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.”



URGENT! Tell Senator Young to vote No on the Respect for Marriage Act

The so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” threatens the religious liberty of all Hoosiers. Making this all the more frustrating is that although Senator Todd Young was elected by the people of Indiana because of his strong pro-Family messages; he voted with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to give President Biden a major win before the newly elected Republican Majority in the House takes over in January.

There is still time for Senator Young to make this right. Another vote is coming up that requires the support of 60 Senators, and he could still change his mind.

Only 41% of likely voters in Indiana support the RFMA legislation, according to a new poll by the Heritage Foundation. 47% oppose the bill. That 47% is of the whole electorate, among Republicans it’s even higher.

When it is explained that the bill allows religious organizations and faith-based charities to be targeted for malicious lawsuits and attacks by the Biden Administration, opposition rises sharply, to 70% of Republican voters.

The text in the bill that was added to “protect religious liberty” is written in a flowery and completely ineffective way; allowing bureaucrats and litigious activists to ignore it with no penalties.

It’s not too late for Senator Young to make it up to his voters and take a stand against the Respect for Marriage Act; to defend the religious freedom of Hoosiers and Americans in general.

This bill is likely to be voted on tonight. Call Senator Young’s office now and ask him to vote against this bill.

317-226-6700 – Indianapolis

812-542-4820 – New Albany

202-224-5623 – Washington, DC

If you can’t get through on the phone, write him an email here:



Senator Young, you betrayed us

This week, a bill we’ve been warning about for months, the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act”, was put forward in the Senate. This bill threatens religious liberty, and strips the states of the right to set policy regarding marriage. This bill, if passed, will lead to increased persecution of Christians in America.

There weren’t enough Democrats in the Senate to get the bill to the floor. They needed 60 votes, with only 50 Democrats. They needed 10 Republicans to back the bill, or it would fail. They didn’t get 10, they got 12.

12 Republicans crossed the floor to support this bill, redefining marriage, and removing it from its biblical context at the Federal level. If you pay close attention to the Senate, most of the Senators that crossed the aisle were names you’d expect. Republicans from deep blue states, or with a history of a more libertarian streak on social issues.

The name that shocked everyone was Todd Young.

Back in April, Todd Young won the “True Blue” award from the Family Research Council for his steadfast defense of life, and his unwavering support of the family.

He no longer deserves that award. He has failed Indiana.

He ran for re-election on a Pro-Family message, and just days after securing his seat for the next 6 years, he betrayed his constituents. He went back on his established track record, and voted for a bill that endangers the religious freedom of Hoosiers, and in fact, all Americans.

This is a painful betrayal, because unlike many Senators, Senator Young had actually walked the walk. Even in cases where he wasn’t quite as strong as we would have liked, he always defended the idea that the states have the right to set their own policy on issues like this. He caved on an issue that he knows Hoosiers care deeply about.

He walked across the aisle to stand with Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden, and voted to make Hoosiers more vulnerable to punitive lawsuits while undermining the values that he campaigned on.

When we cut through the language of this bill, what it really does is repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and enshrine same-sex marriage in federal statute. This would be bad enough if it was merely a symbolic gesture…attempting to appease the GLBT activist community by lifting up what the Bible calls “sexual immorality” as a moral model for the nation of what marriage should be.

However, as bad as that is, the damage is much more significant. Why are bakers and florists and creative professionals being attacked and held up in court for years? Why are teachers being fired because they won’t participate in promoting GLBT values? Why do schools feel emboldened to teach kindergartners that their parents lied to them about their gender? Why do so many faith based institutions feel constantly under attack because of their loyalty to biblical principles?

The legal foundation for all of these attacks on free speech and religious liberty started with the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) through the US Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision. DOMA protected marriage as the union exclusively between one man and one woman within federal statute. The Obergefell decision not only overturned DOMA, it also mandated same-sex marriage nationwide.

By creating this newly found right to same-sex marriage within the US Constitution, the US Supreme Court set the stage for attacks on all those who hold a Biblical view of human sexuality.

Justice Alito predicted this in 2014 within his dissent:

“It [the Obergefell decision) will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy….I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”

That is exactly what has happened, and more, in the intervening years.

That brings us back to Indiana Senator Todd Young’s vote. Despite the rhetoric you are hearing on this bill, what he actually did (along with 11 Republican colleagues) was to codify the basis for all of these attacks on free speech and religious liberty within federal law. Whenever our liberties are under attack by those who want to shut us down and shut us up, they will use this law as their sword. Obergefell opened the door to persecution, this law will guarantee it. Just like the flowery religious liberty language within the Obergefell decision did nothing to stem the persecution that flowed forth from that decision, persecution is here to stay thanks to Senator Young and this new law. The flowery language voicing protection for religious liberty in this bill will do nothing.

Senator Young has guaranteed that the suffering that people of faith have endured under Obergefell will increase. The Left will be emboldened to attack more people like Baronnelle Stutzman and Jack Phillips simply for attempting to live their lives according to biblical principles.

The final vote on this bill has not yet occurred in the United States Senate. Please encourage Sen. Young to reconsider. If it does pass the Senate a concurrence vote will need to occur in the Nancy Pelosi controlled House.

To let Senator Young know how you feel, click here to send him a message.