Good news! Our prayers were answered. The Massachusetts House and Senate adjourned their final formal session of the 2017-2018 legislative cycle this morning just before 2 a.m., and ALL of the major bills we’ve been fighting for the past 19 months FAILED. That means the bills I’ve been writing to you about since January of last year will NOT become law, and their supporters will have to start the whole legislative process all over again in January of 2019. To recap, this means the following bills have been defeated:
- Planned Parenthood’s Sex Ed Mandate –
It passed in the Senate but the House refused to bring it up for debate. This may have had something to do with the fact that State Representative Marc Lombardo had publicly promised to read excerpts from Planned Parenthood’s sex ed curriculum for middle schoolers into the record from the House floor if the bill were brought up for a vote. Since we’ve been raising the alarm on this bill (with plenty of embarrassing and offensive specifics) for years, the left knew exactly what they would be facing and refused to risk it.
- Counseling Ban –
This was the bill I was most worried about, as it had already passed in the House, which is the (relatively) more moderate of the two chambers, in late June. This type of legislation was first introduced in the 2013-14 session, but had never been passed in either chamber. After years of MFI warning that this bill contained a provision labeling Biblical counseling as “child abuse,” and a last minute barrage of emails and phone calls from all of YOU, the House eventually passed a version with that provision removed. This alone would have been a partial victory, as it eliminated the most dangerous portion of the bill. However, radical LGBT activists in the Senate demanded that the child abuse provision be put back in, which would have sent the bill back to the House to be voted on again.Since the legislature waited until the last minute on so many other bills, this disagreement between the left and the hard left kept the counseling ban in limbo until late yesterday evening. By the time the “child abuse” senators admitted defeat, it was already after midnight. This lack of action on a terrible bill gave the small minority of pro-family legislators in both the House and the Senate the procedural ability to stop passage of the bill with a single objection. I’m proud to tell you that good women and men were on guard in the small hours of this morning, amidst the chaos of hundreds of bills, making sure that the Counseling Ban was killed. There’s more to this story that I will share once I get all the details, but it is proof once again that even in Massachusetts, the voice of pro-family supporters and the efforts of a handful of faithful legislators can make a huge difference.
- Anti-Religious Liberty Bill –
This bill never saw the light of day in either the House or the Senate. It blatantly targeted people of faith and singled out business owners with crippling personal lawsuits. Last month, it was sent to the House “Trump Working Group” for special consideration, but once again, Rep Lyons stood up for our freedoms. He helped get testimony from MFI’s national legal partner Alliance Defending Freedom presented to the committee, detailing the blatant unconstitutionality of the bill. That was the last we heard of it.
- Assisted Suicide –
This bill was “sent to study” back in the spring and has no chance of coming up for a vote now.
- Gender “X” Driver’s License –
There was a last minute push by the new Senate President to get this bill passed, since it was one of her pet projects, but it too failed to make it across the finish line. This means that our state-issued id cards will NOT be used to create a fictional third (or fourth, or fifth…) sex.
As always, thank you for your prayers and encouragement and for making your voices heard on these important issue. We give thanks to God for these victories and will continue to remain vigilant. As you can imagine, we are tremendously outgunned when it comes to financial resources. I am so grateful to all of you who sacrificially support our mission and elated to be able to report these fruits of your generosity to you. Please consider continuing to invest in family values in the Bay State and we’ll keep gearing up for the fights ahead.
For our families,