Nurse staffing, transgender, political spending questions set for ballot

 / State House News Service / Monday, July 9, 2018

“A referendum on the 2016 statute, Question 3 followed a different process than the other two ballot questions, which are citizens’ initiatives. A yes vote on Question 3 would preserve the law granting people access to the public restrooms corresponding to their gender identity. A no vote would repeal it.

Led by the Massachusetts Family Institute, opponents of the transgender law mobilized two years ago, arguing that the law raises safety and privacy concerns. Supporters of the transgender law contend it has extended civil rights without negative safety consequences.

Yvette Ollada, a spokeswoman for the group Keep Massachusetts Safe, blamed the law for incidents involving men illegally videotaping or photographing women in changing rooms or restrooms. It is a crime to secretly photograph someone’s intimate parts. In two of the three incidents Ollada referenced, the men were arrested but without the transgender access law they likely would not have been able to access the facilities, she claimed.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Massachusetts State Senator Introduces ‘NASTY Women’ Bill Ahead of Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

Timothy Meads / Townhall / Saturday, July 7, 2018

“The bill has outside support as well. ‘We are working furiously in Massachusetts to ensure that whatever happens on the Supreme Court, access to abortion in the commonwealth will not be in jeopardy,’ Rebecca Hart Holder of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts told the Boston Herald.

But, there are plenty of pro-life advocates who see this as a misguided attempt for Democrats and pro-choice Republicans. ‘The federal right to abortion was wrongly rooted in a legal fiction,’ Massachusetts Family Institute president Andrew Beckwith rebuts. ‘Abortion is really fighting a losing battle.’

President Trump will announce his second Supreme Court nominee on Monday July 9th.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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LGBTQ advocate: Rights ‘hang in the balance’ on justice pick

Sean Philip Cotter / Boston Herald / Friday, July 6, 2018

“But Andrew Beckwith of the Massachusetts Family Institute said rulings such as the one that legalized same-sex marriage in 2015 are based on faulty legal reasoning. Beckwith said he hopes a court with another more originalist-leaning justice on it in the mold of previous Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch would rethink that ruling and others like it.

‘We’ve had bad decisions overturned in the past,’ Beckwith said. ‘I look forward to more of that in this next pick.’

Both sides cited cases such as the recent one involving a cake-shop owner’s decision not to make a cake for a gay wedding.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Bay State pols look to protect abortion access

Sean Philip Cotter / Boston Herald / Friday, July 6, 2018

“Massachusetts Republicans are advocating for a constitutionalist justice — which they say will result in more anti-abortion rulings.

‘The federal right to abortion was wrongly rooted in a legal fiction,’ said Massachusetts Family Institute president Andrew Beckwith. ‘Abortion is really fighting a losing battle.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Bill adding third gender choice for licenses, IDs nears passage

Brian Dowling / Boston Herald / Friday, June 29, 2018

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute said, ‘Driver’s licenses and other forms of ID are legal documents intended to reflect objective facts, like height, date of birth, current address and sex. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would rather not have their true height or age listed on their license, but that’s irrelevant.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Mass. considers a third gender option for IDs: ‘X’

/ Boston Globe / Friday, June 29, 2018

“Critics of the gender ID initiative raised considers whether Massachusetts would remain compliant with new national Real ID standards with the X option. Spilka addressed that during Senate debate on Thursday, saying that the federal law only requires that IDs have a gender marking, but not what that marking must be.

Andrew Beckwith, president of the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute, said he opposes the change because gender is not a ‘verifiable fact’ and added that government IDs are meant to reflect ‘objective facts like height, age, and sex.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Massachusetts Senate OKs bill to allow gender ‘X’ option

/ Associated Press / Thursday, June 28, 2018

Andrew Beckwith of the Massachusetts Family Institute opposed the bill.

‘Drivers’ licenses and other forms of ID are legal documents intended to reflect objective facts, like height, date of birth, current address, and sex. They are not designed to be tools for the fulfillment of someone’s sexual expression,’ Beckwith said. ‘I’m sure there are plenty of people who would rather not have their true height or age listed on their license, but that’s irrelevant.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, Mass. likely to preserve abortion rights

/ Boston Globe / Thursday, June 28, 2018

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, a conservative advocacy group that opposes abortion rights, asserted that the ‘overwhelming majority of Americans favor at least some restrictions on abortion, and we’re hopeful that the Supreme Court will soon reflect that broad consensus.’

He said Massachusetts ‘has the lowest fertility rate in the nation and an average of 20,000 abortions per year. That should be of great concern to everyone who cares about the most vulnerable among us or the future of our Commonwealth as a whole.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Can 1st Amendment defeat faith-based counseling ban?

Chris Woodward / OneNewsNow / Wednedsay, June 27, 2018

“Known by its critics at Massachusetts Family Institute as the ‘counseling ban,’ the state House of Representatives passed House Bill 4014 by an overwhelming vote of 137 to 14.

The bill follows a similar pattern in other states, where homosexual activists label such counseling ‘conversion therapy’ and demonize it as dangerous and unhealthy for children.

Defenders of the professional counseling maintain that children who have been sexually abused, guided by their concerned parents, should have the legal right to seek the professional help they want.

‘This is a disappointment but not a surprise given how powerful the LGBTQ lobby is on Beacon Hill,’ responds Andrew Beckwith, president of Massachusetts Family Institute.

‘The good news,’ he adds, ‘is that the section of the bill that labeled biblical counseling on issues of human sexuality as ‘child abuse’ was dropped at the last minute.’

Despite the lopsided vote in the House, Beckwith credits supporters of Massachusetts Family Institute for sharing their concerns with lawmakers.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Massachusetts House votes to ban conversion therapy

Katie Lannan / State House New Service / Wednedsay, June 27, 2018

“Though Peake said similar laws — 13 states have passed conversion therapy bans for minors — have survived legal challenges on First Amendment grounds, Billerica Republican Rep. Marc Lombardo warned the measure here could end up in court.

Andrew Beckwith, the president and general counsel of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said the bill would likely be deemed unconstitutional after a Supreme Court ruling Tuesday dealing with restrictions on ‘professional speech’ at crisis pregnancy centers.

‘We are currently working with attorneys at Liberty Counsel, as well as Alliance Defending Freedom, who successfully litigated yesterday’s Supreme Court victory on ‘professional speech,’ to explore all options available in defending therapists and the families they serve from this unconstitutional legislation,’ Beckwith said in a statement.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Massachusetts House Passes ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban – With A Twist

NewBostonPost / NewBostonPost / Wednedsay, June 27, 2018

“An opponent of the conversion therapy ban noted the removal of the child-abuse provision but stopped short of declaring victory.

‘We’re glad to see the Massachusetts House no longer thinks counseling is the same as ‘child abuse,’ but H.4664 is still an unconstitutional restriction on free speech for therapists and the families they serve,’ said Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, in a written statement.

The bill now goes to the Massachusetts Senate.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Massachusetts Senate to vote on bill allowing ‘X’ as gender on state IDs

Shira Schoenberg / MassLive / Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“But Andrew Beckwith, president of the socially conservative Massachusetts Family Institute, said identification documents like driver’s licenses ‘are legal documents, intended to reflect objective facts, like height, date of birth, current address and sex. They’re not designed to be tools for the fulfillment of someone’s sexual expression.’

Beckwith said the documents should describe someone’s sex, which he called an ‘anatomical, biological fact,’ rather than their gender identity, which can change. Sex generally refers to someone’s physical reproductive characteristics, while gender refers to a person’s psychological identity.

Beckwith said it should not matter if someone does not want their sex included on identification. ‘I’m sure plenty of people would rather not have their true height or age listed on the license. It’s irrelevant, it should be objective facts,’ Beckwith said.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Massachusetts House approves ‘gay conversion therapy’ ban

Steve Leblanc / Associated Press / Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“Rep. Marc Lombardo said he understands the impulse to protect children and opposes conversion therapy that brings pain and suffering to a child, but said the bill is written in a way that is in violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.

‘The idea that a doctor can’t speak to a 12-year old child about some alternatives maybe to permanent, life-changing surgeries without being in violation of the law and potentially losing their medical license is crazy to me,’ the Billerica Republican said, predicting that the bill will end up in court.

Andrew Beckwith of the Massachusetts Family Institute also opposed the bill.

‘I think everyone would acknowledge that sexual desires and feelings and gender identities exist sort of on a fluid spectrum. That’s what is sort of being taught in most public schools in Massachusetts,’ he said. ‘So why would we want to cut off avenues of therapy … among children who don’t want to act out on certain sexual desires or may want to live consistent with their anatomy?’

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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High Court Ruling on Abortion Counseling Breathes New Life Into Challenging Bans on ‘Conversion Therapy’

Matt McDonald / NewBostonPost / Wednedsay, June 27, 2018

“The Massachusetts House of Representatives is expected to vote on and likely approve a ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ today.

But opponents of the ban in Massachusetts are seizing on a portion of Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion yesterday in a pregnancy-counseling case that challenges the reasoning two lower courts used last year to uphold bans on conversion therapy in other states.

‘The efforts of therapists and their clients in those cases stalled as judges ruled that the ‘professional speech’ between mental health professionals and the families they serve was not protected by the First Amendment to our Constitution. However, yesterday morning the Supreme Court of the United States said that it is,’ said Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, which advocates for Judaeo-Christian moral principles on Beacon Hill, in a written statement. ‘… We applaud that ruling, and we welcome the reassuring and common-sense explanation the Court gave for its decision. … The legislature must not be in the business of putting a gag on our counselors.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Massachusetts House bans ‘conversion therapy’ for gay youth

Shira Schoenberg / MassLive / Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“The conservative Massachusetts Family Institute argued that a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday related to disclosure requirements placed on anti-abortion pregnancy centers in California could threaten the bill. Part of that ruling stated that speech by professionals is protected.

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said the group is asking lawmakers to ‘preserve our freedom to speak the truth.’

Rep. Jim Lyons, R-Andover, introduced an amendment that would have banned any practices that physically hurt a child, but allowed therapy that uses speech alone to try to change someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

‘We do not need to take away people’s First Amendment rights,’ Lyons said. ‘Speech is not unprotected merely because it is uttered by professionals.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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How Fathers, Present and Absent, Shape Our World

Josh Grambow / NewBostonPost / Sunday, June 17, 2018

“Nationwide, children from fatherless homes are more likely to live in poverty, suffer academic underachievement, become incarcerated, experience violence, become pregnant as a teen-ager, and more – but does this hold true in our commonwealth? A 2017 Massachusetts Family Institute report shows that, unfortunately, the stories of our boys are no different. Of all children in Massachusetts living in poverty, 51% have grown up with a never-married mother and 26% with a divorced or separated mother, in contrast to only 5% with a married father and mother. Median household income is consistently lower in Massachusetts cities like Springfield, Boston, and Lynn, where the percentage of children in married-parent households is lowest. Of children who have experienced neighborhood violence, 25% had never-married mothers and 16% divorced or separated mothers, compared to 4% with both married parents. Forty-one percent of all children experiencing violence in their Massachusetts neighborhoods grew up in fatherless families, compared to 4% who grew up with both married parents.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Lawmakers eye anti-discrimination bill

Matt Murphy / State House News Service / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

“The Massachusetts Family Institute, which is behind the effort this November to repeal a state law ensuring transgender people’s right to use public facilities that match their gender identity, filed a brief with the Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

MFI President Andrew Beckwith called the court’s ruling ‘good news for all people of faith.’

‘The Court said today that ‘religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views.’ Disagreement isn’t disdain, and a Biblical worldview isn’t bigotry,’ Beckwith said in a statement. ‘In fact, the discrimination the Court ruled against today was state-based discrimination against a person of faith for his religious beliefs. Although this decision did not ultimately decide whose rights will prevail in contests between the First Amendment and sexually oriented non-discrimination laws, the Court ruled that these disputes have to be adjudicated fairly. In short, people of faith must get their day in court.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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After Supreme Court Ruling, Massachusetts House Takes Second Look At Discrimination Bill

Matt Murphy / State House News Service / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

“The Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI), which is behind the effort this November to repeal a state law ensuring transgender people’s right to use public facilities that match their gender identity, filed a brief with the Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

MFI President Andrew Beckwith called the court’s ruling ‘good news for all people of faith.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Question of Transgender Protections to Hit Massachusetts Ballot

Alison King / NBC Boston / Tuesday, June 5, 2018

MFI’s Andrew Beckwith appears in NBC Boston to discuss the KeepMASafe campaign to repeal the Bathroom Law which threatens the privacy and safety of women and children in Massachusetts.

(CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL VIDEO)

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DeLeo: Unions should be protected barring SCOTUS ruling

State House News Service / NBC Boston / Monday, June 4, 2018

“DeLeo also called on Democrats to rally behind a law passed last year protecting the rights of transgender people to use the public facility of their choosing. A ballot question pushed by the Massachusetts Family Institute to repeal that law will go before voters in November, and DeLeo called on the party Saturday to turn away that repeal effort.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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‘This Isn’t About Cake’: Local Reaction to Supreme Court Ruling

Jonathan Choe / NBC Boston / Monday, June 4, 2018

MFI’s Andrew Beckwith appears in NBC Boston to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Masterpiece Cakeshop.

(CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL VIDEO)

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Supreme Court Sides With Colorado Baker

Meghna Chakrabarti, Chris Citorik, Kassandra Sundt / WBUR / Monday, June 4, 2018

“The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same sex couple’s wedding. The decision has been called narrow, and does not address some of the larger free speech or religious liberty issues that were heard during oral arguments.

Guests

Noah Feldmanprofessor at Harvard Law School. He tweets @noahrfeldman.

Carol Roseexecutive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

David Frenchsenior writer for National Review. He tweets @davidafrench.

Mary Bonautocivil rights project director at GLAD.

Andrew Beckwithpresident of the Massachusetts Family Institute. He tweets @andrewbeckwith.”

(CLICK HERE TO LISTEN)

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Shutting The Back Door:  How One Mother Sees Proposed Ban in Massachusetts on ‘Conversion Therapy’ for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

Matt McDonald / NewBostonPost / Tuesday, May 29, 2018

“In the midst of a recent trend, Massachusetts is not at the forefront but may be reaching for the pinnacle. Eleven other states have banned conversion therapy, including New Hampshire earlier this month. But the Massachusetts bill is unusual, says Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute.

‘Similar legislation has been passed in a number of states, but this is the first time that helping your child feel comfortable in their own body could brand you a child abuser,’ said Beckwith, whose organization advocates for Judaeo-Christian family values on Beacon Hill. ‘This is a bill that would allow the state to take away your daughter and make her someone else’s son.'”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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Addressing a Lack of Sex Education in Mass.

Sue O’Connell / NECN/ Wednesday, May 16, 2018

“There is no requirement to teach sex education in Massachusetts’ police school. Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, and feminist writer/activist Jaclyn Friedman discuss with Sue O’Connell.”

(CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL VIDEO)

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In Massachusetts, no one wants to talk about sex ed

Stephanie Ebbert / The Boston Globe / Tuesday, May 08, 2018

“Still, Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, asserted that the legislation would give too much control to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which would set rules, ensure compliance with the law, and could recommend favored curricula.

‘It’s a very intimate personal topic that touches on families, relationships, faith and it’s in the realm of the rights and responsibilities of parents,’ Beckwith said. ‘Unlike math or geography or foreign languages, it’s a very controversial, sensitive topic. You want to make sure you have parental buy-in and cooperation.’

And while ‘age-appropriate’ and ‘medically accurate’ may sound innocuous, he suggested they may mean different things to different parents.

‘I don’t think we should be imposing one definition of those terms,’ Beckwith said.”

(CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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.”

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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.”

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