Title IX could be no more; Indiana representatives act

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a law passed by Congress to improve and protect female education opportunities including sports. Now, with the rise of gender ideology, biological males posing as “women” – and the administrators that condone it – are endangering those opportunities. As we’ve seen in cases like that of UPenn swimmer “Lia” (Will) Thomas, men have obvious physiological and biological differences that have allowed them to break records and steal trophies, titles, and scholarships that rightfully belong to hardworking women.

Florida Rep. Greg Steube introduced HR 426 in Congress that seeks to rectify these injustices. Indiana Representatives Banks and Spartz are both co-sponsors. The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2021 is short and simple: entities that receive Title IX funding and allow a biological male to participate in female sports shall therefore be in violation of the law and ineligible to continue receiving funds.

Though the bill was introduced well over a year ago, it has been stuck in the House Committee on Education and Labor, slowly fizzling out. However, Steube along with Rep. Jim Banks have called for a discharge petition which would remove the bill from committee and bring it straight to the House floor for a vote. The discharge petition requires 218 signatures to be enacted, but even if every Republican signed it, they would still need the support of 9 Democrats.

The Family Policy Alliance (FPA) released a statement in support of the bill saying, “While the Biden Administration is aggressively attempting to sideline our girls, America is fighting back. 15 states have passed Save Girls Sports bills, and this discharge petition is an important step to a future national victory. We applaud Chairman Banks and the Republican Study Committee for initiating a full-court press to ensure fair play for women and girls across the nation.”

Indiana passed its own bill to protect women’s sports, HB 1041, but it was unjustifiably vetoed by Governor Holcomb. Hoosier legislators have the opportunity to override the veto and must be diligent to do so. To contact your state representative and urge them to support an override, click here.

We are grateful for Rep. Banks and Rep. Spartz for their courage to take a stand. With your help, we can uphold the protections put in place by Title IX and ensure women are given a fair playing field.

Indiana’s primary election is Tuesday, May 3, and IFI’s advocacy arm, IFA, has a voter guide up and ready to help with questions on candidates who will be on the ballot. We hope that you will take advantage of it and make your voice heard on May 3.



Coach Kennedy gets his day in court

Many of you probably remember Joseph Kennedy, a high school football coach from Washington State that was fired for praying on the 50-yard line following every game. Indiana Family Institute along with twenty-eight family policy organizations filed an amicus brief in favor of the coach. His case went before the US Supreme Court on Monday and preliminary deliberations offer a small glimmer of hope.

The questions before the justices are whether a public school employee’s brief public prayers should be treated as government speech and if not, must the school prohibit such practices on account of the Constitution’s Establishment clause?

Justice Thomas asked whether free exercise and free speech claims were being pursued separately or together to which Clement responded that the case was hybrid in nature as Kennedy’s engagement of private speech was religious.

Justices Thomas and Alito then turned to the school district’s counsel, Richard Brian Katskee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who had argued that Kennedy’s actions were done while he was a government employee, not a private citizen. They asked if a coach who kneeled during the national anthem was engaging in government speech which Katskee said he believed it was.

Katskee also bizarrely suggested that if Coach Kennedy didn’t make himself the “center of attention” and subtly did the sign of the cross on the sidelines, his actions would have been fine. Justice Kavanaugh was quick to retort that defining a legal standard on the basis of one making themselves the “center of attention” was implausible.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett zeroed in on the issue: since Coach’s actions were simply private, devotional exercises, shouldn’t this case hinge on a “straight up” free exercise analysis? This seemed to exasperate Katskee.

On a strictly legal analysis, the arguments seem to favor Coach Kennedy. Please continue to pray that the Lord would grant Coach Kennedy favor in the eyes of the justices and cause them to deliver a fair ruling. Indiana Family Institute is proud to stand alongside him.

Please also pray for a favorable outcome in the Dobbs case and for our work in reaching the hearts and minds of Hoosiers on abortion.



Yes, it’s happening to children

We have seen how far the left is willing to go to promote their progressive ideology and dump it on our children. With their attempts to flood public schools with CRT and LGBT curricula, it’s evident why they are consistently targeting kids. Children are the most impressionable and quick to believe what adults tell them because why would someone meant to protect them introduce them to harmful ideas?

By indoctrinating the next generation, the radical left is trying to stamp out any opposition and raise up a population that will bow down to their rules without question.

People are finally seeing these policies for what they truly are: destructive propaganda techniques meant to deceive the naïve, weaken our nation, and maintain control all in the name of “inclusion” and “progress.”

Our society is reminiscent of Romans 1 and the craze of gender and identity politics is the left’s leading cause. Gender dysphoria is rampant, and children are being deluded into believing that God made a mistake when He created them.

Now, liberals on social media are marketing “miracle cures” to kids who struggle with their identity. They are specifically targeting teens, some as young as thirteen, by normalizing and even promoting gender mutilation surgeries on platforms such as TikTok.

The left, however, is gaslighting concerned parents and adults throughout the nation by claiming that children aren’t getting surgeries, so the concern is overblown.

The problem is: that’s just not true. From Lisa Selin Davis:

“The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care 7 (which are actually recommendations) suggested that “fully irreversible” surgeries not be performed on those under 18, except for “masculinizing surgery,” which could be performed as early as 16. More proof? This study on the effects of such surgeries for kids: the youngest participants are 13.

And today, Suzi Weiss published a piece in Common Sense with the stories of several girls who’d had mastectomies as teens and came to regret them. If that doesn’t sway you, try perusing the more than 42,000 GoFundMe campaigns to raise money for top surgery.”

Indiana had the chance to protect Hoosier children with legislation that prohibited this abusive treatment on children, but it was tragically shot down by those who weren’t courageous enough or willing to stand up for the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of our kids.

And as a reminder, Indiana’s own Riley Children’s Hospital has a “Gender Health Program” which pushes these abusive “treatments” onto children.

Knowledge is power and change can only occur when those in charge are informed. Continue to fight for the welfare of our children and spread truth, no matter the cost.



Fuel the fire

From Covid lockdowns and mandates to increased concern about progressive curricula being taught in public schools, many families have chosen to homeschool their children even after the reopening of public schools.

The pandemic saw what may be the biggest rise in homeschooling ever across the country. After schools were closed in spring 2020 and began virtual learning, some parents were unimpressed with the way their children’s education was handled and began to believe homeschooling was a better alternative. 

During the 2020-2021 school year, the number of homeschooled students increased by 63% as reported by 18 states. According to the Census Bureau, only 3% of students were homeschooled before the pandemic. 

The 2021-2022 school year numbers have dropped slightly (17%), but the percentage still remains much higher than the pre-pandemic level. “Families that may have turned to homeschooling as an alternative to hastily assembled remote learning plans have stuck with it — reasons include health concerns, disagreement with school policies and a desire to keep what has worked for their children,” Carolyn Thompson, writer for the AP reports.

Due to the decreased enrollment in public schools the past two years, their future funding has been affected and debates over how strict homeschooling should be regulated have resumed. There are no federal guidelines, and each state is able to set up their own requirements. Debates have been going on for years on whether to ease or impose new regulations.

With parental rights being trampled and ignored, school choice is becoming increasingly popular. From dissatisfaction with the school district, religious reasons, or concern with the quality of education, to the desire to customize their child’s education to their specific needs, parents want the ability to choose a school that will fit their children best.

Education is not a one-size-fits-all and yet today’s public school system gives parents very few options to tailor their experience. 

Preserving Indiana’s reputation as a great state to homeschool in is paramount. Our children deserve the best, and parents have the right to control what their kids are being taught.

It’s time to return to our foundational roots and teach subjects that truly matter. Grassroot movements have already begun, and we must continue to fuel the fire. The next generation needs to be fought for.



Nationwide #Pray50 event on Sunday!

Remember Coach Kennedy?

He was a high school football coach in Washington who closed each game with private prayer. Where light shines, however, people are drawn to it, so eventually almost half of his team joined him after every game for prayer and motivational words.

You can expect what happened next: he was fired.

But Coach Kennedy wasn’t done fighting.

He appealed his case through the judicial system, and next Monday, April 25, the US Supreme Court will be hearing this monumental case. Indiana Family Institute is proud and honored to stand beside him through our amicus brief in support of religious freedom.

We’ve seen what the power of prayer can do (like bringing the Dobbs case to SCOTUS), so we are asking you to join in prayer with us this Sunday, April 24th in the nationwide #Pray50 event!

Throughout the country, groups are gathering at the 50-yard line to pray for Coach Kennedy and religious freedom in America. You can also participate virtually and share the good news with others using the hashtag #Pray50.

As always, thank you for your commitment to making Indiana a place where God is honored and freedom flourishes for the good of all Hoosier families!