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Friends in Ministry….You are Invited to “Emerging Trends” a Critical Conference for Ministries!

in Advocates in Action, Blog 15 Comments
Dear Friend in Ministry,

For many of our ministries, our legal and social world is constantly in flux, and they are having trouble keeping up with everything. We believe we can help!

You’re invited to join us at Azusa Pacific University in Murrieta for this FREE conference to hear from ministry-focused experts about the ever-changing risks of running a ministry and how new, emerging trends will affect ministries of all sizes in 2018 and beyond.

This critical operations conference for church administrators and ministry leaders is a must for those looking for real-world solutions as they work to further the Kingdom.

You’ll hear more about how to handle:

  • Ministry Governance
  • Insurance
  • Sexual Harassment
  • TrumpCare & its Affect on ObamaCare
  • Cyber & Digital Security
  • Managing Emerging Risk
  • Finance and IRS Best Practices
  • Employment Best Practices
  • Counseling Liability
  • Navigating Cultural Change
  • and more!

Mark your calendar for Thursday, May 31, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and meet us at Azusa Pacific University in Murrieta for this exclusive-to-ministry event.  Lunch is included.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Desaré Ferraro at dferraro@tylerbursch.com or call (951) 600-2733.

In His Service,

Robert Tyler
General Counsel

Please feel free to forward to invite a friend in ministry.

California’s LGBT Legislators Want to Take Away Freedom to Seek Therapy

Last week, AB 2943 passed out of California’s State Assembly with an overwhelming Democrat majority vote.

In another attack on the freedom to live our traditional values, this bill would make it illegal for anyone to sell books, videos, counseling and other services that might help a person overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion.

Despite claims to the contrary by its author, California’s LGBT Caucus Chair, Evan Low, this bill’s language is broad and presents a glaring case of viewpoint discrimination because it allows therapy if the patient and therapist want to confirm the same-sex attraction, but if the attraction is not desired the patient will not be able to receive restorative therapy.

Section 1 (c) “This bill intends to make clear that sexual orientation change efforts are an unlawful practice [emphasis added] under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.”

(i) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.  [emphasis added]

(2) “Sexual orientation change efforts” does not include psychotherapies that: (A) provide acceptance, support, and understanding [emphasis added] of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek to change sexual orientation.

Falling under the State’s consumer fraud law, this bill would make it a violation for a pastor to sell books or literature from the church bookstore that address sexual issues from a traditional values perspective, which could quite possibly include the Bible, because it teaches sexual morality and the importance of sexual purity within the confines of marriage between a man and woman.

CLICK to hear Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Pastor, Jack Hibbs, warn of the dangers this bill could present to pastors and churches.  

AB 2943 would legally deny an individual struggling with unwanted feelings — for instance, a heterosexually married man or woman with children or someone whose goal is to reduce their same-sex attractions or behavior — to seek the therapy they desire. It would also be illegal for someone with unwanted gender identity confusion to receive counseling to discover their heterosexual potential.Advocates is already gearing up to fight, should this become law! Our traditional family values are at stake! The freedom to practice our Christian values is at stake! Our churches and pastors could be targeted!

We ask for your support, first with prayer and next, if you are able, with your donations. Please partner with us as we prepare to fight for hurting individuals who deserve the freedom to seek help from whomever they choose!  

If you would like to sign the petition for AB 2943 please go to this page.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you
and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Advocates’ Pro Bono Attorney finds Hope and Redemption in Pro-Life Case

Twenty-nine-year-old Nada Higuera stood in the courtroom last April, her growing belly an accessory to her case briefs and plea binders.

As an attorney with Advocates for Faith & Freedom—a California-based non-profit law firm dedicated to protecting religious liberty—Higuera was once again in Riverside County Superior Court Justice Gloria Trask’s courtroom to challenge the Reproductive FACT Act, or AB-775 (see “Free Speech vs. Forced Speech,” page 12). The statute, hailed by NARAL
Pro-Choice America as “historic,” and “set[ting] a precedent for the nation,” forces pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) statewide to advertise taxpayer-funded abortion and birth-control programs in their waiting rooms, signage and communications.

Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2015, the FACT Act was immediately decried by the pro-life community. Every Golden State PRC would have no choice if AB-775 became law but to tell clients not only that free or low-cost abortions might be available, but exactly where and how to obtain them. In other words: They would be forced to violate their own missions and moral convictions while providing free advertising for the opposition.

Higuera took the case because it was, in her words, Read More

Your Prayers Were Heard…All the Way to the U.S. Supreme Court!

There’s so much good to report!

At Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court hearing about free speech, life, and religious liberty, the question was whether a law passed in California could force pro-life clinics and crisis pregnancy centers to advertise for the state’s free abortion program… in up to 13 languages, no less!

Although a lawsuit to stop the statute was struck down by the Ninth Circuit, you may recall back in October 2017, Tyler & Bursch’s pro bono attorneys, with funding from Advocates for Faith & Freedom, prevailed against this law on Free Speech grounds in Riverside County Superior Court in Scharpen Foundation v. Kamala Harris.

Still, California’s Attorney General persisted on defending this discriminatory law all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where non-profit legal defense law firms from across the country took the lead.  Advocates for Faith & Freedom’s research and amicus brief played a significant role in its opposition and was mentioned by three Justices at Tuesday’s hearing.

According to the Daily Signal, Justice Anthony Kennedy asked whether an unlicensed center ran a billboard that read “Choose Life,” would it have to include the disclosure in the same font and in multiple languages? Wouldn’t that be an undue burden?”

A Courthouse News Service article quoted both Justice Alito and Justice Gorsuch.  “If you have a law that’s neutral on its face, but… when you apply all the exemptions, what you’re left with is a very strange pattern, and, gee, it turns out that just about the only clinics that are covered by this [law] are pro-life clinics,” Alito said. “Do you think it’s possible to infer intentional discrimination in that situation?”

While Justice Neil Gorsuch commented that the California law required pregnancy centers to “do the state’s job” at a significant cost to what Advocates for Faith & Freedom’sresearch set out to prove, are mostly nonprofit, pro-life facilities. “Well, but if you’re trying to educate a class of persons about their rights, it’s pretty unusual to force a private speaker to do that for you under the First Amendment,” Gorsuch said.

Commenting right after leaving the Supreme Court hearing with our client, Scott Scharpen, Tyler & Bursch attorney, Robert Tyler was optimistic, saying, “Based on the arguments, it certainly appears that victory is awaiting!”

Unlike Planned Parenthood, non-profit crisis pregnancy centers exist to support women who face difficult or unplanned pregnancies and receive no money or support from the government.  It was apparent the Justices recognized the state’s majority pro-abortion lawmakers targeted these groups.

It was only through your prayers and financial support that Advocates was able to contribute the research and provide the pro bono legal services that we feel certain made a big difference in this case!

Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw His
unfailing love from me. ~ Psalm 66:20 
(NLT)

Will You Buy a Box of Girl Scout Cookies?

in Advocates in Action, Blog 5 Comments

 In our neighborhoods, young Girl Scouts and their mothers are setting up cookie sales tables outside local grocery and retail stores.  Teenage members of a church girls’ youth group offer these traditional family-favorites for sale from a colorful Girl Scout cookie booth in the church courtyard after Sunday service.

But, several years ago, an uncomfortable rumor began circulating over social media that a portion of Girl Scout cookie sale proceeds was donated to Planned Parenthood. Girl Scouts of America denies this rumor and says that no proceeds from cookie sales have ever been donated to Planned Parenthood.

Their official statement is, “Girl Scouts does not take a position on abortion or birth control. We believe these are matters that are best discussed within the family.” We’re good with that statement.

It was also rumored that Girl Scouts of America promotes and supports organizations with less than Christian social values, so raising money for them goes against our principles. Although local Girl Scout troops will tell you that one hundred percent of the net revenue raised through their cookie sales stays with them. The individual troops set goals on how to spend their proceeds.

Read More

The Winds May Be Shifting

in Blog 13 Comments

 The complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing from a lesbian couple sought an order to force a Christian baker in Bakersfield to provide a cake for their same-sex wedding.

The odds were not good for the baker. A similar suit filed in Oregon on the basis of discrimination was won Read More