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Then-mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio attends annual Columbus Day Parade on 5th Avenue on October 14, 2013 in New York City. lev radin / Shutterstock.com
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NYC mayor hires strategist who led Planned Parenthood attack on Komen

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, June 16, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has hired the woman who orchestrated Planned Parenthood's scorched earth media attack on the Susan G. Komen Foundation as a communications director for his administration.

The Democrat named Andrea Hagelgans as his director of agency communications, a post that allows her to set the media strategy of all city agencies and cabinet members.

“Andrea was a senior press officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America,” where she “developed and led PPFA’s media campaign in response to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure’s decision to withdraw funding from the organization,” her online biography states.

The Komen Foundation told the nation's leading abortion provider that it was ending its financial sponsorship of Planned Parenthood because the organization was under federal investigation and because it does not perform mammograms. Komen donated $629,159 in 2009-10 of the group's one billion dollar budget. But in January 2013, Planned Parenthood launched a social media blitz demonizing the anti-breast cancer charity and questioning its motives.

“What Planned Parenthood did to that venerable and honorable institution is nothing short of a mafia-style shakedown,” Steven Aden, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, said. However, its tactics proved effective. A Media Research Center analysis found that 76 percent of network television quotations favored Planned Parenthood. Komen's vice president for public policy, Karen Handel, resigned and wrote a book about the ordeal entitled Planned Bullyhood. Its CEO, Nancy Brinker, would step down within months.

Hagelgans is currently vice president of strategic communications and media at Camino Public Relations, a left-wing PR firm whose clients include the Population Council, Planned Parenthood, Pro-Choice Resources, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ), the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Planned Parenthood Latino Initiative, the Ford Foundation, and Auburn Theological Seminary.

Her biography also noted her work with George Soros' Open Society Institute.

“I’m thrilled to announce Andrea is joining us in City Hall, where she will help our cabinet and agencies clearly communicate this administration’s vision and policies to the people of New York City,” de Blasio, who calls himself a “democratic socialist,” announced today. Rebecca Katz, the mayor's senior communications strategist, also tweeted her support of the Planned Parenthood alumna:

During his campaign – in which he crushed pro-abortion Republican Joe Lhota with 73 percent of the vote – de Blasio promised to “craft new regulations to prevent [crisis pregnancy] centers from masquerading as legitimate health care providers.” The state's pro-life leadership greeted the appointment with unsurprised discontent.

“It's just about what we would expect from him, unfortunately, but it's a disappointment,” Barbara Meara, chairman of New York State Right to Life, told LifeSiteNews.com. “With the abortion rate so high in New York we really should not be looking for people to promote abortion.”

The Big Apple is often called the “abortion capital of the United States.” Despite the precipitous drop in New York City's abortion rate, 38 percent of all pregnancies in the city end in abortion.

Chris Slattery, national director of Expectant Mother Care (EMC) FrontLine Pregnancy Centers, told LifeSiteNews that Hagelgans' appointment was “a sign of the absolute, complete allegiance” of the New York City mayor's office with Planned Parenthood.

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He is currently locked in litigation with the city over operation of his pregnancy centers, which offer women support to carry their pregnancies to term. He cited a recent Live Action undercover investigation that caught a Planned Parenthood employee on camera suggesting a minor view pornography and engage in sadomasochism.

“It's so ironic that on heels of the perversion promoted by this organization, they're not in the least embarrassed by it but are jumping to align themselves with it,” Slattery said.

“It's a bad omen for more social engineering in the future – more abortion and sex promotion in our schools, and more tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood and their sexual promiscuous advocacy amongst our young people,” Slattery told LifeSiteNews. “This again signals that children are not safe under a de Blasio administration.”

Mayor de Blasio will receive media attention this evening, as he is scheduled to sing “I Love L.A.” on the Jimmy Kimmel Show tonight after losing a bet when the New York Rangers failed to clinch the Stanley Cup. He attended the Brooklyn Pride Parade with wife Chirlane McCray, a former lesbian, on Saturday.

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Lisa Bourne

Parents say they’re now calling four-year-old son a girl

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

OAKLAND, CA, July 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- An Oakland, California, couple is giving their four-year old son the green light to identify as a girl.

Jack Carter Christian, the son of Mary Carter and James Christian, will now be known as “Jackie” and be allowed to dress and act as a little girl.

The family acknowledged they were already letting the boy wear his older sister’s dresses on a regular basis and also that he liked to wear pink boots. James Christian said he thought for a long time that it was a phase his son would get over.

Carter detailed in an NPR interview the conversation with her son that led to the decision to allow him to live as a girl.

“Jackie just looked really, really sad; sadder than a 3-and-a-half-year-old should look,” Carter said. “This weight that looked like it weighed more than she did, something she had to say and I didn’t know what that was.”

“So I asked. I said, ‘Jackie, are you sad that you’re not going to school today?’ And Jackie was really quiet and put her head down and said ‘No, I’m sad because I’m a boy.’”

Carter continued speaking about the details of the day she encouraged her son to act upon the emotion he’d expressed.

 “You’re really not happy being a boy?” Carter queried her son.

“I thought a little bit longer and I said, ‘Well, are you happy being you?’” said Carter. “And that made Jackie smile. And I felt like for that moment that was all that really mattered. That was ‘The Day. ”

It was then that Carter proceeded to a Walgreen’s drug store and purchase elastic hair bands picked out by her son to pull his hair into little ponytails, something that offered apparent satisfaction for mother and son.

“There she was, in these cast-off Little Mermaid pajamas and five pony tails that are sticking out of her head kind, of like twigs, and this smile on her face and I’ve never seen such a happy child,” Carter stated. “To go from maybe an hour before this, this child who looks so sad, to that- pure joy, just pure joy, right there.”

Carter and Christian are one of a number of couples turning up in media stories saying that their young children will no longer live life as their biological gender. The confusion they describe is a disorder classified by the American Psychological Association as gender dysphoria.

San Diego parents Jeff and Hillary Whittington appeared in late May with their six-year old daughter Ryland, who is identifying as a boy, at the 6th annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. Milk, the first openly homosexual candidate elected to office in San Francisco as City Commissioner, was also notorious for preying sexually upon underage, drug-addicted, runaway boys, and was murdered by a political rival in 1978.

Massachusetts couple Mimi and Joe Lemay have also decided to allow their five-year-old daughter Mia, now going by Jacob, to live as a transgender child, turning to NBC News with the specifics.

They said an April DailyMail.com report that it was “his” choice to become transgender, and also that they shared their story hoping to prove there is no such thing as “being too young” to identify as transgender.

“I realized he had never really been Mia,” Mimi Whittington said. “That had been a figment of my imagination.”

Author and public speaker Walt Heyer, who underwent sex reassignment surgery to become a woman and then later returned to living as a man, told the Daily Caller children cannot be born as one gender and identify as another by accident. He now performs outreach to those experiencing gender confusion.

“There’s a lot of questions here. Kids are not born transgender,” Heyer said. “Childhood developmental disorder that comes out of some event or series of events or abuse or neglect or trauma or overbearing mother or father or someone or a lot of times its sexual abuse.”

Heyer said the experience of having parents or caretakers entertain the idea of gender confusion is at issue and this is what happened to him.

“My grandmother kept cross-dressing me and loving on me as a girl and not as the boy God made,” he said.

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Lisa Bourne

Utah man faked anti-gay ‘hate crimes’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A Utah man who faked a series of anti-gay “hate crimes” may face charges after his actions were debunked by rural authorities.

Rick Jones said someone beat him, leaving facial and head bruising, and carved a homosexual slur in his arm, part of a series of staged attacks that spanned from April to June.

Jones, 21, told a local TV news station in June he believed he was being targeted because he was homosexual.

Jones is also implicated in spray-painting a slur on his family’s home, throwing a rock and a Molotov cocktail through his home’s window, spray-painting the family pizza business, and also breaking in and stealing $1,000 from the business.

The Millard County Sheriff’s office found discrepancies with evidence in the case and Jones ultimately admitted to perpetrating the harassment himself.

Jones could face charges of filing a false report and reckless burning.

His lawyer said the incidents were a cry for help geared toward the people close to Jones, and that Jones didn’t realize how much attention they would get.

Attorney Brett Tolman said that Jones has since begun treatment for mental health.

Tolman said his client did not have any criminal intent and praised the community’s response to the fake accusations, saying that the outpouring of support after the hate crime claims became public still was a good message.

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox was one who had publicly declared his support after the false accusations surfaced. Cox said Tuesday he’s relieved the allegations weren’t true, and expressed concern for Jones and his family.

Tolman also used the faked crimes as evidence that gays face discrimination.

“I think it’s such good evidence of the difficulties members of the gay community deal with,” said Tolman, “and some make better choices than others.”

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U.S. senator: Individuals don’t have religious freedom, just churches

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment applies only to churches, not to individuals, a U.S. senator said on national television recently.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI – the nation's first openly lesbian elected to the U.S. Senate – addressed the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision on June 27 on MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki.

"Should the bakery have to bake the cake for the gay couple getting married?” the host asked. “Where do you come down on that?"

Baldwin responded that the First Amendment gave Americans no right to exercise religion outside the sanctuary of their church, synagogue, or mosque.

“Certainly the First Amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that,” she said.

Sen. Baldwin then likened the issue to the Obama administration's contentious HHS mandate, requiring employers to furnish contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs to female employees with no co-pay.

“We’ve certainly seen the set of arguments play out in issues such as access to contraception,” Baldwin said. “Should it be the individual pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled, or in this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country.”

“I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts, and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.”

That view contrasts with a broad and deep body of law saying that individuals have the right to exercise their religion freely under the First Amendment, not merely to hold or teach their beliefs.

“At the Founding, as today, 'exercise' connoted action, not just internal belief,” wrote Thomas C. Berg, the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

That body of cases shows the First Amendment is an individual, not merely a corporate, right.

Further, the extent – and the constitutionality – of the HHS mandate is far from settled.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has won 28 injunctions against the ObamaCare regulation and lost six.

The most significant statement to date has been the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision last June, when the justices ruled 5-4 that closely held corporations do, indeed, exercise conscience protections under the terms of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"We reject HHS's arguments that the owners of the companies forfeited all RFRA protection when they decided to organize their businesses as corporations rather than sole proprietorships or general partnerships," they added. "The plain terms of RFRA make it perfectly clear that Congress did not discriminate in this way against men and women who wish to run their business as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs."

However, the justices did not invoke the First Amendment's guarantee to freedom of religion – the “first freedom” that many say has been increasingly constricted under the Obama administration. The president rhetorically has spoken only of the “freedom of worship,” while conservatives say the “free exercise” clause grants Americans the right to practice their religion inside or outside church, in any relevant aspect of their lives, subject only to the most extreme provisions.

The RFRA holds that the government may not substantially burden any religious belief without having a compelling governmental interest.

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