Wisconsin Spring Election

Wisconsin Spring Election

We are less than one month away from Wisconsin’s spring election! Tuesday, April 5 is election day.

This is our spring nonpartisan general election. We will be electing mayors, city council members, town and village board members, county executives, county supervisors, school board members, and municipal, circuit and appellate judges.

Early in-person voting starts March 22, and absentee by mail ballots are already available with your local clerk. If at all possible, deliver your absentee ballot (the one you received in the mail) to the clerk’s office in person. Don’t use a drop box or put it in the mail unless absolutely necessary. To find your local clerk and inquire about days and hours of early in-person voting, click here.

Want to know what’s on the ballot? Starting next week, sample ballots should be available, and you can view them here. You can also find information on registering, getting an absentee ballot, where to vote, and more using that link, too.

No level of government impacts our lives more than local government. And we can have more impact on local government than any other level.

There are two things here we don’t want you to miss: 1) how important it is for parents to be actively engaged in their children’s lives and their education, and 2) you — yes, YOU — have a role to play in how elected officials treat you and govern your community.

In a poll on Instagram earlier this week, we asked if viewers wanted changes made in the way their county is governed. 100% of them said “yes.” If you’re one of those people, or you agree with them, we’ve created an event just for you called, Your Backyard: Own It! We firmly believe God has called each of us to play a critical role in our government, whether that’s voting responsibly, speaking up in local government meetings, or running for office. At this event, we will educate you on the unique needs of your local community and how to create positive and lasting change. 

We are living in challenging and quickly changing times, and God has a purpose for each of us to impact our local communities. We hope you can join us for an evening filled with practical ways to “own our backyard.” Click here to find a location near you and RSVP.

With significant issues at stake in Wisconsin right now, who we elect is critical to the preservation of life, liberty, and family. We have a wonderful opportunity to let our voices be heard at this election, and it’s important to make the most of it.

See you at the polls on Tuesday, April 5!

Majority Support Universal School Choice

Majority Support Universal School Choice

A recent poll issued by the Marquette Law School revealed that many Wisconsin voters are in favor of expanding school choice and giving parents the right to decide where to send their children, regardless of family income. Fifty-nine percent supported “allowing all students statewide to use publicly funded vouchers to attend private or religious schools” while 37% opposed it. The number in support rose 18% from August 2020.

The poll also revealed that over half of the participants believed that schools are worse shape now compared to a few years ago, whereas in 2018, only 44% thought this was true. Furthermore, “47% of voters say the standards are lower than they should be,” which has remained consistent since early 2014.

With the introduction of Critical Race Theory (CRT), pro-LGBTQ+ curricula, and a shift from American classic novels and history to sexualized literature and education, many parents are frustrated with the public school system and are seeking alternatives.

Some more compelling evidence: another recent poll from RealClear Opinion Research discovered that an overwhelming 72% of voters nationally support school choice (up 8% from 2020) and that includes Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

“These poll numbers are stunning,” said Tommy Schultz, CEO of the American Federation for Children. “The past two years have exposed to the world what many in the parental choice movement have known for decades: no single educational environment is right for every child. As the battle over educational freedom continues, party affiliation is secondary to ensuring all families are empowered to choose the best educational setting for their children.”

And the battle will continue. WFA has been vocal about Assembly Bill 970 (AB 970) which would expand school choice options in Wisconsin. If passed, income limits for parental choice programs and pupil participation limits would be eliminated and an education expense reimbursement program for students remaining in public school for the 2022-2023 school year would be created.

School choice is a parent’s right and should not be determined by the state. Children are not all the same; what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another and it shouldn’t have to. It’s like trying to put a square block into a circular hole; it just won’t fit. Instead of trying to conform children to one specific mold, we should let parents, who know their children best, decide where to send them to school.

Woke indoctrination is flooding our schools and harming our children. We cannot stand by and continue to let it brainwash them; there must be an alternative. Wisconsin voters have voiced their support for school choice, and now it’s time to turn that support into law.

Last month the State Assembly passed AB 970, and the Senate passed it earlier this week. The bill will shortly be on its way to the governor.

Take action: contact Governor Evers and urge him to support educational choice for all. Send him an online message HERE or call his office at 608-266-1212.

Coach Kennedy Deserves Our Support Because Religious Freedom Matters

Coach Kennedy Prays at the 50 Yard Line

Earlier this week, Wisconsin Family Action filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of Coach Joseph Kennedy, who was fired from  Bremerton School District in Washington State after he prayed briefly at the 50-yard line.

For years, Kennedy would pray very briefly by himself following football games. At one point, students became curious about what he was doing. When asked if they could join, he told them it was a free country, and they could do what they wanted. As time went on, more and more students and even coaches from other teams joined in.

After nearly half the team began to participate in these short prayers, the school told him he could no longer pray publicly. Kennedy initially obeyed the order, but later believed it violated his freedoms of speech and religion. He felt responsible to thank God for the games in that way. So, he continued to pray, and as a result, lost his job. 

Believing his termination to be illegal, Kennedy, represented by our friends at First Liberty, appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but subsequently lost. The U.S. Court of Appeals suggested that Coach Kennedy was a bad example to the students when he prayed. Treating such prayers with contempt conflicts with the religion clauses of our constitution, which protect our religious diversity.

At issue before the Supreme Court is whether Coach Kennedy has speech and religious rights to pray briefly in public, and whether the Establishment Clause trumps those rights.

The Supreme Court’s modern interpretation of the Establishment Clause has been premised on the notion that religious pluralism requires neutrality. But the effect at schools like Bremerton School District has not been neutrality; it is only singling out religious speech—among all other kinds of controversial speech — as the only speech worthy of punishment.

We all suffer when our First Amendment freedoms are violated. Religious speech should not be singled-out for punishment in a free and diverse society. A short prayer following a game, joined in only by those who want to, hardly amounts to an establishment of religion, particularly when the school was clear that the district itself had nothing to do with Kennedy’s activities.

As a nation built on Christian principles, we can and must do better. Our constitution does not require us to abandon our religious traditions. The Establishment Clause does not require schools to fire a coach like Joseph Kennedy just because he said a small prayer after a football game. 

The issue in this case isn’t whether we approve of prayer or whether we would do what Coach Kennedy did if we were in his shoes. At issue here is whether any of us have freedom if Coach Kennedy can be silenced. And if he can be silenced, anyone can.

Wisconsin Family Action is honored to help support Coach Kennedy. Please pray for him and his family for strength and peace as their case goes before the Supreme Court. 

May the Lord grant him favor in the eyes of the Justices and cause them to deliver a fair ruling. And may Coach Kennedy’s godly testimony be used to win souls for Christ.

WFA joins pro-life organizations to demand Gov. Evers explain PP grants

This week, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), represented by Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), joined Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Right to Life in issuing a letter to Governor Evers demanding that he explain the legal basis for the two grants he has given to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

The funds for the grants, totaling $2.4 million for Planned Parenthood alone, have come from a couple of COVID-19 federal relief programs. The state legislature has passed several bills that would have directed at least some of the funds, but the governor has vetoed all of them.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin received $1.4 million from the “COVID-19 Pandemic Response Nonprofit Grant Program” and then received an additional $1 million last month from the “Equitable Recovery Grant Program.” Both programs were concocted by the governor, without legislative approval or permission.

WILL attorneys assert that Governor Evers has no authority to create grant programs, has disregarded appropriate department rulemaking to govern the distribution of the funds, and has violated state law that prohibits federal funds being given as a grant to pregnancy programs that promote, refer for, or perform abortions.

WFA president, Julaine Appling, commented on the governor’s actions:

“The people of Wisconsin deserve a full explanation of the legal authority Governor Evers is using to justify his largesse to Wisconsin’s largest abortion provider. This is the peoples’ tax dollars.  Some might consider what the governor has done as a kind of ‘quid pro quo’ since Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin spent $700,000 to help get the governor elected in 2018.

“This isn’t the first time the governor has acted with questionable authority. Two years ago, he unilaterally extended an emergency declaration that exceeded the 60-day statutory limit. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ultimately stopped that power grab.

“In this instance, the Governor is giving our hard-earned tax dollars to an organization whose number-one funding source is the killing of unborn babies. Through our elected officials in recent years, ‘we the people’ have made it clear we don’t want public funds to support abortion in any way; and state laws have been put in place to stop that in many instances.

“Unless Governor Evers has a solid legal basis for these grant programs and the distribution of these millions to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, he is apparently just fine with taking the law into his own hands. The voters may have something to say about that this fall.”

The letter sent to Governor Evers is available HERE.

Birth rates are falling

For the fifth year in a row, China’s birth rate has dropped significantly. It hit a record low in 2021, of only 7.5 births per every 1,000 people. This rate is barely enough to outnumber deaths. 

National Bureau of Statistics head Ning Jizhe said the decrease in births is a result of “a decrease in the number of women of childbearing age, a continued decline in fertility, changes in attitudes toward childbearing and delays of marriage by young people.”

For years, the Communist government forced women to abort all children after their first under China’s one-child policy. Now, the government is feverishly releasing propaganda and passing laws to encourage families to have more children, realizing that its one-child policy led to a shrinking workforce and economic decline. 

The Chinese government’s view of children is what we must avoid in the United States. 

Having children and expanding families should always be encouraged. It’s healthy for individuals and society as a whole. 

While we don’t have to deal with the same roadblocks in the U.S. that have existed in China, our birth rate has also declined significantly over the last several decades. In 2020, the country saw 56 births per 1,000 women, which is the lowest birth rate ever recorded in the U.S. Since the 1960s, the birth rate has decreased by about half.  

The birth rate in Wisconsin is not any better than that of the rest of the country. Wisconsin has been below replacement birth-rate since 1974. The replacement birth-rate is 2.1 children for each woman of child-bearing age. That number doesn’t grow a population; it just holds it even.

Birth rates are incredibly important, as they reveal a lot about the health of a community. They often reflect a society’s view of marriage and family or a population’s fertility rate. A high birth rate also helps sustain a growing economy and a high standard of living. 

The falling birth rate in America and Wisconsin’s decades-old low birth rate can be attributed to a number of things. First, women are prioritizing things such as education and careers more than ever before, meaning they are getting married later in life. On average, women are having their first child at the age of 27, a stark increase from the average age of 23 in 2010.

Abortion has also undoubtedly affected the birth rate in the U.S. Every year, well over 600,000 children are stripped of the right to life in the U.S. 

Not only does abortion end the lives of pre-born children, it also alters our view of children. Our culture tells us that babies are disposable and without inherent value. As a result, our society simply doesn’t prioritize family life. 

Restoring a healthy birth rate will require a shift in our culture. We need men and women to recognize the value of marriage and of life and the lasting fulfillment that having children provides

We must avoid the situation that China has gotten itself into. While legislation typically follows the culture, some legislation can help with at least one contributor to the falling birth-rate. 

WFA is supporting Senate Bill 923, which would prohibit abortions after a heartbeat can be detected. If this bill were to become law, we would essentially stop the vast majority of abortions in our state. Meanwhile, we await a US Supreme Court decision on Dobbs, the case that many believe will, at a minimum, roll-back Roe v. Wade, and return the issue of abortion to the states (and Wisconsin still has in place its statute that criminalizes most abortions).

All life is sacred and a high birth rate is an indicator of a healthy society. Please pray that men and women in Wisconsin recognize the importance of marrying and having children and will re-prioritize family life.

Take action: contact your legislators and ask them to support SB 923! (Simply put your address in the top search bar to locate your legislators.)

Support Assembly Bill 970 to expand school choice

Support Assembly Bill 970 to expand school choice

The Assembly Committee on Education held a hearing on Assembly Bill 970 Wednesday. The bill would essentially provide universal school choice here in The Badger State. 

WFA has been a vocal proponent of school choice over the years. We were thrilled when Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led state legislature expanded the Parental Choice Program (PCP) to the entire state as the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program. Assembly Bill 970 will further expand educational opportunities for families and promote parental rights. 

I testified to the committee in support of this bill, explaining that several studies demonstrate the efficacy of school choice. 

With the formation of School Choice Wisconsin and Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty, we

have conducted extensive research showing that students enrolled in one of our PCPs (Milwaukee, Racine, Statewide), on average, do very well, often out-performing their peers in public schools.

In WILL’s most recent Apples to Apples Study (covering 2019 test data), Milwaukee’s Parental Choice Program Proficiency rates in math exceeded rates in Milwaukee Public Schools by 3.9% and by 4.6% in English Language Arts on average. The same study revealed that children enrolled in choice programs demonstrated greater proficiency than those in traditional public school by 3.05%. 

Further, scholars in the School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP) applied state-of-the-art matching methods to compare students in the MPCP with students in MPS who were similar in neighborhood, race, and prior achievement. Among the findings from this matching analysis are that students in the MPCP were 4-7 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school. Moreover, students in the MPCP were found to achieve higher scores in reading, though similar scores in math. 

Students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program are also more likely to graduate from college. Dr. Will Flanders posits that expanding the Parental Choice Program  could lead to substantial economic gains for our state. He estimates that Madison could see $100 million in economic benefits, $75 million for Green Bay, $60 million for Appleton and $24 million for La Crosse. 

Other findings from the SCDP, not related to academic achievement, show that students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program have lower incidences of criminal behavior and extensive economic benefits. These programs save taxpayers money and in general provide a better return on their tax investment. 

Right now, our Choice Programs are limited to individuals with certain incomes, in some cases those with certain zip codes, and also by enrollment caps. It’s time to lift all of those limitations, and Assembly Bill 970 does that.

It’s time to give all parents, regardless of income or zip code or number of people in their school district, an opportunity to choose the best school for their child.

Education isn’t just about today; it’s about tomorrow—and expanding the Choice Programs means good things for Wisconsin’s future.

Our state’s Parental Choice Programs have been tried and tested now over many years. Studies continue to show students in these programs are, on average, certainly performing no worse than their public-school counterparts and in many cases, are performing not just better, but significantly better. It’s time to give this opportunity to all parents across our state.

Parents alone are responsible for the education of their children. The more educational options parents have, the better, as they seek what is best for their children. 

Use this link to find your state legislators and urge them to pass this bill and support parents and school choice in Wisconsin!

Gov. Evers gives $1 million to PP

Gov. Tony Evers plans to give Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Inc., another $1 million in COVID relief funding. This is the second time our governor has used COVID relief funds to award Planned Parenthood with a massive sum of taxpayer dollars. Instead of helping families who have been affected by the pandemic, Evers is choosing to support abortionists.

The most recent funding is part of the governor’s “Equitable Recovery Grants,” which allocates $82 million to various parts of the state. He’s chosen to use this money in ways that have nothing to do with COVID but do pander to his liberal supporters. 

Because of this, many Republican policymakers are skeptical of Evers’ motives. “It’s such a brazen political giveaway at this point I don’t know what else there is to say, other than Gov. Evers would rather give $1 million to the state’s largest abortionist as opposed to law enforcement or any number of ways he could be helping kids,” said Senator André Jacque.

Some speculate that this is a campaign strategy, as Planned Parenthood has consistently supported Evers and his Democratic colleagues. Planned Parenthood Advocates spent over $700,000 in 2018 and 2019 to help elect Evers and other Democrats. 

Evers’ loyalty clearly lies with Planned Parenthood, not his constituents. 

The governor has vetoed every pro-life bill that we’ve given him, and has promised to “veto any legislation” that decreases access to abortion. Twice he even dismissed a bill that would require doctors to care for babies born alive after botched abortions. 

Evers has been staunchly pro-abortion since day one, causing serious harm to our state. The good news is that this year is a gubernatorial election year, and we have the power to make a change. Our governor seat will be up for grabs on November 8th, and by exercising our civic duty, we can begin to transform Wisconsin into a state that values all life. 

While we await our opportunity to elect a pro-life governor this fall, we can still vouch for the unborn and work to pass vital pro-life legislation. 

Earlier this month, the Senate held a hearing on Senate Bill 923, a crucial piece of pro-life legislation that would prohibit abortion after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected. 

This bill highlights the humanity of every unborn child and would save thousands of babies every year. 

Contact your state senator and state representative and urge them to support Senate Bill 923. (Put your address in the search space at the top right of the page.)

Wisconsin families and the unborn deserve better. Let’s seize our opportunity this year to change the landscape in Wisconsin through our spring and fall elections. It’s time to elect a governor who is committed to helping families thrive and protecting the most vulnerable. 

Please pray that Wisconsin is transformed culturally and legislatively so that every life is valued and protected. 

Defending God’s Design in our Schools

Schools across the country seem to be hyper-focused on race and sexuality. Most recently, a Rhode Island private school told its students not to send Valentine’s Day cards that showed only white people or perpetuated gender “stereotypes.” 

Parents received guidelines from Moses Brown Lower School stating, “Please coach your child if purchasing commercially produced cards to select something that does not feel ‘gender normative’ (with separate ‘boy cards’ vs. ‘girl cards,’ for instance.) Also, consider talking to your child about avoiding cards that portray only White human characters.”

Parents have understandably expressed their frustration with these guidelines and with the school’s culture as a whole. “Why does my four year old tell me the teacher said that someday she might want to marry another girl?” said one parent. Moses Brown often promotes progressive ideology about transgenderism and sexual identity. The school even hosts a Gender Sexuality Alliance club.

Stories like this one are becoming extremely common around the country, and even in Wisconsin. Children are inundated with harmful lies about race and gender. They are taught to view one another based on these immutable characteristics, rather than as individual children lovingly created by God. Many public schools, and sadly even some private schools, cannot be trusted to educate our children and act in their best interest. 

This is why Wisconsin Family Action is working to pass vital legislation and combat the evil ideas that children are learning in school. 

We are actively working to support the “Help Not Harm Act,” which is essential for children who are suffering from gender dysphoria in Wisconsin. The bill protects children who are confused about their biological sex by protecting them from harmful drugs and mutilation surgeries, which the left affirm are part of “tolerance.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

What these children need is the exact opposite of what their schools are teaching them. They need the truth about God’s design, not affirmation of the lies they believe about themselves. 

Schools here in Wisconsin are not only feeding children harmful lies about their sexuality, but are  even hiding information from parents. 

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) published a policy stating that children are allowed to “transition” to a different gender at school and teachers are prohibited from telling parents. It even indicates that school staff should lie to parents about how their children are presenting in school. 

Similarly, Kettle Moraine School District’s gender identity policy allows children to “change” their gender identity at school without parental consent. Again, employees are prohibited from sharing this important information with parents and even instructed to override parents’ objections. 

Thankfully, our good friends at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and the Alliance Defending Freedom filed lawsuits challenging both of these policies, and they are now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  

Just this week, we testified in support of the newly introduced “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” Assembly Bill 963, a bill that lays out 15 specific parents’ rights when it comes to their children. Several of these rights are specific to education and schools. One says parents have “[t]he right to determine the names and pronouns used for the child while at school.” A number of parents spoke at the hearing as well, supporting the bill and noting that too often their voice and their rights are either ignored or infringed.

Please pray for the success of the “Help Not Harm Act,” the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” and favorable outcomes in these two Supreme Court cases. 

Parental rights and the well-being of our children are under attack. We must be diligent in overseeing our children’s education and demand and be part of necessary change when our schools espouse dangerous ideas. Few things are more important than the education of the next generation, and it’s up to us to hold our school officials accountable. 

Of course, the very best situation for children is to be brought up in the homes of their married biological or adopted fathers and mothers. Marriage is good for kids! So, as we near the end of National Marriage Week, it’s important we promote marriage and family as God designed it, as well asGod’s design for human sexuality and raise our children to believe and know that they were created in His image.

The Wisconsin Heartbeat Bill, SB 923

The Senate yesterday held a hearing on Senate Bill 923, a crucial piece of pro-life legislation that Wisconsin Family Action is excited to support. Read our testimony HERE. (We do have one issue with this bill—an unnecessary exception. See our testimony to read more about that.)

The Wisconsin Heartbeat Bill prohibits abortion after a baby’s heartbeat is detected and ultimately aims to highlight the humanity of every child in the womb. The heartbeat can usually be detected at around six weeks gestation.

This bill is much like the Heartbeat Bill that recently became law in Texas. Our bill contains the same provision as the Texas law that allows ordinary citizens to sue the provider if they have proof that the provider has violated the heartbeat law. 

Wisconsin currently has four free-standing abortion facilities; two in Milwaukee, one in Madison and a new facility in Sheboygan. These providers are subject to an ultrasound law, which requires abortion providers to show patients an ultrasound of their baby before they perform an abortion. We also have a 20-week abortion ban in place.

While these are great starts, it’s vital that we respect and protect life as early as possible, which means at least banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected. It’s abundantly clear that an unborn child with a heartbeat is fully human (and we believe this is true from the moment of conception).

Texas Right to Life estimates that between 10,000 and 13,000 preborn human babies have been saved since the heartbeat law went into effect on September 1, 2021. They estimate the law is saving at least 100 lives every day.

CNBC reported that Texas’ heartbeat bill has effectively stopped most abortions in the state by empowering citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion after a heartbeat is detected for at least $10,000. This is a monumental achievement for the pro-life movement in Texas that we now have the opportunity to accomplish in Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, Texas’ ban has faced many legal challenges. It’s currently the matter of at least one lawsuit. The US Supreme Court ruled in December to allow a federal lawsuit by abortion providers against Texas’ heartbeat bill to proceed. Thankfully, the bill has remained in effect while its constitutionality is being challenged.

If Senate Bill 923 is passed, we expect to face similar legal challenges. However, saving just one life would be worth it; and we know that this bill can save thousands.

We are also hopeful that the Supreme Court will soon overturn Roe v. Wade, which would certainly help mitigate any legal challenges we may face in implementing this life-saving law. And actually, if Roe is overturned, then this bill is unnecessary.

The heartbeat is universally accepted as an indicator of life, yet we don’t apply this principle to the unborn. It’s time to change that.

Please contact your state senator and state representative (put your address in the search area at the top right) and urge them to support Senate Bill 923. Please also pray for the success of this bill and for our state and nation to finally recognize the humanity of the unborn.

WFC Launches Marriage Hall of Fame!

Marriage is a sacred institution designed by God for our well-being. It contributes greatly to the overall health of a man and woman and allows for prosperous, well-ordered societies to thrive.

A major survey of over 120,000 American adults shows that married men are healthier overall and live longer than men who were never married or are divorced. For women, marriage provides security and a safe environment to raise children, who ultimately provide both spouses with life-long fulfillment. Further, married couples also have happier, healthier relationships than cohabiting couples.

Unfortunately, marriage is on the decline in our country. A recent Pew poll shows that only 34% of U.S. adults believe society is better off if “people make marriage and having children a priority,” while 64% believe society is “just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children.” As we know, these beliefs are woefully misguided, and our country is experiencing the consequences of a lack of strong families headed by married dads and moms..

The good news is that we can be part of reversing this trend.

At Wisconsin Family Council (WFC) and Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), we fiercely advocate for and defend God’s plan for marriage in our state. We believe that part of protecting marriage for the next generation is giving them inspiring examples of marriages that honor God and, by His grace, stand the test of time.

WFC is looking to promote and encourage healthy marriages by honoring Wisconsin’s longest married couple! We want to share this couple’s story and celebrate their life-long commitment to marriage and family.

The top-5 longest married couples will be honored by being entered into the 2022 Wisconsin Family Council Marriage Hall of Fame.

The application requires answering just 5 questions and submitting 1-2 photos. CLICK HERE to submit your entry. The deadline for entries is Thursday, February 17.

We look forward to hearing your stories and celebrating our most important institution!

Thank you to our friend Gene Mills of Louisiana Family Forum for inspiring Wisconsin’s version of the Marriage Hall of Fame.

Marriage is Sacred. We Must Defend and Uphold it.

February 7-14 marks National Marriage Week, and it provides us an opportunity to reflect on the irreplaceable value of marriage and family. 

Marriage is a sacred institution gifted to us by God, and it alone makes prosperous, well-ordered societies possible.

Unfortunately, many in our country do not understand the institution’s importance. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that only 34 percent of adults in the U.S. believe our country is better off if “people make marriage and having children a priority,” while 64 percent believe it is “just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children.”

While fewer Americans are getting married, we are also beginning to see the family deteriorate as more couples simply aren’t having children. In 2020, our country’s birth rate fell for the sixth year in a row and hit the lowest rate recorded. Wisconsin has been below replacement birth rate since 1974. (p. 18 of WFC’s Cultural Indicators 2019 Edition)

It’s vitally important that every American understands the value of marriage and family. No act of government can replace its role in society. Families instill children with morals, discipline, values, crucial skills, and civic virtues. They are every society’s foundational institution—by God’s good and grand design. When that foundation is weak, a society is weak. 

The traditional family unit is the bedrock of society, and the well-being of our churches, communities, state, and country is directly related to the strength of our families. Marriage was intended by God to promote human flourishing, and we suffer immensely when we deviate from His plan. 

As Christians, we have the opportunity to show the world why marriage and children are so essential and fulfilling. Our churches and families need to honor and celebrate marriages, cheer when babies are born, model strong and godly marriages, and talk positively about marriage. 

We must also elect representatives who understand the importance of marriage and family and will promote its well-being in all policies. 

Lastly, we must fight back against each societal ill that threatens the family, including rampant individualism, progressive sexual ideology, divorce, the devaluation of children, the attack on parental rights, and much more. Every attack on the family is an attack on our country as a whole. 

We have the power, and the duty, to influence the culture in a positive way and reestablish the primacy of God’s plan for the family—a man and a woman united in a lifelong, monogamous marriage relationship and the biological and/or adopted children God blesses them with.. 

Please pray for our national and Wisconsin leaders to once again cherish and value the institution of marriage and for couples to form strong, Christ-centered families. 

Children need help, not harm.

The “Help Not Harm Act” was formally introduced in the legislature this week, and we believe the bill is essential for children suffering from gender dysphoria in Wisconsin. The bill is authored by Senator André Jacque and Representative Scott Allen. They are joined by two other senators and nine other representatives as co-authors and co-sponsors.

The bill helps children who are confused about their biological sex by protecting them from harmful drugs and surgeries. It prohibits physicians and healthcare providers from facilitating any gender transition procedure to minors and also prohibits these providers from referring a minor to any other healthcare provider for a gender transition procedure.

A small but growing number of children are struggling to embrace their biological sex and believe that they were born in the wrong body. What these children need is real help, not affirmation of the lies they believe about themselves. However, in recent years, politicized medical organizations have pushed for invasive, harmful forms of “treatment” that can include off-label use of puberty blockers, administration of cross-sex hormones above naturally occurring levels, and even surgery.

Research shows the vast majority of these children will eventually come to reconcile with their biological sex. Given this reality, drastic and harmful interventions with lifelong consequences are even more concerning. By offering them life-altering treatments instead of talk therapy or other means of working through their distress, we are harming rather than helping them. There are numerous stories of people who later regret these interventions but are tragically stuck living with the consequences. Why would we encourage harmful interventions with lifelong, negative consequences for children?

These treatments have been proven to cause long-term, irreversible harm to minors. According to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, cross-sex hormone risks for biological females include irreversible infertility, severe liver dysfunction, and coronary artery disease including heart attacks, hypertension and more. The cross-sex hormone risks for biological males include irreversible infertility, blood clots, and coronary artery disease including heart attacks, Type 2 diabetes and more. These treatments violate the first duty of medicine: do not harm. Puberty blockers also come with long-term negative consequences.

We also know that surgeries and drugs do not heal a hurting heart. Research shows people pursuing transition frequently have underlying or co-occurring mental health issues. In fact, “[s] 2014 study found 62.7% of patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria had at least one co-occurring disorder, and 33% were found to have major depressive disorders, which are linked to suicide ideation.” Once again, children suffering with this disorder need help, not harm.

Time and experience have taught us that young people do not have the mental faculties to make such substantial decisions. This “Help Not Harm Act” ensures that children can access real help rather than permanent harm from surgeries and drugs.

Please contact your state representative and state senator and urge them to pass this bill. Contact information for your elected officials is HERE. (Just put your address in the area at the top right.) Too many healthcare providers are acting recklessly, violating God’s design, and prioritizing ideology over the well-being of children. We must fulfill our duty and protect these children.

Election Integrity May Head to WI Supreme Court

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit last June challenging the legality of absentee ballot drop boxes after the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) encouraged the use of absentee ballot drop boxes and told voters that anyone could return their ballot for them. Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren recently determined that absentee ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting are illegal in Wisconsin. He also ruled that the WEC’s guidance in 2020 on absentee ballot drop boxes should have gone through the rules process.

“There are just two legal methods to cast an absentee ballot in Wisconsin: through the mail or in-person at a clerk’s office. And voters must return their own ballots. We are pleased the court made this clear, providing Wisconsin voters with certainty for forthcoming elections,” said WILL Deputy Counsel Luke Berg. 

Unfortunately, earlier this week a state appeals court overruled Judge Bohren and ordered that absentee voter ballot boxes be available for this spring’s primary election on Tuesday, February 15. The three-judge appeals court panel said to change the law at this point would disrupt an election already in process. WILL has not yet indicated whether they will petition the Wisconsin Supreme Court as the next step, but we anticipate that they will.

The Bohren ruling on absentee ballots would help clarify election integrity issues as we head into a year filled with critical elections. Spring nonpartisan elections will occur in April, with the primary on February 15, and fall partisan elections will occur in November, with that primary on Tuesday, August 9. In the fall, our Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, one U.S. Senate seat, all 8 Congressional seats, all 99 of our State Assembly seats, and half of our state Senate seats (odd-numbered districts) are on the ballot. 

Judge Bohren’s ruling is a step in the right direction as we work to combat election fraud and restore public trust in our electoral procedures. It’s unfortunate that the appeals court overruled him. As the last few elections have proven, many Americans have little faith in the integrity of our elections. To make matters worse, Democrats in Washington have been working to remove common-sense election laws. Their efforts pose a threat to our nation as a whole, as our democracy and freedom are dependent on fair and just elections. 

Americans must also be confident that their voice matters in order to appropriately engage in our Republic. This is why the state should do everything in its power to instill confidence within voters that every fraudulently cast vote does not count and that every legally cast vote does

Clearing up the issues of absentee ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting in Wisconsin is extremely important, especially since the current governor has vetoed every election reform bill the Republican-controlled state legislature has put on his desk.

The surest way for liberal progressives to take over is for conservatives to get so discouraged by the possibility of election fraud that they don’t vote. We cannot hand our state or our country over to the left without a fight. Transparent, secure, and reliable elections are a vital part of our representative Republic. In order to safeguard our government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we must demand election integrity and ensure that election laws are clear and just.

National School Choice Week – WI continues to lead

January 23-29 marks National School Choice week, “the world’s largest celebration of opportunity in education,” according to National School Choice Week (NSCW). Hundreds of schools will spend the week celebrating choice in education. Wisconsin is one of the nation’s leaders in school choice – but we need to work to keep it that way.

Defending school choice in our state is vital to both Wisconsin families and the nation at large. Many public schools have become corrupt and untrustworthy as Critical Race Theory infiltrates the classroom, stories emerge of activist teaching, and some schools shut down due to COVID again and again. Further, many teachers do not respect parental rights and even hide information from parents. Many parents are eager to pull their children out of public school and look for alternative options.

NSCW recently conducted a survey showing that parents are unhappy with the schools that their children currently attend. More than half of parents said they had considered or are considering alternative schooling options for their children. Further, 84.7% agreed that parents must be able to send their children to the schools that best meet their needs, including “traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, online public schools, private schools, and homeschooling.”

Happily, in Wisconsin, parents have reasonable options for the education of their children. Within the public school world, parents can choose the school in the district where they live, or they can opt for open enrollment and enroll in a school in a different district, with some exceptions. Still under the public school umbrella are charter schools and virtual charter schools.

Moving from public schools to private schools, Wisconsin offers the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the Racine Parental Choice Program and the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program—all of which are part of what most people call the “voucher school” option. These programs allow income-qualified families to send their children to private schools participating in Choice (voucher) Programs. Parents can apply to be part of a school choice program. Registration begins in February for Wisconsin’s Choice Programs. Of particular note is that at least one school in the Choice Program, Academy of Excellent, now offers a virtual option for parents that qualify for the vouchers.

Wisconsin also has some of the best homeschooling laws in the country. Parents are encouraged to homeschool and are not burdened by overbearing restrictions as they are in some states.

While Wisconsin is leading the nation in educational opportunities, we have more to do. We need universal choice in Wisconsin. Incomes and zip codes should not determine who gets to take advantage of our educational options. Our current governor is no fan of school choice, believing the only good school is a public school. Until we change our governor, we won’t have any expansion in school choice.

This is an issue that should concern more than just parents, but our entire community. Education holds immense power. It shapes our children, thereby molding the future of our country. In many schools across the country, however, the responsibility of educating our children has been put in the wrong hands. Ultimately, it is the parents’ right and duty to educate their children. It’s also a God-given responsibility; we must be vigilant stewards of our children and their education. Wisconsin Family Action will continue to champion school choice to ensure that should one educational option fail a child, his or her parents can responsibly choose another schooling option.

NSCW’s website offers a variety of resources that teachers, parents, and organizations can use to promote and support school choice. SchoolChoiceWi.org is also a fantastic resource for parents in Wisconsin exploring alternative schooling options.

We encourage everyone to use this week as an opportunity to share this important information about school choice in Wisconsin with your family and friends, and let’s resolve to be even better stewards of our children’s and grandchildren’s education.

WI Supreme Court: Gender Identity Policy and Parental Rights

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to hear a case involving parental rights and challenging the gender identity policy in Madison schools. Our good friends at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and our excellent national partner Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of parents challenging the Madison Metropolitan School District’s (MMSD) published policy that basically says parents aren’t to know what their child is doing at school when it comes to gender identity. The policy goes so far as to indicate school personnel should lie to parents if necessary. This is simply outrageous.

The state’s high court will review  the partial injunction the circuit court put on the implementation of the policy and will determine the degree to which the parents can remain anonymous. As you can imagine, anonymity is critical in a case of this nature.

Meanwhile, WILL and ADF also has sued the Kettle Moraine School District (KMSD) for a very similar reason. KMSD’s gender identity policy allows children to “change” their gender identity at school without parental consent. The policy also prohibits district employees from notifying parents of their child’s transition and even instructs staff to override a parent’s objection. In this case, at least one parent called and asked the school to call a daughter by her given feminine name and to use only feminine pronouns. The school refused. Amazing. By the way, this case started with this parent calling us and asking what she could do. We immediately put her in touch with WILL.

In the Madison School District case, a Dane County Circuit Court Judge issued a partial injunction that prohibits the district from requiring staff to hide information from parents or answer untruthfully to their questions. However, the injunction still allows minors to change their gender identity at school without parental consent. Now, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will soon hear this case and determine whether the judge’s injunction goes far enough and to what degree the parents bringing the lawsuit can remain anonymous.

Both MMSD and KMSD (and we are sure many, many other WI school districts) are encouraging educators—who know their students much less than those students’ parents do—

to push children to make a life-altering decision without the input of those who care for them most. The district is even disregarding medical professionals who warn of the long-term effects associated with transitioning at a young age. It’s clear that the district is prioritizing ideology over parental rights and children’s well-being.

“Parents’ rights to direct the upbringing, education, and mental health treatment of their children is one of the most basic constitutional rights every parent holds dear. Yet we are seeing more and more school districts across the country not only ignoring parents’ concerns, but actively working against them,” said director of the ADF Center for Parental Rights Kate Anderson.

She is absolutely right. The Constitution protects parents’ rights, especially with something as serious as a child’s gender identity, and we must demand that schools respect that right.

Parents are not only the primary stakeholders in their children’s education, they must be the primary decision makers for their children. Not only is it their right, but only they know what is best for their children. Schools across the country, however, are intent on sidestepping parents and “raising” children themselves. This means students are being indoctrinated with dangerous progressive ideology and encouraged to act in accordance with it.

We cannot afford to let our school districts get away with these harmful policies and power grabs. The development and well-being of our children is at stake. As we now know, administrators are willing to partake in deception and manipulation to control our children.

What Parents Should Do (and all concerned citizens!)

    1. Have age-appropriate conversations with their children about the boundaries their school educators and administrators should abide by and encourage them to speak up in the face of indoctrination. Be a safe place for their children; encourage them to talk to the parents about what is happening at school.
    2. Engage in the upcoming spring elections. Every school district in the state will have races on the ballot. Sample ballots and other election information should be available in the next week at wi.gov. At a minimum, find out who the conservative candidates are and be sure to vote for them—and encourage others to do the same.
    3. Explore Wisconsin’s multiple educational options for parents. https://dpi.wi.gov/families-students/programs-initiatives/school-choice. Application window opens in February for several of these options.
    4. Please pray that these cases (MMSD & KMSD) are decided justly, and that further legislation is introduced to protect parental rights.

Together, we can save our children. Thank you for partnering with us in this worthy endeavor!

Parents Have Every Right To Be Mad

Parents have faced disgraceful backlash from our own government leaders for doing their duty and standing up for their children. Last year, the NSBA likened parents to “domestic terrorists” after they spoke out against problems like Critical Race Theory (CRT) infiltrating schools. While the NSBA’s letter was alarming by itself, a newly released email reveals that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona actually solicited this letter from the NSBA. Many parents are now doubly disturbed – and rightfully so.

Parents have awakened to the corruption in our education system, and they are fighting back. Progressive activism in the Badger State is being countered by rational parents who are just sticking up for their kids.

Kylee Zempel, writing for The Federalist, reported earlier this week on a recent town hall meeting in Wisconsin attended by many upset parents. Topics discussed included Critical Race Theory (CRT), leftist teaching, school closures, and mask mandates. The meeting was organized by Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who is running against Democrat Gov. Tony Evers this fall. Kleefisch told those in attendance that they must become activists and combat the liberal insanity that is controlling our schools and influencing our children.

Many parents have painfully watched their children suffer while their schools refused to do in-person instruction for long periods of time. Students had a horrible year academically in 2020-21. Many struggled with virtual learning and fell behind. They also suffered socially and emotionally. Even after schools reopened, many healthy students were required to stay home and quarantine for up to ten days after being exposed, often without any at-home instruction. These lockdowns and quarantines ultimately did more harm than good, and now parents are fed up.

After watching their children’s GPA plummet during the lockdowns, some parents have decided to remove their children from the public school system entirely. Couple this with parents being upset by finding inappropriate materials in both physical and digital school libraries, boys being allowed in the girls’ bathrooms, and ideas such as CRT being taught, and you have parents looking for alternatives and making decisions to make a difference in their own school districts.

Here are three things you can do to make a difference in all this.

1. Get involved in the elections. Our spring nonpartisan elections are right around the corner. The primary is February 15 and the general April 5. This is when we elect school board members. Find out who the conservative candidates are in your district. Help them get elected. Call and find out what they need, and then step up and get busy. Encourage others to join you. Build an effective local army!

By Tuesday, January 25, you can find out who is on your ballot HERE. But don’t wait that long. Check with your municipal clerk right away. Check with friends and neighbors who stay up on local politics. Because these elections are typically low-voter-turnout elections, even just a little help can put a candidate over the finish line. Be part of the solution in your own backyard!

2. Consider educational options. The window for applying for and registering for one of our state’s educational options opens in February. If you have children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews in schools that are failing in any way, consider the options carefully, including vouchers, home-schooling and more. . You can find information about all the options, along with application materials and deadlines, HERE.

3. Pray for wisdom. Ask God what He wants you to do to make a difference. Pray for the good candidates running. Pray for the protection of students.

Parents and concerned citizens have a right to be angry about what has happened and is continuing to happen to our children in government schools. But that anger needs to be channeled and needs to be productive. Now is the time to make a real and a positive difference—for the children.

Wisconsin Family Action stands ready to help in any way we can. Call us at 888-378-7395 or email us at info@wifamilyaction.org.

One of the Ways WFA is Defending Religious Freedom

National Religious Freedom Day is this Sunday, January 16th. This day was established to celebrate our ability to freely exercise our religious liberty since our country’s inception. Unfortunately, this freedom is now under attack in America, even from our own government. Between tyrannical vaccine mandates and other discriminatory practices, our rights have been severely compromised. We are hopeful, however, that the US Supreme Court will make sound decisions in a couple of critical religious freedom cases.   

Ironically, just two days after National Religious Freedom Day, on January 18, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Shurtleff v. Boston. The question at hand is whether the City of Boston violated a Christian organization’s right to free speech by disallowing Camp Constitution to temporarily raise its flag on the City Hall flagpoles. The City had previously allowed private organizations to raise 284 flags. The Commissioner of Boston’s Property Management Department claimed that the City’s policy was to avoid flying religious flags in adherence to the First Amendment’s prohibition of government-established religion. Religious freedom, however, was never meant to be interpreted as shielding the public from any mention of religion.

Generally, the government is supposed to be viewpoint neutral, which means if the flag represents the speech of Camp Constitution, then the Camp and religious freedom should prevail. If the court determines that the flags on the flagpole represent the City of Boston’s speech, then the outcome may be different. We are hopeful the Court will recognize and uphold Camp Constitution’s right to free speech. 

Wisconsin Family Action is actively fighting for religious liberty. Just last week, we signed onto an amicus brief filed to the US Supreme Court with regard to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) nationwide vaccine mandate. The brief states that unelected administrative agencies such as OSHA tend to neglect religious freedom by viewing it as “an afterthought, an inconvenience that stands in the way of their desired policy.” Religious liberty is foundational to our nation – not an afterthought.

Further, the brief notes that OSHA bypassed the traditional lawmaking process through state legislatures. Unaccountable government agencies circumvent legislatures too often, as OSHA has done here. Ultimately, OSHA’s mandate causes “indirect coercion [that] contradicts fundamental religious autonomy principles.” The Court heard oral arguments for this case this past Friday, January 7th, and we are now awaiting their decision. 

Religious freedom must be non-negotiable. This right is a bedrock of our country and a necessity for human flourishing. On Religious Freedom Sunday, let’s pray for the preservation of this essential right in the United States. Putting our prayer and faith to action, we must also continue doing everything we can in the culture and in every level of government to stand up, show up, and speak up for our “First Freedom.”

SB 250: Concerns, Why WFA Opposes

Senate Bill 250 is making some headlines in Wisconsin with some very enthusiastic supporters, but a significant level of caution is warranted for this piece of legislation. 

SB 250 (and its Assembly companion AB 244) seeks to radically alter the election process for members of Congress and U.S. Senators in Wisconsin. It would ultimately make it more difficult for conservative candidates to win elections in our state. Additionally, it would shift the focus during elections from issues to money and name recognition, which often results in less qualified candidates taking office. A public hearing for the bill was held just before Christmas, but the Senate Committee on Elections has not yet voted on the bill. The Assembly hasn’t taken any action to date on the proposal.

This bill removes the partisan primaries for Congress and the U.S. Senate and replaces them with an open primary. Currently in Wisconsin, we have partisan primaries, meaning each party gets a chance to select one candidate for the general election. In this new proposed system, however, every candidate running for office would be in the same pool, and the top five vote earners would move on to the general election. That means that multiple Republicans and Democrats could, and certainly would, land on the final ballot in November.

The bill also implements something called “Final Five voting” in the general election. On election day, under this bill, voters would be asked to rank their choices for Congress and U.S. Senate from their first choice to their fifth (but ranking all five is not required). After the votes are counted, if no candidate has over 50% of the vote, whoever has the fewest votes would be removed. Votes that had gone to the eliminated candidate would then go to a given voter’s second choice candidate. If there is still no candidate with more than 50% of the vote, the process is repeated until there is.

The Final Five voting system isn’t necessarily complicated, but it can be confusing because it’s so different from the way we have always conducted elections in Wisconsin. To make matters worse, if passed, this bill would apply to this year’s elections. It’s a tall order to get the whole state on the same page that quickly. In addition, the cost of restructuring the voting system is also of major concern. Maine uses a similar system for a few elected offices, and their taxpayers have to pay nearly another half a million dollars per election to make this system work. Wisconsin has four times the population of Maine; so it stands to reason that our cost would be much higher than Maine’s.

Additionally, this type of election system is ripe for manipulation and election tampering. 

Because of the complexity of this system, it would likely take weeks to determine who actually won the election. Beyond that, we’ve already seen how hard it is to keep the ballot safe, secure and properly counted for one night. Imagine the antics that dishonest vote counters could pull if we allow the counting to extend over a period of weeks. 

Right now is a terrible time to further erode our faith in our electoral system. Wisconsin Family Action firmly opposes Senate Bill 250/Assembly Bill 244. 

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION FILES LAWSUIT TO PROTECT FREE SPEECH RIGHTS AND DONOR PRIVACY

Federal Election Commission uses donor exposure tactics to silence nonprofits

MADISON, WI – Yesterday, through attorneys with the Institute for Free Speech and Michael D. Dean, LLC, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) filed a federal lawsuit aimed at stopping a massive expansion of the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) donor disclosure mandates for nonprofit groups that advocate for the election or defeat of federal candidates.

WFA filed the lawsuit to protect its right to speak independently to the public about various federal candidates in future elections. In recent years, the FEC has suggested that federal law required a nonprofit who advocates for the election or defeat of a federal candidate and spends $250 or more to communicate their message, to publicly disclose the name and addresses of every person who gives the nonprofit as little as $200 in a calendar year.

“Wisconsin citizens who support our work should never have to worry that their personal information will be shared with the FEC, and thus be made publicly available. We know from personal experience that those who oppose our mission and our values are not above harassment and threats. This lawsuit is a preemptive measure to ensure our freedom of speech is protected and that our friends who financially support this organization are not subjected to disclosure or any acts of retaliation,” commented Julaine Appling, president of WFA.

“If the FEC’s interpretation of the law is correct, it’s unconstitutional. Americans have a right to support nonprofits without being reported to the Federal Election Commission or having their personal information plastered all over the internet. The First Amendment doesn’t allow the government to make such sweeping demands for sensitive information about our support for nonprofit causes,” said Don Daugherty, Senior Attorney at the Institute for Free Speech.

The case is Wisconsin Family Action v. Federal Election Commission in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Green Bay Division. The complaint is available HERE. The press release for Institute for Free Speech is available HERE.

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 Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious freedom in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

Governor Evers Approves Online Sports Betting at Expense of Wisconsin Citizens, Particularly Teens

MADISON, WI – Earlier this week, Governor Evers celebrated the launch of the first-ever online gambling/sports betting operation in Wisconsin at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay. Governor Evers amended the Oneida compact to allow online sports gambling in the Oneida Casinos earlier this year. Per Wisconsin law, the governor has unilateral ability to amend the gambling compacts with the Native American tribes.

Studies in the U.K., where sports betting has been legal for some time, have shown an explosive increase in teen gambling addiction. One study found more than 50% of 16-year olds had sports gambling apps on their phones before such betting was even legal there. “We know gambling operators target ads to the mostly likely segments of our population to wager; that audience is young males in their teens through early 30s,” said Julaine Appling, President of Wisconsin Family Action. “This is a vulnerable group whose cognitive ability to associate behavior with consequence is not fully developed which is exactly why they are so heavily targeted.”

The state of Michigan has set records in online gambling and sports wagering revenue just 10 months after going live. In that same time frame, the gambling addiction hotline saw a 33% increase in calls (over 2,000 more calls) in just one year. Analysts and recovery advocates have raised concerns about the lack of education and awareness campaigns directed at gambling addiction similar to ones that focus on drug and alcohol addictions.

It is expected that the remaining 10 tribes will line up to amend their compacts to allow for online sports betting, creating the largest expansion of gambling in Wisconsin history.

“Gambling is a zero sum game. It creates no new wealth, and little to no economic multipliers in the local economy. It’s a short-sighted revenue stream for government as eventually people play to extinction. The biggest winners will be the casinos and the government, all at the expense of Wisconsin citizens,” said Lorri Pickens, Executive Director of Citizens Against Expanded Gambling.

Wisconsin deserves better from its leaders. Governor Evers should always put Wisconsin citizens first.

Copy available online here.

Why Our Daughters Should *not* be Drafted

Why Our Daughters Should *not* be Drafted

BY SISI ROOSE

On July 21 the Senate Armed Services Committee approved legislation that we consider unacceptable because it would amend the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA) to require young women to register with Selective Service for a possible future draft.

We believe this legislation is not only unacceptable but also unnecessary for three reasons. First of all, there are enough male citizens in the United States to more than double the U.S. Armed Forces. Secondly, data overwhelmingly shows that the most effective units are male units, not coed units. And third, subjecting women to the same draft as men does not promote equality.

Before we go further you should know that two of my close female friends serve in the military. I am beyond proud of them and grateful for their service. I realize that they willingly and regularly put themselves through things that I never want to experience so that they are effectively equipped to protect my freedom. This is their voluntary choice.

In my opinion, they are nothing short of inspiring.

That being said, there is a significant difference between appreciating the service of my female friends who voluntarily joined the military and requiring women to join the military. With the rest of this post I hope to clarify why our nation is better served by rejecting this amendment requiring women to register for the draft.

 

America Has Enough Able-Bodied Men to Fill a Draft

 

According to the Family Research Council America has enough able-bodied men to double the size of our Armed Forces by requiring only 2.5% of the male population to serve.

“If our armed services needed to be more than doubled to five million (and we maintained the current 16.5 percent of service members who are female), that would only require roughly 2.5 percent of the male population to serve. Since approximately 1.1 percent of the male population is currently serving, this means that only an additional 1.4 percent would be needed.”

One of the most significant reasons that women should not be required to enlist ahead of able-bodied men is that it slows down the drafting process when we need able-bodies the most.

According to a letter called Special Message To The 117th Congress: Don’t Draft Our Daughters that Wisconsin Family Action president, Julaine Appling, signed, the U.S. Supreme Court, “has recognized, the purpose of a draft is not to fill various noncombat billets, it is to quickly provide qualified replacements for combat casualties.”

In other words, a draft is initiated to quickly put capable bodies on the battlefield. Data shows that requiring women to register for the draft would actually slow down the drafting process; therefore, coming in direct conflict with the purpose of a draft.

A study conducted by Naval Health Research found that most men can pass the combat arms standards while most women can’t. In this same letter Carrie Lukas and Jennifer C. Braceras pointed out that this natural difference between men and women would severely and detrimentally slow the drafting process.

“‘Gender-neutral’ call-ups of both men and women would jam the induction pipeline and slow mobilization at the worst possible time – when our soldiers are fighting and dying on the battlefield.”

In the end, drafting women is unnecessary. The United States has enough able-bodied male citizens to more than double our armed forces while only calling on 2.5% of the male population. Furthermore, drafting women would be a time-consuming detriment to our national security and those already on the front lines.

 

Male Units are the Most Effective Units

 

In Women Should Not Be Drafted into Selective Service Family Research Council reported on a study performed by the U.S. Marine Corps from April 2012 through August 2015 to test the hypothesis that men and women could perform equally well in all-male and co-ed units. Of the participants in this test, the men had average capabilities, while the women were above-average graduates of infantry training.

FRC’s summary of the collected data explained that all-male teams outperformed co-ed units in 69 percent of ground combat tasks and sex-related physical differences negatively affected co-ed units’ performance.

“In tasks resembling requirements of infantry, armor, and artillery units, all-male teams outperformed co-ed units in 69 percent of ground combat tasks. … Sex-related physical differences negatively affected co-ed units’ speed and effectiveness in simulated battle tasks, including marching under heavy loads, casualty evacuations, and marksmanship.”

Besides having lower performance, coed units also require accommodations that are not needed for an all-male unit. Mary Beth Waddell, J.D., writing for Family Research Council, said that these concerns take away from the Armed Forces singular focus needed on the battlefield.

“Co-ed units would either require special privacy concerns to be accommodated in the most austere of circumstances or sacrifice the privacy needs of servicemen and women. In addition, coed units can contribute to increased levels of sexual trauma and rape. These considerations hinder the singular focus that is needed on the battlefield to defeat the enemy.”

If the goal of the United States Armed Forces is to effectively defend and protect the freedom and rights of the American people on the battlefield drafting women compromises that goal.

 

Drafting Women Does not Establish Equality

 

The government’s attempt at promoting equality by requiring women to register for the draft is anything but that. Research shows that because so many women do not naturally meet the physical standards required such tests are “dumbed-down.”

“Officials have adjusted test requirements and scoring systems to reduce initial failure rates (84% for women, 30% for men), but equivocal ‘percentile’ scoring systems still will not disguise immutable physical disparities that the battlefield will expose without mercy.”

In other words, when the lives of women and those they serve alongside as well as our freedoms are on the line is not the time to blur readiness standards. A scoring system may make allowances but carrying a 45-pound ruck-sack through the desert and facing enemy fire will offer no leniency.

Equality is not achieved by creating two sets of standards.

Furthermore, Lukas and Braceras point out that requiring women to register for draft is not “equal” because “women in uniform suffer unequal rates of health problems, including infertility and higher risks of suicide.”

A woman’s equality and worth are not established by subjecting her to the same draft as men, instead, it places women, the individuals they serve alongside and our freedoms in greater danger.

 

What This Means for YOU

 

In conclusion we want to re-iterate that we are grateful and inspired by the patriotic women who sacrifice so much to protect the values we hold dear. However, voluntary service is quite different from required service which would compromise the effectiveness of our armed forces.

Throughout every national emergency women have been quick to volunteer and support our armed forces. Why would we assume that women would not do so again by requiring them to register for the draft?

Moving forward it is critically important that we, as citizens, do these three things:

  • Stay informed. If we do not know what legislation is proposed we will not be able to tell our representatives what we do and do not want. Furthermore, if we do not stay informed with the way our representatives vote, we will not be able to elect representatives who serve us well.
  • Communicate your desires. Staying informed empowers us to advocate for what we do and do not want. Call, email or visit your legislator; let them know what issues you care about and how you hope they will vote on them.
  • Raise engaged daughters. There are countless stories in the Bible of women who diligently sought God, were full of courage and stood up for what they believed in. Their actions powerfully and positively impacted the lives of many. They weren’t drafted into the military, but that didn’t stop them from protecting and providing for what they valued. Those are the kinds of daughters we need!

We are thankful for organizations like Family Research Council and Independent Women’s Forum for their thorough research and communication. You can support further educational materials created by Wisconsin Family Action and Wisconsin Family Council by investing HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Resources for Responding to Employers Mandating the COVID Vaccine (or making it a condition of employment)

Four Resources for Responding to Employers Mandating the COVID Vaccine (or making it a condition of employment)

*Updated September 20, 2021

As the COVID numbers seem to be rising and government, business and employers respond, we have received more and more inquiries from people whose jobs are at least potentially being impacted by COVID vaccine mandates.

Below represents the best knowledge and resource recommendations we have at this time regarding employers and the vaccine.

NOTE: We are not attorneys. We are relying on the best legal advice we have as we give the following, but it does NOT constitute legal guidance on this issue.

WFA’s Organizational Position on Vaccines (including COVID vaccines)

We do not take a position on whether anyone should take any vaccine. We believe that is a personal matter. That said, we firmly believe in and have acted numerous times to protect the right of people to make their own decision about any vaccine.

We believe vaccinations are a personal and medical freedom that must be maintained. We also believe that any vaccine that has used tissues or cells from aborted babies comes with major concerns for anyone who is pro-life.

Wisconsin’s Current Vaccine Laws and Exemptions

Wisconsin law provides for three exemptions for vaccines; however, these exemptions apply — as written in the state statutes (252.04(3)) — to parents making decisions about vaccinations for their children going to school. The three exemptions are health, religion or personal conviction.

The question is, will the courts uphold the exemptions in situations that are not about parents exempting their children from vaccinations required for school? Right now, we just don’t know.

What Resources Do We Offer?

The following are resources from four organizations, three of which are legal groups, that we respect and have shared information regarding employees invoking a religious exemption for the COVID vaccine.

RESOURCE ONE: Alliance Defending Freedom
We highly recommend you begin by reading this article from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), one of our frontline partners: “Summary Guidance for Religious Accommodations and Exemptions from COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates”  The included FAQ section is also quite beneficial. 

On ADF’s Facebook page you can read this helpful summary titled,Can You Get a Religious Exemption from a COVID Vaccine Mandate?

In essence, ADF recommends if you run into a problem with your employer that you engage a lawyer and ask the lawyer to contact ADF directly for more specific legal information and help.

RESOURCE TWO: Liberty Counsel
Attorney Mat Staver’s organization offers a vaccine exemption video, a form to get legal help, and sample letters to ask an employer for a religious exemption. 

Liberty Counsel Action has a page that is filled with current information about the COVID vaccine in general.

RESOURCE THREE: The Rutherford Institute
The Rutherford Institute (RI) has been around since 1982 focused on civil liberties and human rights.
RI has supplied more specific details than ADF on this employment vaccination issue, including a model letter.

**NEW! RESOURCE FOUR: Family Research Council’s “PrayVoteStand”
Family Research Council (FRC) is one of Wisconsin Family Action’s frontline national partners. FRC recently launched a new program, PrayVoteStand, that includes some additional resources on the vaccine mandate issue. Those resources are available HERE.

Family Research Council has also shared this advice from Alliance Defending Freedom.

We hope the above is helpful. Please let us know if we can be of further help — and feel free to share this information with others.

What we have given is certainly not exhaustive, but we consider these to be reputable organizations offering reliable legal guidance on this important issue. We offer this out of a sincere desire to assist those who are in the terribly difficult position of having to choose between having a job or getting the vaccine.

 

STATE ASSEMBLY PASSES FREEDOM & EQUALITY BILLS

STATE ASSEMBLY PASSES FREEDOM & EQUALITY BILLS
Legislators recognize personal medical rights & fairness in athletic competitions

MADISON, WI – Yesterday the Wisconsin Assembly passed  three important bills. These bills are now in the state Senate, and if passed there, will make it to the governor’s desk.

AB 299: This bill protects the rights of individuals to choose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by banning businesses and government from requiring their customers and employees be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or any of its variants. Wisconsin Family Action supports this bill and in the public hearing testified in favor, along with literally dozens of passionate Wisconsinites who are concerned about the erosion of their freedoms. AB 299 passed with 59 Republicans and 1 Democrat voting in favor, while 37 Democrats voted against.

AB 195 and AB 196: These are the Protecting Women’s Sports bills. They are designed to protect women and girls from having to compete against biological males in college and K-12 athletics. AB 195 protects women’s sports in UW System schools and technical training schools. AB 196 protects girls in K-12 public schools, as well as private schools participating in Wisconsin’s Parental Choice programs. Wisconsin Family Action supports these bills and testified in favor of both of them during the public hearing. Both AB 195 and AB 196 passed on strict party-line votes, 59-38, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against.

Wisconsin Family Action president, Julaine Appling, commented, ”We’d like to thank the authors, as well as the Assembly leadership, for moving these essential bills. The bill related to the vaccine issue is fundamentally about recognizing and protecting our right to make our own medical decisions and not being discriminated against because of our choice. The Protect Women’s Sports bills are about fundamental fairness for women athletes who should not be robbed of opportunities because biological males are allowed to compete on or in a girls’ or women’s team or competition. It’s encouraging to see so many legislators understand these ideas and act on them. We urge the Senate to do the same and give Governor Evers an opportunity to also protect our freedom and to ensure fairness for girls and women.”

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 Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious freedom in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

Pro-Family PAC Announces Endorsements for Assembly District 37 Special Election

Pro-Family PAC Announces Endorsements for Assembly District 37 Special Election

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed the following candidates for the special election for Assembly District 37.  The primary for this election is Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

Cathy Houchin

Nick Krueger

Jennifer Meinhardt

William Penterman

Nathan Pollnow

Julaine Appling, WFA PAC Director, commented, “It’s always encouraging to have candidates who understand the importance of Wisconsin’s best natural resource—her families—and who are prepared to do all they can to strengthen, preserve and promote marriage, family, life and religious freedom, as well as the rule of law and a strong economy by supporting capitalism and free enterprise in our state. These candidates have been carefully vetted and have met a rigorous standard to earn our endorsement. We wish them all the best as they campaign hard between now and the primary and thank them for stepping up to enter public service.”

 

 

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC and Wisconsin Family Action Federal PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

Will You Join Us in Prayer?

Today is going to be a busy day in Madison! Wisconsin Family Action will be testifying on 4 separate bills: AB195/SB323AB196/SB 322SB 260, and SB 261. More information about each bill is given below. Will you join us in prayer today as we and many others will testify and present the truth in our capitol today?

AB 195/SB 323 and AB 196/SB 322These bills are the Protect Women’s Sports bills. The bills stop biological males from participating in girls’/women’s sports. AB 195/SB 323 prohibits this at the UW System schools and the technical training schools, both publicly funded institutions of higher learning. AB 196/SB322 does the same thing in Wisconsin’s public K-12 schools and private schools participating in a parental choice program.
We have hearings today in both the Senate and the Assembly on these bills.

SB 260: This bill would close loopholes in the law to make it clear that the UW Madison and the UW Medical College cannot have any kind of funding relationship with Planned Parenthood to train residents to do abortions or to provide UW doctors to Planned Parenthood to do abortions.

SB 261: This bill would add additional information that would need to be tracked and reported after an induced abortion is performed. The additional information includes reporting the sex of the baby if that can be visually determined and if there is any fetal anomaly. The bill would also require reporting the identity of the facility where the induced abortion takes place. The author of the bill, Senator Jacque, yesterday offered an amendment with a number of additional points of information that would need to be determined and reported.

The two pro-life bills will be heard in a Senate committee today.

Each of these bill is important to help protect our families here is Wisconsin. Please keep us in prayer today for knowledge and wisdom and please keep praying as these bills continue through the legislative process.

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Congratulates Winning Endorsed Candidates

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Congratulates Winning Endorsed Candidates
Pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty candidates perform well

Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC), the state’s only conservative pro-family PAC, endorsed Judge Shelley Grogan for Wisconsin Court of Appeals District II, John Jagler for State Senate District 13, and Elijah Behnke for State Assembly District 89, prior to yesterday’s Spring Nonpartisan General Election. Each of these candidates prevailed in his/her respective races.

WFA PAC director Julaine Appling commented, “We are proud to have endorsed these candidates and congratulate them on their victories and their hard-fought campaigns. Judge Grogan will be an excellent addition to the Court of Appeals. She clearly understands the role of the judiciary and promises to exercise judicial restraint, while putting into practice her textualist interpretation of the Constitution.

“John Jagler and Elijah Behnke were in special elections, each of which had its own challenges. We know John Jagler; we’ve seen him and worked with him since he first was elected to the Assembly a number of years ago. Our full expectation is that John will continue to work hard to strengthen, preserve and promote our conservative values.

“Elijah Behnke is a newcomer, but brings great energy and common sense, in addition to solid conservative values and positions on the issues most important to us—all of which in some way relate to making sure Wisconsin’s best natural resource is strengthened—our families. Elijah understands that when our families are strong and independent, Wisconsin is also strong.

“ We look forward to good reports on the work of Appellate Judge Grogan and to working directly with Senator-elect John Jagler and Representative-elect Elijah Behnke to accomplish much that will advance the pro-life, pro-family, and pro-liberty values of tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens.”

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer. Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

Pro-Family PAC Announces Spring General Election Endorsements

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed the following candidates in the respective races for the spring nonpartisan general election on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

District II, Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Shelley Grogan

Senate District 13 (Special Election)

John Jagler

Assembly District 89 (Special Election)

Elijah Behnke

Fond du Lac City Council

Daniel Degner

WFA PAC endorses legislative and local official candidates who have either proven track records of strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life, and religious freedom or who give strong evidence of doing that if they are elected. Judicial candidates must be Constitutional originalists (or textualists), show judicial restraint, reflect an appropriate judicial temperament, and eschew making law from the bench.

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

WI bill hurts men and women, families, children

For the third consecutive session, Republican legislators have introduced a bill to completely eliminate the waiting period after a divorce before a remarriage. Currently, the waiting period after a divorce in our state is six months—and that’s for good reason. It’s not capricious or arbitrary. It’s prudent, especially when minor children are concerned.

Even the best divorces, whatever that may mean, take their toll on the man and woman and certainly on children as the confused and conflicted innocent victims. Some time between the dissolution of one marriage before another allows for cooling off and healing, for sorting through important details, for serious premarital counseling, and certainly for helping minor children adjust to yet another living arrangement.

Read the rest of this week’s Wisconsin Family Connection radio commentary regarding this issue HERE.

WFA president, Julaine Appling, testified on your behalf against this bill.

Photo credit: Micah Pearce

Pro-Family PAC Announces Spring Primary Election Endorsements

Pro-Family PAC Announces Spring Primary Election Endorsements

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed the following candidates in the respective races for the spring nonpartisan primary election next week on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

Senate District 13 (Special Election)

John Jagler

Don Pridemore

Assembly District 89 (Special Election)

Elijah Behnke

Fond du Lac City Council

Daniel Degner

WFA PAC carefully vets each candidate; candidates receiving WFA PAC’s endorsement have met a rigorous standard. WFA PAC endorses candidates who either have proven track records of strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious freedom or who give strong evidence of doing that if they are elected.

 

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC and Wisconsin Family Action Federal PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

Is Georgia on your mind? There may be a reason for that! How you can help.

We’ve had a number of people ask what they can do to help with the US Senate run-offs in Georgia on January 5.

Background

Typically, no state can have both US Senators up for election in the same year. However, due to a death, Georgia had to have both a regular race for one US Senate seat and a special election for the other US Senate seat, both held earlier this month.

Georgia election law requires that to win a race, a candidate must get at least 50% of the vote. In both US Senate races, no candidate received 50% or more of the vote, forcing a run-off, where the top 2 vote getters in both races face off in an election scheduled for Tuesday, January 5.

Who Are the Candidates?

Incumbent Republican David Perdue is facing Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff in one of the US Senate races, and incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler is squaring off against Democrat Raphael Warnock.

Why are these run-off elections important? 

The Republicans currently hold a slight majority in the US Senate. If the Democrats win these races in Georgia, that majority is gone; and the US Senate will be split 50-50.  If Joe Biden becomes president, then Kamala Harris as vice-president becomes the tie-breaking vote in the US Senate.

Ideas for what you can do to help in Georgia?

  • Pray that conservative, pro-life, pro-family, pro-freedom candidates prevail.
  • Engage with MyFaithVotes, which is coordinating several options for people living outside of Georgia who want to help get-out-the-vote for these runoff elections. More information is available HERE.
  • Give financially. Our sister organization in Georgia is working hard to turn out the vote and to make sure people are fully educated on the candidates and the critical issues. Secure online donations can be given HERE.

Thanks for remaining engaged as our nation continues to sort through this contentious election. Be assured that we are monitoring the Wisconsin recount and any lawsuits that may be filed here regarding the presidential election.  We remind ourselves regularly that even in this, our great God is truly in control. We remain informed and involved, mindful of John Quincy Adams’ sage words: “Duty is ours; results are God’s.”