Critics: Sex ed plan goes too far

Kathleen McKiernan / Boston Herald / Saturday, April 21, 2018

“The Massachusetts Family Institute is slamming a proposed sex health education bill for schools that emphasizes both abstinence and contraceptives, healthy relationships and consent, arguing that it is ‘widely inappropriate’ and takes control away from parents.

The Healthy Youth Act, backed by the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, would require any school teaching sex education to use a “medically accurate, age-appropriate” curriculum that encompasses healthy relationships, consent and includes information for students who identify with the LGBTQ community…

But the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute says it is forced ‘sexual education’ and ‘widely inappropriate.’

‘Right now, local schools have the ability to choose what curriculum they’d like to use,’ said Andrew Beckwith, president of the Family Institute. ‘My organization is trying to help parents maintain that control. It would give control to the state education department.’

Beckwith said he is worried the curriculum would be too similar to Planned Parenthood’s Get Real curriculum for middle schoolers, which he says refers to ‘oral’ and ‘anal’ acts that he deems too inappropriate for seventh- and eighth-graders.

‘It is something I feel most parents would not feel is appropriate to expose 12- and 13-year-olds to,’ Beckwith said.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Assisted suicide bill may see life again

Chris Woodward / OneNewsNow / Friday, April 20, 2018

“Another organization concerned about the bathroom law is the Massachusetts Family Institute. In a press release to supporters, MFI president Andrew Beckwith says their vote could be the difference.

‘Even The Boston Globe admitted that the fight for privacy and safety in Massachusetts will be close at the ballot,’ he says.

Beckwith adds that a repeal of transgender rights would send a message to the states that this is just too much. ‘It’s pushed beyond what common sense will allow,’ he adds.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Mass. is about to be a battleground over transgender rights

/ The Boston Globe / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

“If bluer-than-blue Massachusetts votes to repeal transgender rights, said Andrew Beckwith, one of those pushing for repeal, ‘it will send a real message to the rest of the country that this is just too much. It’s pushed beyond what common sense will allow.’

‘A man can enter a woman’s space at any time, without any proof of any sort of medical or psychological condition, merely based on his internal sense of self if he says he identifies as a woman,’ said Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute.

Opponents of the law take issue with the way ‘gender identity’ is defined — as someone’s sincerely held gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior, even if it differs from their physiology or assigned sex at birth. That definition goes beyond people who have had sex reassignment surgery, said Beckwith. And it’s not necessarily consistent over time; many people now consider gender to be fluid, meaning it could vary at different points in time.

‘How do you police that?’ Beckwith said.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Assisted suicide bill may see life again

Charlie Butts / OneNewsNow / Tuesday, April 3, 2018

“A traditional values organization based in Massachusetts has been gearing up for another battle against the assisted suicide movement, but it appears they will have time for preparation.

Both houses of the General Assembly have placed proposals on hold, meaning they will not receive consideration this year. The assisted suicide bills were “sent to study,” which effectively kills them for the remainder of this legislative session according to the Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI).

Andrew Beckwith, president of MFI, sees it as a loss of momentum for proponents. It’s been six years since they narrowly defeated a ballot provision calling for legalization in 2012. But HB1194/SB1225, the bill proposed this session, aims to resurrect the attempt to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide through the legislature.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Physician-assisted suicide bill dies in Massachusetts

Bradford Richardson / Washington Times / Tuesday, March 27, 2018

“There has been a years-long effort to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Massachusetts. Voters narrowly rejected a death-with-dignity ballot measure in 2012, 51 percent to 49 percent.

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said there is a six-year moratorium on failed ballot measures in Massachusetts. So far, there is no effort to include physician-assisted suicide on this year’s referendum.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Troopers, Trump and Bolton

Steven Robinson / The Howie Car Show / Monday, March 26, 2018

MFI’s Andrew Beckwith discusses an MA bill that would require that male inmates who identify as female be housed with women (or whatever “gender identity” they choose).

Listen at the 20 minute mark:

(CLICK HERE TO LISTEN)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

A naked attempt to repeal religious rights

Chris Woodward / OneNewsNow / Monday, March 26, 2018

“House Bill 767, introduced by Rep. Michael Day, is attempting to strip businesses and corporations, and thus their owners, from First Amendment protection.

‘Some Democratic lawmakers in Massachusetts are taking a stand to stop corporations from using religious objections to discriminate,’ begins a celebratory story about the bill at the website lgbtqnation.com.

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, says Americans don’t lose their religious freedom when they open a family business.

‘Like the Green family in the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case,’ says Beckwith, referring to the 2014 landmark ruling. ‘That court ruling affirmed that all Americans, including business owners, must be free to live and work consistently with their beliefs without fear of punishment by the government.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Trump Swaps Complete Ban For ‘Qualified Ban’ On Transgender Military Service

Martha Bebinger / NPR / Saturday, March 24, 2018

“BEBINGER: In a memo filed yesterday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote about the voluntary limits on personal freedoms that men and women in the military must accept to be sure they are ready for combat. Some conservative Christian groups are pleased to see President Trump restrict service for transgender troops who have had surgery or who continue with hormone treatment. Andrew Beckwith is president of the Massachusetts Family Institute.

ANDREW BECKWITH: We think that’s a good move, restores the focus on military readiness and deployability that we had until roughly 18 months ago under the Obama administration.”

(CLICK HERE TO LISTEN)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Applauding mental illness in liberal Massachusetts

Bob Kellogg / OneNewsNow / Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Andrew Beckwith of the Massachusetts Family Institute says questioning the ‘mental stability’ of Daniels is an unpopular position to take, especially in a liberal state such as Massachusetts.

‘But really, if someone says they don’t know whether they’re male or female,’ says Beckwith, ‘that’s pretty concerning to me as a parent.’

The suicide rate among transgenders – who claim they don’t suffer from mental illness – hovers at a staggering 40 percent, 10 times higher than the general public.

Beckwith, meanwhile, says there is an ongoing trend among schools to embrace and promote transgenderism as normal behavior.

‘And tragically we’re seeing a lot of children, even children growing up in Christian families, having embraced this as normal and good,’ he complains, ‘because we’re getting hammered with it 40 hours a week in the public school system.’

Churches, he adds, don’t know how to respond to this relatively new issue.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Bathroom Bill Repealers Release Hard-Hitting Video

Matt McDonald / NewBostonPost / Monday, March 19, 2018

Andrew Beckwith, legal counsel of the Keep MA Safe ballot question committee, said the video shows the dangers of the gender-identity-in-public-accommodations law.

‘There’s a misconception out there that this law applies only to individuals who have surgically altered their bodies. That’s simply not the case, and the video demonstrates that,’ Beckwith said in a written statement. ‘Any man can currently access a women’s facility, as the definition of ‘gender identity’ is extremely broad and fluid. As the ad also highlights, the law imposes significant fines and penalties on individuals who question anyone’s presence in sensitive areas, regardless of their appearance.’

Beckwith, who is also president of Massachusetts Family Institute, said two girls ages 15 and 17 helped make the video because they ‘recently felt helpless’ after privacy rights started disappearing at their school.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Students, Advocates Push for Overhaul of Sex Ed in Mass

Nick Neville / BU News Service/ Friday, March 2, 2018

“Mr. O’Day stressed that the bill would not be a statewide mandate for sex education, and noted that parents would have the opportunity to remove their children from school-based programs if they deemed it inappropriate. He also said that curricula would be available for any parent to review at home.

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, argued that it is effectively a mandate which goes too far.

‘This just takes control away from their constituents, and gives it to the state Education Department, and they’re pushing stuff that is anything but age-appropriate and medically accurate,’ he said.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Bill Tests LGBT Rights, Religious Liberty

Chris Emma / NECN/ Thursday, March 1, 2018

Andrew Beckwith from the Massachusetts Family Institute and Rep. Mike Day (D) of Stoneham, Massachusetts, join guest host Chris Emma to talk about a new bill before the Massachusetts State Leigislature.”

(CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL VIDEO)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

UMass ‘firmly supports’ First Amendment rights, spokesman says in response to lawsuit over protest policy

Burlington & Beyond / Burlington & Beyond/ Tuesday, February 27, 2018

MFI’s Director of Family Alliances Michael King discusses pro-family issues on “Burlington & Beyond.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

UMass ‘firmly supports’ First Amendment rights, spokesman says in response to lawsuit over protest policy

Nick Neville / Worcester Telegram/ Tuesday, February 27, 2018

“Mr. O’Day stressed that the bill would not be a statewide mandate for sex education, and noted that parents would have the opportunity to remove their children from school-based programs if they deemed it inappropriate. He also said that curricula would be available for any parent to review at home.

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, argued that it is effectively a mandate which goes too far.

‘This just takes control away from their constituents, and gives it to the state Education Department, and they’re pushing stuff that is anything but age-appropriate and medically accurate,’ he said.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Federal Rollback Of Transgender Protections Prompts Concern — But No Change — In Mass.

Max Larkin / WBUR/ Friday, February 23, 2018

“The federal recommendations from President Obama’s tenure were based in part on guidance developed in 2013 in Massachusetts and promulgated by the office of Mitchell Chester, commissioner of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Activist and attorney Andrew Beckwith remembered Chester’s 2013 guidance as ‘outrageous,’ and said he’s pleased its federal equivalent has been rolled back.

Beckwith is the president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, a conservative group that opposes same-sex marriage and works toward “‘strengthening the family and affirming the Judeo-Christian values upon which it is based.’

He recalled confronting the commissioner in 2013 with dozens of like-minded parents concerned about the privacy and safety of students — especially young women who they were appalled would be asked to share dressing rooms with people he described as ‘anatomical males.’

‘At that meeting, Chester said, ‘Look, this is policy guidance — guidelines, not a mandate.’ ‘ Beckwith said he and others took that to mean that in the end, individual districts and educators “had the right to decide how to handle these sensitive issues of gender identity.’

Beckwith hopes that in voiding the Obama-era guidance, Trump’s cabinet has further freed up local decision-makers to make different — and likely more limited — accommodations for transgender students.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

UMass ‘firmly supports’ First Amendment rights, spokesman says in response to lawsuit over protest policy

Stephanie Barry / MassLive/ Thursday, January 11, 2018

“The group’s lawsuit disagrees that the policy is constitutional, arguing the defendants have been “repeatedly warned” that it is problematic, in its view.

Consolini and the local chapter are being represented by attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Massachusetts Family Institute.

The Alliance Defending Freedom bills itself as an advocacy group founded by religious right conservative leaders that champions ‘religious freedom, sanctity of life and marriage and family.’ The group is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Student group sues UMass, claiming free speech violation

Scott Merzbach / Amherst Bulletin/ Thursday, January 11, 2018

“‘UMass-Amherst’s speech policy contains provisions similar to those that courts have repeatedly struck down as unconstitutional at other schools,’ Alliance Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton said in a statement.

Consolini and the chapter, Dalton said, wanted to host and present speeches and to rally in other publicly accessible open areas of campus, but could be subject to sanctions if they did so.

Andrew Beckwith of Massachusetts Family Institute in Woburn is serving as local counsel for the case.

Pooja Bachani, a spokeswoman for Young Americans for Liberty, said in an email that such ‘free speech zones’ are not unusual at public universities, and this has likely affected many UMass students in the nearly three decades it has been in place.

‘It is safe to say that every student to walk through the campus gates since its passage has been adversely affected,’ Bachani said.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Domestic violence and LGBTQ groups offer support, advocacy following killing of Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien in North Adams

Dan Glaun / MassLive/ Tuesday, January 9, 2018

“There are also political battles on the horizon for the state’s transgender rights advocates. Marianne Winters, executive director of Safe Passage, said her organization is concerned about a 2018 ballot question, put forward by the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute, that would repeal the state’s recent transgender rights law.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Student activism group sues UMass Amherst officials over free speech policies

Stephanie Barry / MassLive/ Monday, January 8, 2018

“YAL was formed as a nonprofit to promote libertarian values, according to its website, including freedom of speech and the constitution.

The Amherst plaintiffs are being represented by attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Massachusetts Family Institute, according to court filings.

The Alliance Defending Freedom bills itself as an advocacy group founded by religious right conservative leaders that champions ‘religious freedom, sanctity of life and marriage and family.’ The group is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)