Kirsten Andersen

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AFL-CIO amends its constitution, pledges to organize for transgendered workers

Kirsten Andersen
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WASHINGTON, D.C., September 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – Homosexual activists celebrated a victory Monday after the nation’s largest labor union amended its constitution to affirm its commitment to organizing for so-called “transgender” workers.

In an amendment titled “Welcoming All Workers to Our Movement,” the AFL-CIO added “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the organization’s constitutional objectives and principles. They now state that AFL-CIO’s mission is “To encourage all workers without regard to race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression to share equally in the full benefits of union organization.”

The AFL-CIO’s move echoed those taken by a number of smaller unions which have already promised to advocate for the interests of transgendered workers.  Homosexual activists applaud the trend.

National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling told BuzzFeed she found the AFL-CIO’s amendment “very exciting,” and added, “Labor has really been stepping up, and the AFL-CIO has been stepping up.”

“The labor movement has long been a leader on full inclusion in the workplace,” said Human Rights Campaign Vice President Fred Sainz, in a statement.  “This important addition to the governing document of the largest federation of labor unions is a historic and important step forward to ensuring that every American has an equal shot at employment and equal benefits.”

Many activists hope the amendment will lead to stronger union demands for things like insurance coverage for sex-change operations and hormone therapies, and access to bathrooms and changing facilities that match workers’ preferred, not biological sex.

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A featured post on the AFL-CIO website says, “Transgender patients have unique health care needs, including psychotherapy, hormones and surgeries. While many insurance policies cover trans health care needs, others have ‘transgender exclusions’ and won’t cover anything related to gender transition.”

Andy Bowen, a biological man living full-time as a woman, is a member of the AFL-CIO’s “Pride at Work” homosexual activism group.  He recently told the union, “It’s time to improve health care access for transgender people, and unions, which negotiate their members’ medical benefits, play an important role in this work.”

A separate resolution pledging the organization’s commitment to fighting for coverage for sex-change procedures in all of its contract negotiations was also introduced at this week’s meeting, but failed to move forward “due to technicalities,” according to Donna Cartright, a spokesman for the D.C.-Baltimore chapter of Pride At Work. 

That resolution stated:

“BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO removes any and all discriminatory health care exclusions directed toward transgender employees and the employee’s dependents from its health care policy and require tenants in its Washington, DC, headquarters to do the same.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO advocates for trans-gender inclusive health care for its members and members’ dependents during bargaining negotiations with employers.”

Cartright said the resolution, which has already been adopted by the SEIU, was expected to be reintroduced at a later date.

But Stan Greer, Senior Researcher at the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, told LifeSiteNews that inclusion of transgender advocacy in contract negotiations may present a moral dilemma for dues-paying rank-and-file union members who oppose the lifestyle, especially if their opposition stems from sincerely held religious beliefs. 

Greer said that while most union members, even deeply religious ones, would agree that no one should be barred from joining a union because of their lifestyle choices, neither should union members be forced to pay for advocacy that goes against their religious beliefs. 

Because most union contracts require union membership as a condition of employment, workers who object to transgender advocacy on religious grounds could soon be forced to choose between their morals and their jobs.

The AFL-CIO’s “willingness to embrace the dubious concepts of ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ are bound to offend many unionized workers,” said Greer.  “The implication … is that a person, regardless of the biological facts, is whichever sex he or she says, and the law should respect this subjective judgment.”

Greer pointed out that there is still significant disagreement in the medical community about whether elective surgeries and hormone therapies to create the appearance of a different sex are truly sound medicine.  

He referenced a quote by Dr. Paul McHugh, the former chairman of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University, who responded to ‘gender identity’ theorists by saying, “It is not obvious how [a] patient’s feeling that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body differs from the feeling of a patient with anorexia nervosa that she is obese despite her emaciated, cachectic state.  We don’t do liposuction on anorexics.  Why amputate the genitals of these poor men?  Surely, the fault is in the mind, not the member.”

Said Greer, “AFL-CIO bosses from Richard Trumka on down are free to disagree with Dr. McHugh and the vast majority of unionized workers and other Americans who agree with Dr. McHugh’s perspective … [and] Trumka and company should be free to push for public policies that follow their own view that biological sex and social gender should be disconnected.  But the individual worker who disagrees with this idiosyncratic perspective should be free to get and hold a job without being forced to join or pay dues to an AFL-CIO-affiliated union, or any other union.”

Added Greer, “The increasingly radical and, frankly, bizarre stances taken by Big Labor in recent years underscore the importance of legal protections for the individual right to work.”



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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.

I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:

Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.

Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.

After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.

The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.

So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.

When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.



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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. 

The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.

“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.  Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy.  Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.  And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”

Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.” 

The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.

“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says. 

The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children. 

“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked. 

There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so. 

“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”



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Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

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CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.

Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.

At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.

“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.

“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.

“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”

“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”

Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.

But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.

The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.

Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.

“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”

Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:

The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.



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