or, to put it another way, they are not willing to let any Colorado official, high or petty,

“prescribe what shall be orthodox” regarding the

27

Respectfully submitted,

institution of marriage “or force citizens to confess by

word or act their faith therein.”

May that star remain fixed in our constitutional

constellation. The judgment of the court below must

be reversed.

September 7, 2017

DAVID FRENCH

Counsel of record

Senior Fellow
NATIONAL REVIEW INSTITUTE 215 Lexington Avenue
11th Floor
New York, New York 10016 (931) 446-7572 dfrench@nationalreview.com

Counsel for Amici Curiae

 

July 20, 2017 -Joint IMMEDIATE Media Release  

Media Inquiries: President Allen Whitt 304-756-8567 x105

West Virginians for Life & The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Capito Flip-flop on ObamaCare Repeal Would Preserve Abortion Funding and Rile West Virginia’s Two Pro-Life Organizations

(July 20, 2017, Morgantown & Charleston, WV)

Senator Shelley Moore Capito has announced that she will reject the effort to repeal ObamaCare next week. The junior senator from West Virginia previously voted to repeal the failing ObamaCare legislation but did so expecting a certain veto from then President Obama. The controversial law secures millions of dollars in abortion funding for groups like Planned Parenthood.

It appears that Capito may be the deciding vote determining if the funding stays. So her reluctance to make the exact same pro-life vote, now that passage would mean an immediate signature by Pre  sident Trump, calls her level of commitment to protecting the unborn into question.

West Virginian’s for Life President Wanda Franz, said, “West Virginians for Life and the Family Policy Council of West Virginia will stand together in condemning that failure if Senator Capito sticks to this course. She made promises as a senatorial candidate and our organizations endorsed her and then West Virginia voters gave their support to her and other Republicans in part because of their opposition to ObamaCare. Her failure to support repeal would be an abandonment of those voters.”

Senator Capito claims her NO vote would be to prevent thousands of citizens from losing health care. But it has become obvious that West Virginians who want to keep their insurance under ObamaCare will lose it regardless. More than 1300 U.S counties are down to a single company providing insurance on the Obama health exchange. As the program self-destructs West Virginia’s counties are down to just two. So Capito’s compassionate excuse for her flip-flop seems under-informed at best and disingenuous at worst.

Franz, emphasized, “The vote for repeal would provide essential benefits:  1) it eliminates the so-called “Cadillac-tax” on healthcare plans that is designed to suppress healthcare spending over time, thereby rationing life-saving treatment, 2) it prevents federal tax credits from being used for plans that pay for abortions, and 3) it eliminates roughly 90% of federal Planned Parenthood funding.”

Franz and Whitt, are the respective presidents of West Virginians For Life and the Family Policy Council.  They are the two lobbying groups in the state defending the rights of the unborn. Both presidents representing hundreds of thousands of pro-life West Virginians, urge Senator Shelly Moore Capito to reconsider and vote to repeal the existing law early next week.

Allen Whitt, President of the Family Policy Council said, “Our organization made nearly 50,000 phone calls in her election effort and if Senator Capito is unwilling to protect the most vulnerable among us and fails to defund Planned Parenthood when the outcome for the whole nation is in her hand, then all options must be on the table when her senate primary race comes round.”

-END-

 

 

 

Contact: Media Inquiries                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Telephone: 304-756-8567                                      DATE: January 26, 2017

Email: info@familypolicywv.com

Website: www.familypolicywv.com

FPCWV Endorsed Logan County Democrat Switches To Independent

Logan, WV— On Thursday, Logan County Delegate Rupert “Rupie” Phillips, switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Independent. According to an on-air interview with Hoppy Kercheval, Phillips stated that he “hasn’t caucused with the Democrats in two years.”

While praising President Donald Trump, Mr. Phillips stated that he felt the liberal Democrat party no longer supported coal, guns or God.

Allen Whitt, president of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, said the switch doesn’t surprise him.

“Delegate Rupie Phillips has been a consistent voice for faith, family and freedom. He was one of the few Democrat sponsors for the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act. Mr. Phillips has been a staunch defender for private spaces for women and children and we fully expect him to continue this as an independent,” Whitt said.

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia officially endorsed Delegate Phillips during the 2016 General Election cycle.

Mr. Whitt said he fully expects other Democrats will follow Delegate Phillips lead as the party has become very far left in West Virginia.

“We don’t expect the Democratic Party to be in the majority party again in West Virginia for a long, long time with their anti-faith, pro-homosexuality, anti-family platform. And in two years if a respectable businessman or woman who truly respects the faith held by 93% of our voters, declares as a Republican for the governor’s race in 2020 I expect that Governor Justice’s continuance of the Democratic platform will limit him to a single term,” he said.

The new House of Delegates numbers will be 63 Republicans, 36 Democrats and one Independent.

About The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

 The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is The Mountain State’s leading conservative policy group championing social issues. The group positively influences state laws, state lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for the state’s families and churches.

#

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          DATE: October 26, 2016

Contact: Media Inquiries Email: info@familypolicywv.com

Telephone: 304-756-8567 x105 Website: www.familypolicywv.com

 

Family Policy Council of West Virginia Releases Video Pointing to Deceptive Practices by Political Activists That Hijacked Their Logo to Confuse Conservative Family Values Voters.

 Charleston, WV—On Wednesday the first day of early voting, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia released a video exposing a union and trial attorney activist group called West Virginia Family Values for taking their logo and running political ads possibly trading on a variation of The Family Policy Council name. The Family Policy Council of West Virginia then released their own voter guide to help faith and values voters determine the best candidates despite the misinformation by the deceptive political group.

Allen Whitt, president of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, said the response was needed after his office received calls and emails from confuseDD voters and candidates. “A far-left political group made up of labor unions and trial lawyers altered and then hijacked one of our non-profit logos. Now they are running political ads falsely leading voters to believe their candidates are advocating for family values,” Whitt said in a press release Wednesday morning. “We are investigating this deception and our legal options on trademark infringement.”

“They are exploiting a variation of our name –The Family Policy Council of West Virginia. This labor union funded, anti-freedom, pro-slip-and-fall lawyers group are marketing themselves as West Virginia Family Values. How morally bankrupt must political activists become to mimic a Christian organization and then unleash deceptive smear campaigns against mostly Christian candidates?” he stated?

Whitt admitted, “We discovered them in the primary elections but then they were attacking Senate republicans Mitch Carmichael and Chris Walters. Since both were key players in the assassination of the much-needed religious freedom bill last session we didn’t step up and call the unions out then.”

But the old adage of an enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend proved accurate when they swiped The Family Policy Institute’s logo and altered it for their messaging. Family Policy Institute is the 501-C3 sister organization of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia.

Now while attempting to appear as if they are us this union and lawyer group’s ads have spread like canker sores to attack actual conservative, faith-defending senate candidates like Kenny Mann in the 10th, Senator Greg Boso in the 11th, Dr. Mike Maroney in the 2nd and others.

The misleading ads actually go so far as to declare Stephen Skinner; a prominent, radical, homosexual activist, is a defender of families. Then they accuse his challenger Patricia Rucker, an apple pie, home-schooling mom, of being too extreme to be a state senator in the 16th. Skinner has been the figurehead of the movement forcing cities to give men access to private areas like women’s restrooms, locker rooms and changing areas. How much more extreme could a candidate be yet the union-backed West Virginia Family Values group touts him as the ‘family values’ candidate.”

Whitt said the AFL-CIO, carpenters and other unions, along with liberal trial lawyers, are spending millions to deceive the public.

“When you hear the ads with sweet little old ladies and sweet gentlemen touting themselves as West Virginia Values, they have nothing to do with family and they probably don’t share your values,” Whitt says in the video.

The drama intensified yesterday when two republican candidates for senate, Chris Walters and Kenny Mann began legal action against West Virginia Family Values because they ran ads falsely accusing each of testifying on behalf of an admitted child molester in court.

It’s a matter of record that current Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael acted as a character witness for an admitted child predator in his home County, Jackson. He was the correct target of those attack ads.

With all this intentional confusion it’s necessary to have an organization to provide guidance on which way to vote. So on the first day of early voting for the general election the Family Policy Council of West Virginia also released its 2016 voter guide for the upcoming general election.

We strongly encourage voters to print a copy of our online Voter Guide, which is available at www.familypolicywv.com. This voter guide is the most comprehensive guide for pro-life voters because it clearly states who will defend rights of conscience protections. “That’s the true definition of which candidates are pro-life,” Whitt added. “It’s more accurate than the West Virginians for Life guide because they don’t score conscience protections. If a citizen opposes abortion because of a sincerely held religious belief then refusing to participate in abortions or refusing to rent space to an abortion clinic or refusing to dispense abortion drugs then a religious freedom law is needed to protect those citizens against law suits for following their beliefs.” Ultimately that is the pro-life bill that’s going to matter.

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia endorsed more than 100 candidates in federal and state races.

West Virginia voters can review the 2016 General Election Voter Guide as well watch the video response on the Family Policy Council of West Virginia website: www.familypolicywv.com

About The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

 The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is The Mountain State’s leading conservative policy group championing social issues. The group positively influences state laws, state lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for the state’s families and churches.

 

###

 

Contact: Media Inquiries                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Telephone: 304-756-8567                                      DATE: September 23, 2016

Email: info@familypolicywv.com

Website: www.familypolicywv.com

 

Four Horsemen Of The Zeitgeist Appear To Have Endorsed Trump

 Charleston, WV—This week, some may have believed Biblical prophesy may have come true as the unlikely foursome of Kim Kardashian, Louis Farrakhan, Caitlyn Jenner and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz have all endorsed Donald J. Trump for president.

Family Policy Council of West Virginia President Allen Whitt responded to this news stating, “Anybody with ANY biblical awareness can see we are nearing the rapture and the tribulation period detailed in the Book of Revelation but I sure didn’t see that coming!”

In the Bible, the Book of Revelation states, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

 “Even for the devout Christian, Revelation has some pretty unnerving prophesies and this weeks political endorsements by the four horsemen of the present-day American zeitgeist could not have been predicted. Now the actual four horsemen that carry out God’s wrath will be much scarier…but still,” Allen said.

 About The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

 The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is The Mountain State’s leading conservative policy group championing social issues. The group positively influences state laws, state lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for the state’s families and churches.

 

###

 

Contact: Media Inquiries                                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Telephone: 304-756-8567                                      DATE: August 25, 2016

Email: info@familypolicywv.com

Website: www.familypolicywv.com

Family Policy Council of West Virginia Launches Privacy Act Petition

Group urges Governor, legislative leaders to call special session to address student safety and privacy

 Charleston, WV- On Thursday, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia launched a statewide petition demanding Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and the Legislature call a special session before November’s election to pass a new privacy act clarifying discrimination.

The new law would also prevent any federal guidance or regulation that forces members of both biological sexes to share the same showers, locker rooms, changing areas, or overnight accommodations, etc.

Allen Whitt, president of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia stated, “The attacks on religious freedom in West Virginia have grown to a crisis level. Almost every week now we here of a new renegade city council or mayor of one of our towns and cities that believes they know more than the legislature when it comes to civil liberties and the first amendment right of religious expression.”

In the last 48 hours, residents across West Virginia learned that West Virginia University had become the scorn of free speech advocates and proponents of common sense all over the country after the university informed students they would be treated as criminals if they fail to learn (and use) a whole new set of pronouns. These pronouns have been created at the whim of political activists who demand that those who self -identify as neither gender (male nor female) should be addressed by brand-new words in our English language. Any student failing to use these new words shall be treated as if they are federal law -breakers with all due penalties.

“Just this week, we learned that both Wheeling and Beckley announced they were pushing forward with a new nondiscrimination ordinance that would elevate sexual behavior to the same protections currently afforded to African-Americans and women. These ordinances have been used as a hammer all over the country to smash people’s first amendment rights of religious expression and neither seems willing to hear this truth. Both mayors are strangely pushing forward on this ordinance that is opposed by an overwhelming majority of their citizens. If these ordinances were put to a vote on a local referendum, they would fail dramatically in every city in West Virginia, “ Whitt added.

The Privacy Act would also ensure no city council, county commission, political subdivision or board of education shall have the right to usurp state law and add additional classes of people.

West Virginians from all backgrounds are unifying in opposition to these unconstitutional ordinances.

John Buckley, Libertarian Party nominee for Secretary of State and an openly gay man in a same-sex marriage, believes the federal government should not be engaged in discriminatory behavior.

“A little more common sense and a lot less left-wing ideological rigidity would go a long way to help everyday citizens in West Virginia cope with the sensitive matter of “gender-inclusiveness.” I’m a member of the “sexual-minority” community myself and I feel compassion towards all sides in this gender-identity/bathroom/locker-room/showers debate that is going on,” he said.

“But let’s get real; dictatorial mandates from government boards and bureaucrats are making things worse, not better. Let’s respect privacy, private property, religious and moral values, and of course, differences of opinions,” he added.

The full text of the petition can be found at www.familypolicywv.com

“We are urging all West Virginia citizens to join our petition and demand that the West Virginia legislature follow Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina in passing a privacy protection act that would protect the privacy and dignity of our most vulnerable; our women, our children and our students,” Whitt said.

About The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is The Mountain State’s leading conservative policy group championing social issues. The group positively influences state laws, state lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for the state’s families and churches.

###

 

Contact: Media Inquiries                                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Telephone: 304-756-8567                                      DATE: August 22, 2016

Email: info@familypolicywv.com

Website: www.familypolicywv.com

 

Federal Judge Stops Obama’s Transgendered Student Guidelines in West Virginia

 Charleston, WV- Today, as children are going back to school across West Virginia, a Texas federal court judge has stopped the enforcement of Obama’s bathrooms direct, which would have forced West Virginia schools to allow boys into girls bathrooms, shower rooms and locker rooms. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined the Texas lawsuit requesting a temporary stop to the enforcement of the Obama administration’s dangerous school guidelines issued for public schools earlier this year.

Allen Whit, President of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia says, “Today is a day to celebrate, albeit briefly, that common sense has not completely left every seat of the Federal judiciary. This ruling in favor of West Virginia’s public school students proves that safety first should be the driving force in these types of decisions. Now county board’s of education like Marion County, who have rushed into acceptance of President Obama’s dangerous guidelines out of fear they may lose a few federal dollars, will be required to return to a student first and safety first approach. “

The judge’s order applies to 13 states: TEXAS, ALABAMA, WISCONSIN, WEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, ARIZONA, MAINE, OKLAHOMA, LOUISIANA, GEORGIA, UTAH, MISSISSIPPI and KENTUCKY.

President Obama’s administration sent a non-binding letter to schools across the nation threatening to take away Title IX funding if schools do not adopt the administration’s rule to allow boys into girls’ showers, locker rooms, bathrooms, etc. Texas is leading a lawsuit of 13 states to stop the Obama administration’s attack on public schools. A total of 23 states are suing the Obama administration because of the dangerous guidelines.

“This is a victory but no victory is permanent and we must press forward at the legislature to pass laws preventing county boards from making these types of dangerous decisions that could permanently scar our children,” Whitt added.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the issue by implementing a temporary hold on a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that would have forced a Virginia school district to implement a school bathroom policy that would allow boy’s into girl’s bathrooms.

Whitt stated, “Every parent of every public school student should thank Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for wisely choosing to join in with Texas in this suit on behalf of student safety. Because of his prudent actions, West Virginia students will now benefit from this Texas Federal Judge’s ruling.

About The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is The Mountain State’s leading conservative policy group championing social issues. The group positively influences state laws, state lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for the state’s families and churches.

###

 

Contact: Media Inquiries                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Telephone: 304-756-8567                                      DATE: August 19, 2016

Email: info@familypolicywv.com

Website: www.familypolicywv.com

 

New Wheeling Mayor Makes Good on Campaign Promise to Force LGBT Ordinance Onto Citizens

 Wheeling, WV— Newly sworn in mayor of Wheeling West Virginia, Glenn Elliot, Jr., made good on the first step of his promise to force an LGBT ordinance onto the citizens of Wheeling. According to public comments, many residents and business owners believe the only purpose for this ordinance is to silence the voices of those who hold sincerely held religious beliefs and wish to operate their business according to those beliefs.

Allen Whitt, President of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia said, “In a time when West Virginia’s business owners are already struggling with burdensome regulations- Elliot, an attorney, is pushing forward with a so-called “civil right’s” ordinance that is a trial attorneys dream.

West Virginia has already begun to see the swath of destruction these ordinances can wreak on the state’s economy.

Last year, a private business owner in Charleston was sued and forced to pay more than $500,000 in total out-of-pocket expenses because she was caught between state employment law and the indefensible liability of that city’s ordinance which elevates homosexual and transgendered behavior to a level of special legal protection.

Whitt added, “Wheeling’s Human Rights Commission is the only commission in the state of West Virginia that has the authority to fine its citizens, its businesses and even some churches, thousands of dollars for simply operating according to their religious beliefs. And if you fail to pay the fines then you go to jail.”

The proposed ordinance language will be discussed in a joint meeting of the Wheeling Human Rights Commission and the city council on September 1.

“It’s clear by limiting the first draft to protections in hiring and rental properties, Wheeling hopes to avoid the bathroom controversy seen in other cities and states. The West Virginia state legislature has rejected this same language several years in a row. But the ultimate goal of all of these ordinances is to institute a new “sue and settle” shakedown scheme, so trial attorneys have a new revenue stream since high unemployment has driven workman’s comp claims down,” Whitt said.

Whitt stated the one issue that is never addressed is safety and privacy.

“They will eventually open up bathrooms, changing rooms and other private areas to predators even if they have to start slow with just an ordinance that “protects” against “discrimination” in housing and employment. The increased risk of those posing as transgendered individuals using these ordinances to prey upon our women and girls is well documented,” he added.

Whitt said that because so many of Wheeling’s citizens and those that do business there reached out, The Family Policy Council has joined the growing number of people, businesses and faith-based organizations who oppose this power grab by Mayor Elliott.

“Years of monitoring these types of ordinances in more liberal states like Washington have resulted in proof that they are not needed. Washington has had a statewide version for more than eight years and only 76 claims have been filed. That’s a state with several million people, far more than West Virginia. And of those 76 claims of “discrimination” against an LGBT plaintiff, the very left-leaning Washington courts found that there was probable cause to proceed in ZERO of the 76 claims,” he added.

“This LGBT “civil rights” ordinance is nothing more than a Trojan horse that will ultimately only benefit trial attorneys as they use new government regulations to sue good people who disagree with his views on homosexuality,” Whitt said.

On Friday, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia officially filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the mayor, Wheeling’s City Council and the Human Rights Commission asking for any emails, phone logs, meeting agenda minutes where sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression have been discussed.

About The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is The Mountain State’s leading conservative policy group championing social issues. The group positively influences state laws, state lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for the state’s families and churches.

###

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 25, 2016

MORRISEY SUES OBAMA TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY AND SAFETY OF WEST VIRGINIA’S STUDENTS

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is proud that our state joined a new lawsuit filed by Texas against the Obama Administration and its Department of Justice. With it’s release of “guidelines” on Title IX, the Administration has proven it will stop at nothing to push its agenda — even if it means sacrificing the privacy and safety of the nation’s children. Elected officials in Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Maine, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Utah all stepped up today to protect kids in their states.

Allen Whitt, President of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia applauds Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for repeatedly being a defender of the mountain state’s most precious resources, our women and children. By joining with officials from 10 states to sue the DOJ our attorney general is sending a strong message that mountaineers will always be free from federal bullying. Not just on economic and environmental overreach but we will defend our freedom against federal social policy overreach as well.

Whitt says, “It seems that same-sex marriage wasn’t enough social deconstruction for one presidency. Now President Obama wants your daughter to have to room with a biological male when she goes away for her freshman year at WVU or Marshall. His edict would see her kicked out of school if she refused that roommate assignment. The President’s policy if adopted by school boards would force your daughter into the same showering rooms as any male student who even for a day, say’s he identifies as female or transgender. This lawsuit joined by Attorney General Morrisey seeks to halt that redefinition of privacy and restore common sense safety on this issue.”

Whitt issued this caution towards West Virginia’s current school board members. “Any county school board that pushes forward in adopting the President’s politically motivated and dangerous policy suggestions, especially during the midst of this current litigation, should be seen as activists for a selfish political agenda and no longer as trusted administrators of public school funds. Accordingly then they should be removed by the voters or their power redistributed by the legislature for intentionally disregarding student safety.”

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia and the national Family Policy Alliance have been working to tell the stories of women who have been victims of transgender policies in the very places affected by Obama’s decree – bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. Kate is one of those women.

“Nobody asked me first,” Kate said. “I felt completely violated. I left there shaking because I felt, ‘No one is looking out for me.’ There are no safeguards in place whatsoever. There’s no reassurance that somebody can’t legally come in with harmful intentions.”

“This is confirmation,” said Autumn Leva, policy director for the Family Policy Alliance, a national group working with 40 state-based family policy groups. “that lawmakers and elected officials are listening to the people in their states – people who are concerned about an administration that would place an agenda over the best interests of children.” For news coverage see this link. http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/144899004-story

About The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is The Mountain State’s leading conservative policy group championing social issues. The group positively influences state laws, state lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for the state’s families and churches.

###

March 1, 2016

93% of West Virginia Voters Favor Religious Freedom Law

News Release:
Contact: Allen Whitt
awhitt@familypolicywv.com or (304) 756-8567
West Virginians overwhelmingly support religious freedom, support political candidates who would pass laws to protect freedom

CHARLESTON, W.V. A new poll of registered West Virginia voters shows overwhelming support for a state law that provides legal protections for religious freedom. West Virginians will also take this strongly held belief in protecting religious freedom to the ballot box, the poll found. Citizens are far more likely to vote for candidates for public office who act to protect religious freedom, according to the Norman Analytics and Research poll released March 1 by Freedom West Virginia.

“West Virginians believe in religious freedom and want to protect citizens from government overreach,” said Family Policy Council President Allen Whitt. “The polling data indicates West Virginia voters are significantly more likely to vote for a candidate for public office who supports a law that upholds a person’s freedom to peacefully live and work according to their religious beliefs.”

The telephone survey of 403 registered West Virginia voters was conducted February 28-29. Respondents were asked three questions in relation to religious freedom in West Virginia and how those beliefs will impact how they vote in the next election cycle.

93 percent said that every West Virginian should be able to peacefully live and work according to their religious beliefs without fear of being unjustly punished by the government. 82 percent said they strongly agreed with this.

Furthermore, 90 percent of voters agree that any individual or organization must be given a fair legal hearing if they believe that the government has interfered with their religious freedom. This is exactly what passage of the West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act would achieve.

 

Finally, 75 percent said they would be more likely to vote for an elected official who protects religious freedom and supports a law like RFRA. In fact, only 4 percent of voters said that they would be strongly less likely to vote for a candidate who supports a law to protect religious freedom.

 

“Religious freedom is a basic human right that deserves protection under the law,” Whitt said. “The government shouldn’t have unchecked power to intrude on West Virginians’ freedom. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act helps prevent that.”

• Summary of polling results

• Full question cross-tab matrix and respondent results

June 26, 2015
Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Activism Levies Blow to Religious Liberty 
Same-sex activists who oppose the biblical view of marriage now have law on their side to persecute religious citizens in West Virginia who believe the definition of marriage should be one man and one woman for life. In 29 ballots on this issue nationwide more than 62 million votes have been cast against redefining marriage to only 35 million votes for. But five handpicked lawyers in Washington, D.C. have now forced their progressive view…

October 7, 2014
Seven Pro Same-Sex House Candidates Given Reason to Celebrate by SCOTUS Non-Decision
Seven candidates for the West Virginia House of Delegates hoping to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples were given reason to celebrate by yesterday’s non-decision by the US Supreme Court. McGrath (13th), Wong (35th), Flowers (42nd), Manypenny (49th), Sponaugle (55th), Barrett (61st), Lawrence (65th) and Skinner (67th) are all running campaigns funded in part by contributions from same-sex activists….

June 30, 2014
Supreme Court Delivers Momentous Religious Freedom Victory
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Family Policy Council of West Virginia (FPCWV) praises today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold religious liberty and protect the conscience rights of family businesses who object to being forced to pay for the coverage of sterilizations, contraception and drugs that have the potential to destroy an unborn child…

May 22, 2014
Overturning Governor’s Veto One Step Closer with Imminent Pro-Life Special Session
The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, on behalf of the allied community of pro-life citizens, is thrilled to announce that we are very near the minimum threshold needed on the historic petition put forth by West Virginians for life….

March 21, 2014
Former Cuban Freedom Fighter and father of Texas Senator Ted Cruz Headlines May 9th Family Policy Council Celebration
The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is inviting pastors, church members and all West Virginia patriots to join them on Friday night May 9th indowntown Charleston. Pastor Rafael Cruz will headline the event at the Marriott Pavilion…

January 6, 2014
Former Billy Graham Writer To Lead Family Policy Council of West Virginia
The Board of Directors of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia has formally named Allen Whitt as the new President of the state’s leading faith-based public policy organization. Whitt is a former media writer and consultant for Dr. Billy Graham…