A betrayal over the holidays…

I hate to belabor the point, but I feel like this could have easily been missed around the bustle of the holidays.  

As 2022 was wrapping up, Indiana U.S. Senator Todd Young voted to enshrine same-sex marriage into federal law AND voted for the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill. He was the only member of Indiana’s Congressional Delegation to do so.

On a personal level I like Todd. He’s not a bad person. However, when elected officials of either party betray the public trust it is our duty at IFI to make you aware of it. Unfortunately, this is one of those times.  

First, the Disrespect for Marriage Act, where Senator Young abandoned the people of Indiana and voted with the woke left to completely undermine the definition of marriage. Only 12 Republicans supported that bill, and one was Todd Young. Democrats and same-sex marriage supporters desperately needed his vote to get this bill passed and he gave it to them. This article fact-checks the bogus claims made by defenders of this legislation, and we encourage you to take a look at it.

Now, Senator Young has also supported a $1.7 Trillion omnibus bill that completely defanged the incoming Republican House Majority by removing their control of government funding for the next year.

Make no mistake, this bill was written by liberal Democrats to support their woke ideology, with earmarks all throughout it to fund programs that are not at all in alignment with Indiana’s values.

Senator Young knew all of this, and crossed the aisle to vote with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer to force through this massive spending bill. With his support, it passed.

I do not enjoy writing this email. We worked diligently in 2022 to get Sen. Young the information he needed to do the right thing and oppose the Disrespecting Marriage Act. He was informed. He should have done the right thing. He did not. That saddens me.

With your help and support, the Indiana Family Institute will continue to fight to make our elected officials accountable to the people, while training the next generation of leaders.

Ryan McCann

Executive Director

Indiana Family Institute



Tell Your Representatives to Protect Children!

One of my goals for IFI has always been to grow our capabilities so that we are strategically helping Hoosier families who are under attack because of their faith. That growth you have provided through your investment in IFI shows it’s value more and more every day. 

We met the Cox family a couple of years ago through the IFI 5 Freedoms Project. They were needing help because the government was attempting to remove their son from their home merely because they wouldn’t affirm him as a female. Over the last 2 years, the Director of the Five Freedoms Project, our own Josh Hershberger, has spent an immense amount of time representing the Cox family and trying to reunite them with their son.

Josh is willing to take this fight all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court, and recently it has become clear that this step will be necessary. You can learn more about the Cox family and their story here:

The legal work done to defend parental rights in court has also informed preparation for our legislative work at the Statehouse. We are tracking a number of bills this legislative session, but two stand out above the rest. These bills would protect parents and children within a culture that seemingly has lost its mind.

It is clearer and clearer with each passing year that Parental Rights are under attack, from a culture that is actively devaluing the connections and security provided by strong families. Thankfully, there are two bills that I would like to introduce to you today that aim to shore up the weak spots in the law, and protect the parents and children of Indiana.

Firstly, we need to talk about the Help, Not Harm Bill (HB 1220 and SB 480). This bill has been introduced in the House and the Senate, to give maximum visibility to this critical issue. This bill will protect children from permanent life-altering medical interventions made before they are old enough to understand what they are agreeing to.

In any medical procedure, an important element is informed consent. To have informed consent, a patient must be fully aware of the risks and side-effects of a given medical intervention. Children cannot understand what they are giving away when they sign away their health body parts, their fertility, and their chance at growing out of gender dysphoria naturally without medical intervention.

The medical industry is supposed to police this internally, with strong penalties for doctors who do not get informed consent from their patients, but they have dropped the ball. The Help, Not Harm Bill forces them to pick it back up.

Just as a child cannot consent to a legal contract, a child cannot consent to the serious long-term harm puberty blocking drugs, opposite-sex hormones and/or surgery to remove health body parts will do to them. It saddens me that we need a law like this to remind activists in the medical community that they must “First, do no harm”, but as this issue has become ideological, they have ignored the best interests of the children involved.

Here in Indiana, we saw that, and are moving to fix it with the Help, Not Harm Bill (HB 1220 and SB 480).

Please, take a moment and reach out to your State Representative and State Senator and let them know you want them to vote “Yes” on the Help, Not Harm Bill. If you click here, we have made it easy.

The second bill I’d like to bring to your attention is HB 1407, mentioned in the video above. HB 1407 strengthens parental rights by stating in clear language that parental rights are fundamental and that refusing to affirm your child as anything other than their biological sex is not a reason for the state to remove your child from your care. We firmly believe that the existing law was intended to provide this protection, but courts and the bureaucracy are interpreting the law in a way that ignores parental rights. HB 1407 will add clear and concise language that cannot be misinterpreted or ignored.

The Cox family has lost so much in this struggle against government overreach, but their sacrifice has highlighted a danger that all parents in Indiana need to be aware of.  HB 1407 is an incredibly important bill to help solve this problem.

Please, take a moment and reach out to your representatives and let them know you want them to vote Yes on HB 1407. If you click here, we have made it easy.

These two bills are key to protecting the rights of parents, and the innocence of children. 

In addition to contacting your legislators we ask that you pray for the Cox family, children who are suffering from Gender Dysphoria, and those children that have already suffered harm to their bodies.



Legislative Session Has Begun

It is the start of another year, and another session of the legislature has begun. Each session, our team here at the Indiana Family Institute has a selection of bills that we focus on, and this year is no exception.
As always, we are a leading voice on public policy, research, and education regarding the health and well-being of all Hoosier families. This session, we will continue to protect the fundamental rights of children and families; while promoting bills that bring Hoosier principles back to the forefront.
The bill I want to bring to your attention today is House Bill 1220, and its counterpart in the Senate, which would protect minors from puberty blocking drugs, cross sex hormones and surgery to remove healthy body parts in an attempt to appear as the opposite sex. We don’t currently have the Senate Bill number, but will likely have that for you by next week. In Indiana, Planned Parenthood, three major hospitals, and family practices offer puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and surgeries to children, adolescents, and adults. Our heart is to protect kids. 
There are severe health complications that come with delaying or halting puberty, taking cross sex hormones, and a lot of complications that accompany the surgeries. Young children are being subjected to irreversible, harmful drugs and exploited by encouraging them to have costly, painful surgeries to change the appearance of their gender. We want to shield children from being deceived into sterilizing themselves for life, possible osteoporosis, and surgically altering their bodies.
Children are not able to consent to getting a tattoo, but the medical industry is willing to amputate healthy body parts that can never be regained, up to and including permanent loss of fertility. No child is able to understand the magnitude of that decision, and Hoosiers understand that. HB 1220 would protect children from predatory medical interventions, and has the support of the Indiana Family Institute.

Recently, “detransitioners”, children who began the process of “transition” and are trying to reverse it and go back to their biological sex, have begun to speak out. Chloe Cole, interviewed below by Dr. Jordan Peterson, has been an incredibly brave voice, sharing what she went through as a 13 year old girl.

Over the last few sessions, we have seen both modest wins and huge victories, and with your help, we will continue to fight for Hoosier values, the family, and our faith.



Kids are being Sterilized in Indiana

“Gender-affirming” care, a nearly unresearched group of medical interventions that can leave the patient maimed for life, is being marketed to Indiana’s children, completely disregarding the opinion of their parents.

Children are being placed on cross-sex hormones and puberty-blocking drugs, drugs used for chemical castration. Often, the infertility is permanent. Girls are being convinced that they need double mastectomies’, and minor boys are being convinced they need to have their genitals removed.

This is happening. This is not a joke, or a hoax. It’s real, and it’s happening here in Indiana at Riley Childrens Hospital and a number of other healthcare facilities around the state.

Christians need to stand up and make their voices heard. In January, when the Indiana General Assembly begins their 2023 legislative session, we will be supporting the Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, which prohibits experimental and dangerous transgender surgeries on children.

More and more in recent months, we’ve heard the chilling stories of de-transitioners from around the country. Often they’re still minors, just beginning to come to grips with the long term effects of choices they made while they were far too young to give consent.

Chloe Cole is one such detransitioner. She started on puberty blockers and testosterone at age 13, underwent a double mastectomy at 15, and transitioned back to female a year later at 16.

The opponents of this bill will have a lot on their side. The hospitals and clinics are getting rich from these dangerous, expensive surgeries; and this money is pouring into lobbying groups to ensure that this barbaric treatment is allowed to continue. Christians know, however, that we must fight to defend children. We cannot allow the medical industrial complex’s fascination with wokeness to cause irreparable damage to children who are unable to give consent.

Here at the Indiana Family Institute, we are educating Hoosiers on the SAFE Act and making sure that once the legislative session starts that people are telling their State Representative and State Senator that this bill matters. To extend our reach, would you consider making a donation to IFI, to help us reach our year-end goal of $100,000? Every dollar we receive will be stewarded well, whether you’re able to give $25, $50, $200 or more.

Together, we can make sure that no other children go through what Chloe is going through right now.



Growing Anti-Christian Discrimination

As we warned in the run-up to the passage of the Disrespecting Marriage Act, the growing tide of anti-Christian bigotry will not stop until our representatives stand up and give a full-throated defense of religious liberty. Our friends at The Family Foundation, our sister organization in Virginia, experienced this last week. They had an event scheduled for weeks at a local restaurant, and at the last minute, less than two hours before the event, the restaurant called to tell them they were no longer welcome. When asked, the restaurant’s owner confirmed that it was because of their beliefs.

We stand with The Family Foundation, and highly recommend that you read their breakdown of what happened last week, here.

Also mentioned in their blog post is the fact that their former database company “discontinued [us] as a client” last year; a situation we are very familiar with, as the Indiana Family Institute was also a client of that database company. We were also forced to change platforms, at significant expense.

This level of deplatforming for mainstream Christian organizations is fairly new. The cases people are familiar with, like Jack Phillips and the Masterpiece Cakeshop, where a Christian baker refused to bake a custom wedding cake for a gay wedding, have a level of nuance that is missing from the case of The Family Foundation and the restaurant. The baker didn’t agree to make the cake, before changing his mind the day of the wedding, leaving his clients in the lurch. The baker didn’t even say that the couple couldn’t buy other items from his store; he simply declined to perform artistic work that celebrated something that goes against his beliefs. If you don’t believe designing a wedding cake is an artistic work, talk to any woman in your life who’s ever been a bride and they will disabuse you of this notion.

As our friends at The Family Foundation said, “we believe individuals in private business should not have to violate their convictions, which for some Christians means not celebrating what God has declared sin (Roman 1:32). However, most, if not all, faiths not only allow for the provision of services, like food, to those with whom they disagree, but they also encourage it.”

Here at the Indiana Family Institute, we don’t believe that people should be forced to do business with us, but we believe that this needs to be an even playing field. If secular business owners are allowed not to do business with us because of our beliefs, Christian business owners should be equally free to abstain from doing business with people who do not share their beliefs, at their own discretion.

This looks unlikely to happen, in part because of U.S. Senator Todd Young, who voted for the Disrespecting Marriage Act last week. Sen. Young turned his back on the voters who had just sent him to Washington and is now openly supporting same-sex marriage.

Though times may be harder for Christians in the days to come, remember Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”