FLORIDA, November 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – With all the focus on the aftermath of the presidential elections, you might have missed an important victory in the courts last week. As reported November 20 by Liberty Counsel, which litigated the case successfully, in Florida “A three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down laws that ban counselors from providing minor clients with help to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or gender confusion.”
This was a victory for freedom, for tolerance, for individual rights, and for therapist-client privilege. Above all, it was a victory for minors.
Liberty Counsel, led by Mat Staver, represented “Dr. Robert Otto, LMFT and Dr. Julie Hamilton, LMFT and their minor clients who challenged the constitutionality of ordinances enacted by the City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County which prohibit minors from voluntary counseling from licensed professionals.”
These local, Florida ordinances were part of a disturbing national trend that prohibits minors with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion from seeking professional help.
Of course, under these same ordinances, had these minors wanted help to reinforcetheir same-sex attraction or gender confusion, that would have been allowed. By all means, let professionals help minors embrace their homosexual desires or their transgender identity.
But God forbid that a 15-year-old male should not want to be attracted to another male. Or an 8-year-old should not want to feel like a boy trapped in the wrong body. No professional help could be offered to them. This is how LGBTQ activists have turned our society upside down.
Let’s say, then, that this 15-year-old male had been raped repeatedly by an older, male neighbor from the ages of 7-9, unbeknownst to his parents. As he came into puberty, he felt confused about his sexuality, ultimately realizing he was attracted to males, not females.
He had always dreamed about getting married (meaning, to a woman!) and having children, and he was repulsed by his same-sex attraction, now sharing everything with his parents.
They say to him, “We will get you all the help you need,” and they find a highly-recommended family therapist. But when they share their situation with the therapist, the therapist replies, “Oh, I would love to help you, but it’s against the law. However, I’d be glad to help your son embrace his same-sex attractions. That is perfectly legal.”
What a perversion of fairness, of freedom, and of personal dignity. What an unrighteous and oppressive imposition of the state. Really now, what on earth gives them the right to make rulings like this?
PETITION UPDATE (12/11/2020)
Right before Thanksgiving, YouTube deleted a LifeSite video of a distinguished Canadian physician protesting the "unfounded public hysteria" over COVID-19 and accused us of spreading "medical misinformation."
Our account was suspended, and we were prohibited from posting videos on our YouTube channel for one week. And, while that may not seem like a big deal, it's a huge deal for a news organization like LifeSite.
Then, earlier this week, YouTube again suspended our account – this time for two weeks – over an episode of The Bishop Strickland Show wherein Bishop Strickland said he would not take an unethical COVID-19 vaccine.
We were able to appeal the suspension, and our request was granted.
This means that in YouTube's three-strikes-and-you're-out content-policing, idea-cleansing scheme, we are back down to one strike. But, we still face the threat of losing our account permanently.
And, we're not the only ones.
In a recent turn of events, YouTube just announced that it will remove videos alleging widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
But, what is YouTube afraid of? The truth???
Thankfully, however, there is a one, big bright spot on the horizon: 48 states filed suit against Facebook just this week.
And, although this seems like a step in the right direction, the draconian measures which YouTube just rolled out, which are already wielded by Twitter, are an assault against free speech.
So, the fight for freedom of speech against Big Tech goes on. And, we must do everything we can to protect it!
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
PETITION UPDATE (11/18/2020)
Everyone thought the censorship by Big Tech corporations would decrease after the 2020 election, but the truth is that censorship is being felt just as much as it was before the election.
And, given the election outcome, perhaps Big Tech censorship now is even more consequential than it was before the election!
The two biggest social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, and other Big Tech companies, are still censoring and suppressing stories and posts favorable to conservatives, and especially anything that has to do with election fraud.
Here are a few recent examples:
- Women for America First organized the March for Trump on November 14, which was shut down by Facebook, MailChimp and Eventbrite. Despite Big Tech’s best efforts to cancel the event, the march went on and gathered a huge crowd.
- Twitter has been suppressing a large number of President Trump’s Tweets. Most of his Tweets have been flagged arbitrarily with a warning stating: “This claim about election fraud is disputed."
Please READ this recent article about Big Tech's attempt to choke information conerning the recent Million MAGA March in Washington, DC: '5 things mainstream media won’t tell you about massive DC ‘Stop the Steal’ rally'
Then, please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition, which calls on the Congress, the president, and governors to defend freedom of speech as Big Tech continues their rampant censorship.
PETITION UPDATE (10/15/2020)
In a remarkable development, Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham have announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee will be issuing subpoenas to Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg for their company's suppression of two critical expose news stories about how Hunter Biden and the Biden Family allegedly profited from business deals made because of Joe Biden's position as Vice President.
Please WATCH LifeSite's exclusive video of the announcement by Senator Ted Cruz below.
According to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Lindsey Graham, the subpoenas will be issued next Tuesday, for hearings to be held on Friday of next week.
This is a MASSIVE development, and should be welcomed by those who champion freedom of speech.
Again, this is all happening because Twitter and Facebook refuse to allow their members to share stories which would be favorable to conservatives.
Here's the timeline:
Yesterday, Twitter and Facebook suppressed a NY Post story about how Hunter Biden allegedly profited from introducing a Ukrainian businessman to his then-Vice President father, Joe Biden. The story also alleges that Vice President Biden then subsequently pressured Ukrainian authorities to fire a prosecutor who was investigating the businessman's company.
And, just this morning, Twitter suppressed another expose by the NY Post alleging that the Biden Family improperly profitted from deals made with one of the largest Chinese energy companies because of Vice President Biden's position in government.
But, right after the story broke, Senator Cruz tried to share the latest story on Twitter and was blocked. Twitter says that they are blocking the stories because they claim that the information was obtained illegally. However, Twitter showed no problem allowing illegally obtained information about President Trump's tax returns to be shared.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition, which calls on the Congress, the president, and governors to defend freedom of speech as Big Tech continues their rampant censorship.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'GOP senators decry Big Tech censorship of NY Post story exposing Biden corruption' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/gop-senators-decry-big-tech-censorship-of-ny-post-story-exposing-biden-corruption
PETITION UPDATE (9/17/2020)
Big Tech is out to kill free speech. LifeSite is out to protect it!
LifeSite has been digging deep into the many claims of liberal bias and selective censorship of pro-life, pro-family, and conservative voices on social media.
And, we are now launching our new series 'Uncensored: Big Tech vs. Free Speech', which will unpack how the actions of Big Tech censors actually affect conservative and Christian organization and individuals.
Please WATCH the first video in our series featuring Brigitte Gabriel, the Founder of ACT For America, one of the nation's premier national security grassroots organizations.
Ms. Gabriel's organization, ACT For America, has been targeted by Big Tech especially in the manipulation of search results.
Big Tech “think[s] they are God and they are exercising their godly power over everybody else,” Gabriel explained. "Because in today's world, anytime you want to find out any information about somebody, what do you do? Google. You go to the internet to find out some information about them. When you research anything about somebody, the first thing that comes up [in the search results] is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s labeling of ‘hate groups.’”
“And who are the ‘hate groups’? Family Research Council is a hate group because they are pro-family. American Family Radio is a hate group…LifeSiteNews is a hate group. My organization is a hate group because we sound the alarm about terrorism and protecting our constitutional freedom. And so they try to character assassinate you. And they control the language.”
LifeSite's research shows that Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, and others have become far too dangerous for democracy.
They can and do sway elections and public opinion in whatever direction they want, primarily by manipulating search results, tracking our online behavior, and by blocking truthful content from their platforms.
Today, LifeSite is starting to fight back, with facts and with stories of conservatives and Christians who are being negatively impacted by Big Tech's liberal bias.
Please continue to follow our 'Big Tech vs. Free Speech' series which aims to launch a new video each week for the next eight weeks.
And, please sign our petition demanding that Big Tech monopolies are broken up. Thank you!
ORIGINAL PETITION BACKGROUND TEXT:
The outrageous erasing of the White Coat Summit from the internet is only the latest in a long series of brazen acts of censorship against conservatives and all those who support legitimate free speech.
You may agree or disagree with the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine against the coronavirus, but everyone should agree on this point:
No Big Tech company should have the power to erase from the internet the medical opinions of licensed practicing doctors simply because they do not like what they have to say about the coronavirus or their experience treating it. Americans and other free peoples do not need leftist computer programmers deciding what the best course of medical treatment is for them.
Google/Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and their Big Tech friends want to control what you see, what you read, what you think, and ultimately, how you vote. Not only do they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying congress and buttering up big Washington DC think tanks, but now they brazenly and directly censor any content they don't want you to see.
Big Tech, like other interest groups, aggressively lobby to help their businesses thrive, but increasingly, Big Tech is using blatant internet censorship to impose its radical world view over those they consider to be "deplorables."
This must stop, but it won't unless we demand it as forcefully as legally possible. We believe that we have reached the point were Big Tech must be broken up if legitimate free speech is going to survive and continue to thrive on the internet.
Please sign our petition to demand real consequences for Big Tech's suppression of legitimate free speech.
In 2016, emails revealed by Fox News' Tucker Carlson proved that Google tried to influence the election by affecting voter turnout. Thankfully they failed. But they didn't give up. Instead, they have been preparing and testing how to manipulate information to continue to abuse their monopolistic power.
In 2018, Google/Youtube et. al. succeeded in manipulating the Irish abortion referendum by blacklisting pro-life videos, manipulating pro-life search terms and results and intentionally withholding pro-life information. Again, this is not an opinion or a conspiracy theory, Project Veritas obtained first hand information proving the intentional censorship by Big Tech.
And the Coronavirus has just made things worse. You see, scared people are more easily manipulated into giving up their freedom of speech. Children are being kept from going to school, tens of millions of Americans are out of work, and rioting has broken out in most major American cities.
Now, more than ever, freedom of speech is necessary to secure all of our freedoms. Freedom of speech is crucial to truly exercise the freedom to vote for the person that best represents one's own views, or the freedom to decide what course of medical treatment to accept - especially the decision to control what vaccines are administered to our children.
Some experts, like Dr. Robert Epstein, a behavioral psychologist who has testified before congress against Big Tech believes that we may already be too late to control Big Tech's tyrannical control over information.
President Trump took a step in the right direction with his Executive Order calling for increased regulation of Big Tech. But much more can be done and needs to be done right now.
In an era where almost everything is polarized, there is an overwhelming support for breaking up the Big Tech monopolies. A recent Pew poll found that 75% of Americans believe that Big Tech companies have too much influence.
It is time to bring serious accountability to Big Tech for their attempts to use their monopolies to kill free speech.
It is time to break up Big Tech.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Google, Facebook, Twitter shut down ‘frontline’ US doctors who promote ‘cure for COVID’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/google-facebook-twitter-shut-down-frontline-us-doctors-who-promote-cure-for-covid?utm_source=featured&utm_campaign=standard
Americans overwhelmingly agree Big Tech has too much power: Pew poll - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/americans-overwhelmingly-agree-big-tech-has-too-much-power-pew-poll
Leaked Google employee's email reveals effort to boost Latino vote, surprise that some voted for Trump - https://www.foxnews.com/tech/leaked-google-employees-email-reveals-effort-to-boost-latino-vote-surprise-that-some-voted-for-trump
Undercover video proves Google interfered in Irish abortion referendum - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/americans-overwhelmingly-agree-big-tech-has-too-much-power-pew-poll
Or consider the case of the 8-year-old girl who is troubled by feelings that she’s actually a boy in a girl’s body. This makes her very uncomfortable, causing confusion for her and her siblings. So her parents reach out to a well-trained professional, feeling they are at their wits end and unable to provide adequate help.
But when they sit down with the family counselor, the counselor says to them, “I would love to help your daughter embrace her girlhood, but I’m strictly prohibited by the law. However, here’s how I can help.
“We’ll work with your daughter to embrace the fact that she’s really a boy, sending her back to school with a new name and dressed like a boy. The school will allow her – actually him – to use the boy’s bathroom. Then, in two years, we’ll start him on hormone blockers to stop the onset of puberty, then have his breasts removed when he’s 18, then schedule him for full-scale gender confirmation surgery at 20, supplemented by male hormones for life. Isn’t that a wonderful option?”
And remember: under these oppressive ordinances, to sit and talk with the child was forbidden by law if that child wanted to feel at home in her own body. But to put her on puberty-blocking hormones as a child, then remove totally healthy parts of her body, then put her on hormones for life, was allowed by the law.
To call this perverse is an understatement. Child abuse would be more accurate.
Outrageously, 20 states now ban such counseling, which they label “conversion therapy,” alleging that such therapy is harmful to minors. And last year, California almost passed a ban on such counseling for people of all ages. It would have even prohibited religious leaders from offering such counseling.
Yet this is where things are going unless believers, in particular, joined by all freedom-loving people, push back.
The LGBTQ tyranny must be challenged. The assault on individual rights must be resisted.
No one has the right to tell a young person (or any person), “You must be gay” or “You must be trans.”
Absolutely, categorically not. And that’s why this Florida victory is so important.
As to the notion that sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) are harmful, Peter Sprigg and the FRC just released a 37-page report titled, “No Proof of Harm. 79 Key Studies Provide No Scientific Proof That Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) Are Usually Harmful.”
In short, “While these 79 studies do provide anecdotal evidence that some SOCE clients report the experience was harmful, they do not provide scientific proof that SOCE is more harmful than other forms of therapy, more harmful than other courses of action for those with SSA, or more likely to be harmful than helpful for the average client. If alleged ‘critical health risks’ of SOCE cannot be found in these 79 studies, then it is safe to conclude that they cannot be found anywhere.”
Old lies die hard, but for those seeking the truth, the data is undeniable.
Last year, in New York City, an Orthodox Jewish therapist challenged the city’s prohibition of SOCE counseling for people of any age “for violating his freedom of speech and infringing on his religious faith and that of his patients.”
With the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the city quickly reversed course, leading to this exuberant announcement from Tony Perkins and the FRC in September, 2019: “The last place anyone would expect liberals to rethink their extremism is New York City. But, thanks to a new lawsuit, even the Big Apple seems to understand when it's vulnerable. ‘Pinch yourself,’ FRC's Cathy Ruse says. One of the most radical cities on earth is about to walk back its LGBT counseling ban. All because one courageous psychotherapist fought back.”
In Florida, in the 2-1 opinion, Judge Britt C. Grant wrote that, “We hold that the challenged ordinances violate the First Amendment because they are content-based regulations of speech that cannot survive strict scrutiny.”
Precisely. These ordinances represent a fundamental assault on freedom of speech, among other things. May this be the beginning of a national trend.
In fact, as Liberty Counsel noted, “The 11th Circuit decision was foreshadowed by comments in a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision, NIFLA v. Becerra, dealing with California's efforts to regulate speech by pro-life pregnancy centers. In the course of rejecting the argument that governments can regulate ‘professional speech’ without offending the First Amendment, the Supreme Court directly criticized earlier appeals court decisions that had made the same argument in upholding state therapy bans. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that ‘this Court has not recognized “professional speech” as a separate category of speech. Speech is not unprotected merely because it is uttered by “professionals.”’”
There is reason for real hope. May the righteous pushback continue unless freedom of self-determination is restored for minors across America.