Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Planet Fitness expels woman for judging transexual man in women’s locker room

Here’s the local news story from WNEM. (H/T Ari)

Excerpt:

It’s a business that sells itself on being non-judgmental but Planet Fitness has allegedly revoked the membership of a woman for complaining.

Yvette Cormier, a member at the Midland location, says she had no idea what that meant until a few days ago.

“I was stunned and shocked. He looked like a man.. He did not look like a woman,” Cormier said. Cormier is talking about a transgender woman who walked into the woman’s locker room while she was getting undressed. She says she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“This is very unprofessional. This is very scary,” Cormier said.

Not knowing why the person was in the women’s locker room, Cormier said she immediately complained to the front desk and eventually to corporate offices.

“They told me the same thing, that he was allowed in there because that’s the sex he wants to be,” Cormier said.

Cormier said she understands that some men self-identify as women and some women self-identify as men, but said the person looked like a man and that caught her off guard.

Cormier lost her membership for violating the company’s no judgement zone policy.

Moving forward, Cormier said she isn’t concerned with getting her membership back. Her concern now is to warn other women at this gym to make them aware of this policy, because she says Planet Fitness failed to warn her.

The company told TV5 that Cormier’s concerns about the policy regarding gender identity was inappropriate and disruptive by complaining to other members at the gym.

Representatives with Planet Fitness issued this statement:

“Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members. Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.

In expressing her concerns about the policy, the member in question exhibited behavior that club management deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement and as a result her membership was canceled”

They are non-judgmental! They kicked this woman out of their gym because she did not want a man in the women’s (and girls!) locker room. But that’s not judgmental. She is welcome there, just like anyone else, except not really.

What does this policy really mean? Well, it means that any man can walk into the women’s locker room and expose himself naked to women – and girls! – so long as he “self-identifies” as a woman. And just keep in mind that this could easily be a registered sex-offender. And what Planet Fitness is saying is this – if you don’t stand up and salute this, then you are a bigoted hatemonger who needs to be excluded from their gym. They don’t want you.

Dennis Prager has an article that explains what is behind stories like this.

He writes:

Most Americans do not realize that, as large as the issue of same-sex marriage is (and it is very large), there is an even larger issue at stake in the same-sex marriage debate.

That issue is whether gender matters: Do male and female, man and woman, matter?

In the brief span of about 40 years, a war against the male-female distinction has been waged. And it has been largely successful.

[…]It began with modern feminism, a movement that has influenced vast numbers of men and women born after World War II. It was the movement’s goal of women’s equality that led to its denial of innate male-female differences. First, feminists feared than any acknowledgement of male-female differences would lead back to male-female roles. Second, they increasingly tended to equate “equal” with “same.”

Feminism convinced a generation of men and women, especially those attending college and graduate school, that (to cite one well-known example) the only reason boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls and tea sets is due to a sexist upbringing. Without sexist assumptions about boys’ and girls’ alleged differences, boys would just as happily play with dolls and tea sets and girls would just as happily play with trucks.

[…]The next societal force working to erase the significance of the sexes was the gay rights movement. The very premise of the movement is that the only thing that matters in sexual relations is that consenting adults engage in it. Whether men and women make love to one another or to members of their own sex makes no difference. Gender doesn’t matter.

And if gender doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t matter with regard to parents: It makes no difference whether children have two mothers, two fathers or a mother and a father. Schools such as New York’s progressive Rodeph Sholom Day School, in 2001, even banned any celebration of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day among its elementary school students.

Catholic Charities, the nation’s oldest ongoing adoption services, were forced out of the adoption business in states like Massachusetts and Illinois — because they placed children for adoption only with a married man and woman. Progressives consider such a sentiment — that, all things being equal, it is better for a child to have a mother and a father — as bigoted and absurd. Since the sexes aren’t different, a mother provides nothing that two fathers can’t provide, and a father provides nothing that two mothers can’t provide.

Prager is Jewish, and he adds this specific to Jewish Scriptures:

The Torah went out of its way to assert the monumental importance of gender distinctions. When God created the first human beings, the Torah tells us, “Male and female He created them.” Only of humans does the creation story make this statement; gender distinctions don’t matter among animals except with regard to procreation. And the Torah prohibits men from wearing women’s clothing and women from wearing that which represents manhood.

Do you think that men and women are different, and that it’s a good thing that they come together in marriage to work together as a unit? If so, be aware that you are in the cross-hairs of the radical feminism / gay rights agenda.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

What does social science tell us about children raised by gay couples?

The Public Discourse has a post about a new book that summarizes what we know so far.

Here is the introduction:

An important new collection of peer-reviewed scholarly papers entitled No Differences? How Children in Same-Sex Households Fare has just been released by the Witherspoon Institute. The papers included and summarized in the book all study the nexus between children’s well-being and the structure of the families in which they are raised. In particular, the authors focus on the efficacy of families in which the adults are involved in a physically intimate same-sex relationship.

Here are the chapters:

  1. Loren Marks: survey existing studies on parenting by same-sex couples
  2. Mark Regnerus: large-scale study comparing standard parenting vs same-sex couple parenting
  3. Douglas Allen, Catherine Pakaluk, and Joseph Price: analysis of studies based on census data
  4. Douglas Allen: study of educational outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples
  5. Walter Schumm: evaluation of the methodology of the Regnerus study
  6. Walter Schumm: analysis of the stability of standard relationships vs same-sex relationships

Here’s the blurb on one of the chapters:

The first paper included in the volume, by Loren Marks, examines the foundations of the position taken by the American Psychological Association (APA) on what it calls “lesbian and gay parenting.” The 2005 APA monograph setting forth that organization’s position asserts that the question of whether the childrearing efficacy of parents in same-sex relationships is at least the equal of that of heterosexual couples is settled, and that the serious academic literature speaks with a single voice on the matter.

Marks reviews an extensive literature on the topic and finds that most of the studies on the subject rely on “convenience samples”: groups of respondents that cannot be considered cross-sections of the population at large. Convenience samples are a staple of the literature because same-sex parenting is rare, and so recruiting same-sex parents for a study generally involves placing ads at day-care centers and in publications aimed at the LGBT population, or contacting people by way of their network of friends. While they can provide a useful window on the experience of parents in same-sex relationships, Marks notes that convenience samples suffer from two generic problems. First, the sample sizes are very small; one of the better studies might include a dozen or two lesbian families and a comparable number of heterosexual families. In such a small sample, only enormous differences in children’s outcomes will rise to the level of statistical significance. Technically speaking, estimates of the difference between outcomes for same-sex parents and those for heterosexual couples suffer from low “power.” Moreover, because convenience samples do not constitute a random cross-section of the population, they are not representative, and so estimates based on them suffer from a problem known to statisticians as “bias.”

Marks also notes that many of the small studies either fail to identify a comparison group of heterosexual parents, or they compare educated and affluent lesbian couples to single heterosexual parents. He suggests that better comparison groups might consist of married heterosexual parents or of all heterosexual parents. Certainly that would be the case if one wanted to maintain that there was no difference between the status quo outcomes for children of parents in same-sex relationships and those of heterosexual married parents, as some have seemed to want to do.

Marks highlights three studies that avoid small convenience samples and work with much larger random samples, two of which can be found in the new volume, in the chapter by Mark Regnerus and the chapter by Douglas Allen, Catherine Pakaluk, and Joseph Price.

I took a quick look at Loren Marks’ bio:

Loren Marks holds the Kathryn Norwood and Claude Fussell Alumni Professorship in the LSU College of Human Sciences and Education where he teaches family studies classes and conducts research on family relationships. He currently serves as Program Director for Child and Family Studies in Louisiana State University’s School of Social Work. Marks received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from BYU, and his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware.  Since beginning his work at LSU in 2002, Dr. Marks has centered his research efforts on religion and families, and has published more than 70 articles or chapters, as well as the book Sacred Matters (with Wes Burr and Randy Day). He has also studied children’s outcomes in various family forms—and strong African American families.  His research has received national media attention from outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal. Loren was honored with college-level teaching awards in 2005, 2009, and 2013.  In 2011-2012, LSU nominated him for the national Carnegie (CASE) Professor of the Year Award—and nominated him again in 2014. He is Co-Director (with Dr. David Dollahite) of the American Families of Faith Project that includes about 200 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim families from all eight regions of the United States. Findings from this ongoing project have resulted in over 50 scholarly articles/chapters and two in progress books.

The Kindle edition of the book is currently $7.99. The volume is basically one stop shopping for this issue, so if you ever debate on this, get the book.

The best philosophical book on the definition of marriage is “What is Marriage?” by Girgis, Anderson and George.

I think if you are interested in same-sex marriage as a policy issue, you should get both of these books first.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Common Core and amnesty supporter Jeb Bush adds gay activist to staff

This is from SteveDeace.com.

He writes:

Jeb Bush may be destroying any hope of becoming the GOP standbearer in 2016, but he’s well on his way to throwing one hell of a gay pride parade.

First he hired David Kochel, an aggressive advocate of homosexual marriage and a former Romney hack, as one of his top campaign advisors.

And now Tim Miller, the openly gay executive director of America Rising PAC, has been hired has the Bush campaign’s communications director.

Bush has good company, though, when it comes to letting the fox into the hen house on marriage politics. Miller previously served as spokesman at the Republican National Committee and for the presidential campaigns of John Huntsman and John McCain.

Miller, 33, is not shy about promoting his gay lifestyle on social media, and “loves to mock conservatives” who defend marriage being between one man and one woman, according to a website that promotes homosexuality.

I checked on the hires to make sure, and yes, it’s true (Jim Miller, David Kochel). It makes me think that Bush is a squish on defending marriage, and the religious liberty of conscientious objectors to the gay agenda. This is a sure sign that Jeb Bush would evolve to support gay marriage if elected President. He’s not reliable on social issues.

Jeb Bush is also in favor of federal control of education policy (“Common Core”):

No Republican is tied to Common Core in the way Jeb Bush is. The governor, through his leadership of the non-profit Foundation for Excellence in Education, played a notable role in the creation and promotion of the standards and he has stood by them ever since. At an education reform conference in November, his keynote address included a firm defense of the Core, which he said ought to represent “the new minimum” for academic standards in the U.S.

[…]An October Gallup poll found that nearly 60 percent of Republican parents oppose the standards while under 20 percent support them, and the numbers have been steadily getting worse. With Bush beating out every other potential primary opponent except Mitt Romney in recent primary polls, the pressure to constantly attack him is irresistible.

I think that we should abolish the Department of Education, or at least give parents more choice.

Jeb Bush is also in favor of amnesty and opposed to border security:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the Republican Party’s talked-about candidates for president, commented in an April 2013 video: Amnesty for some seems a sound idea. And now, some in the conservative camp are expressing shock.

His remarks, at a conference with the Hispanic Leadership Network and interview with Univision, included an expressed view that DREAMers — the children of parents who came to the country illegally — should have an “accelerated path” to citizenship and that it was “ridiculous” to think otherwise, CNN reported.

“I’ve never felt like the sins of the parents should be ascribed to the children, you know,” Mr. Bush said on the 2013 video. “If your children always have to pay the price for adults’ decisions they make — how fair is that? For people who have no country to go back to — which are many of the DREAMers — it’s ridiculous to think that there shouldn’t be some accelerated path to citizenship.”

He also commented that “it’s not possible in a free country to completely control the border without us losing our freedoms and liberties,” CNN said.

I think we should secure the border and not give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship unless they come in through legal immigration. I do favor work permits, but that’s not Bush’s position. He favors amnesty.

He’s certainly not my candidate in the 2016 GOP primary. Way too far to the left for me.

The latest polls

Here are the latest polls from Real Clear Politics:

Polls from Real Clear Politics

Polls from Real Clear Politics

Still early on, but looking good for Scott Walker. Right now, I like Walker, Jindal and Perry in that order. Cruz is good but lacks the accomplishments I am looking for in a candidate.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Florist may lose her business, home and savings for refusing to service gay wedding

I remember reading a blog post by very well known atheist from Washington just after his state legalized same-sex marriage. He said he was very proud of his state. Now we get to find out what he was so proud of.

The story is reported by Alliance Defending Freedom.

They write:

A state judge has determined that the government can force a floral designer to do custom design work and provide wedding support services even if she has a religious conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman. Barronelle Stutzman was found guilty for referring her friend and long-time customer to another florist because the customer wanted her to design floral arrangements and provide services for a  same-sex wedding. Barronelle’s referral ensured the customer received the services he wanted, but has been labeled “discrimination” under Washington law.

The court also ruled that both the state and the couple may collect damages and attorneys’ fees not only from the floral shop, but also from Stutzman personally.

The court said:

“On the evening of November 5, 2012, there was no conflict … The following evening, after the … enactment of same-sex marriage, there would eventually be a direct and insoluble conflict between Stutzman’s religiously motivated conduct and the laws of the State of Washington. Stutzman cannot comply with both the law and her faith if she continues to provide flowers for weddings as part of her duly-licensed business, Arlene’s Flowers.

For simply abiding by her faith and a view of marriage held sacred for centuries, the 70-year-old grandmother not only may lose her business, but also her home and savings. Contrast this reality to the same-sex couple, who not only obtained exactly what they needed for their ceremony, but were offered free flowers and wedding services by a multitude of florists. Yet the state attorney general sued her and then the couple, represented by the ACLU, filed a second lawsuit.

Barronelle’s referral showed kindness and tolerance to her customer, doing as much as she could without violating her conscience.  But apparently there is no tolerance for her religious beliefs about marriage.

“America would be a better place if citizens respected each others’ differences and the government still protected the freedom to have those differences,” said Barronelle. “Instead, the government is coming after me and everything I have just because my beliefs are different from the government’s. I just want the freedom to live and work faithfully and to believe what God says about marriage without fear of punishment, just as others have the freedom to believe and say what they want to about marriage.”

“The message of these rulings is unmistakable: there is no tolerance for those who disagree with the state’s view of marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued before the court in December. “The couple had no problem getting the flowers they needed. In fact, they received several offers for free flowers. So, where’s the tolerance for Barronelle Stutzman? It’s hard to believe that Barronelle should prepare to have everything she has earned and built seized by the state just because of her beliefs about marriage.”

If you don’t celebrate same-sex marriage, then the courts will come after you and take everything you have to make you celebrate same-sex marriage. This is called tolerance. And it is sold to the public with the well-known gay rights motto “Celebrate Diversity”.

There is nothing in the atheistic worldview that has a problem when Christians have their consciences violated by government coercion. This is the atheist thing – using power to force others to tell them that their man-made hedonistic moralities are actually valid and true. They are really comfortable with government forcing religious individuals to violate their consciences. And forcing them to do a lot more, too. This is just the beginning. When you believe that morality is make-believe that varies by time or place, instead of something objective built into the universe by its Creator and Designer, then anything is possible. Anything is possible. Far from being an unexpected diversion from atheism, this is atheism put into practice. Might makes right. Survival of the fittest. There is no place for a “human right” to free speech in an accidental, materialistic universe.

To end this post on a happy note, I’m going to post a picture of Kristen Waggoner, and her bio, just to remind us who the hero of the story was.

Here she is:

Kristen Waggoner, Alliance Defending Freedom

Kristen Waggoner, Alliance Defending Freedom

Her bio:

Kristen K. Waggoner serves as senior vice president of legal services with Alliance Defending Freedom, leading the organization’s legal advocacy efforts. She is a Martindale-Hubbell AV peer-review rated attorney who clerked for Justice Richard B. Sanders of the Washington Supreme Court after law school and served in private practice in Seattle for nearly 20 years. Waggoner is admitted to the state bars in Washington, Florida, and Oregon. She is also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 1st and 9th Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington.

It takes a lot to make one Kristen Waggoner – her parents must be proud of her. She tried her best, and it was good for us that she tried. There’s always the appeal. But even if we win that, the point was made – if you’re a Christian, then you’d better act like an atheist in public. Or else. You have to have their “morality” such as it is forced on you. Or else. We have been intimidated. To think that this happened in a country that was founded by theists, many of them Christians. It makes me sad.

There was a good episode of the Alliance Defending Freedom podcast on this story, which you can download the MP3 file here.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Alliance Defending Freedom will defend Atlanta fire chief fired for his Christian faith

This report is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed today a federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and its Mayor Kasim Reed alleging they terminated his employment because of his belief in traditional marriage.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, states Cochran’s was fired “solely” because:

…[Cochran] holds religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage and homosexual conduct that are contrary to the mayor’s and the city’s views on these subjects, and because he expressed those beliefs in the non-work-related, religious book he self-published.

Cochran had been a firefighter since 1981 and was appointed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he returned to serve as Atlanta’s fire chief.

Cochran is a devout Christian and active in his community as a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and teacher.

On Jan. 6, 2015, after writing and self-publishing a book which briefly mentions homosexuality as one among many sexual sins from a Christian perspective, the city of Atlanta and Mayor Reed suspended Cochran without pay, subjected him to “sensitivity training” and ultimately fired him.

Although a city investigation found that Cochran has not discriminated against anyone throughout his career as fire chief of Atlanta, the city still fired him, citing the need for tolerance of diverse views.

“I respect each individual’s right to have their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions, but when you’re a city employee and those thoughts, beliefs and opinions are different from the city’s, you have to check them at the door,” said City Councilman Alex Wan, a leader in the campaign to oust Cochran, to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in November.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith, is defending Cochran in his lawsuit against the city and mayor of Atlanta.

Please watch the 5-minute video above. The city councilman Alex Wan is openly gay, by the way.

If you want to help out with Cochran’s legal defense (and this is a case we really, really need to win) then you can go to the Alliance Defending Freedom page here and read more about the case, and donate, if you feel that this is a team you want to partner with. Even if you don’t donate, share the story in social media, because a lot of people need to understand what happens when gay rights activism conflicts with religious liberty. It goes to court, and that’s when Alliance Defending Freedom makes their stand.

Listen. If you are looking to steer your kids into a career that will make a difference, consider trying for an Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer. These guys go to bat for all of us, and if you work your parenting well, you might be able to make a child grow up who will make a difference.

And subscribe to the Alliance Defending Freedom podcast.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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