Election night 2015 brought victories for religious freedom and common sense.
Last night we saw many encouraging signs from around the country that voters are concerned with issues ranging from religious freedom to the expansion of recreational drug use to the safety and privacy concerns of women and children.
Here are some of the highlights:
First, Houston voters overwhelmingly rejected a controversial city ordinance that would have allowed men suffering from gender confusion to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms around the city. The ordinance would have fined business owners for refusing such men access to women’s facilities; it also would have forced business owners to compromise their religious beliefs in the provision of goods and services.
The Houston vote followed some hardball tactics by the city’s mayor who attempted to derail the public’s right to vote on the ordinance (later ordered by the state Supreme Court). She had even gone so far as to issue subpoenas for the sermons of a group of Houston pastors who led the coalition to defeat the ordinance. I recently wrote about this ordinance here.
As I told a group of pastors at a lunch yesterday at Houston Baptist University, the ordinance attempted to address the demands of a miniscule minority while putting the majority at great risk. Of course we have compassion for those struggling with gender identity confusion, but putting children in harm’s way of predators who would exploit this law is not the way to address it.
Next, in Ohio the voters defeated a ballot initiative to allow recreational marijuana in the state, by a 2 to 1 margin.
The issue was mired in controversy from the beginning, and it may be the case that the negative effects of the legalization of marijuana here in Colorado played a role in educating voters in Ohio.
The Kentucky governor race covered many issues, from marriage to religious freedom to Planned Parenthood to Obamacare, but Republican Matt Bevin defied the pollsters and was elected governor over the state’s Attorney General Jack Conway.
Mr. Conway, you may recall, refused to defend Kentucky’s marriage amendment in court when it was challenged by same-sex couples (which went to the U.S. Supreme Court), and refused to come to the aid of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and other county clerks who asked him for assistance in granting them a religious accommodation from having to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Bevin, on the other hand, supported Kim Davis’ religious conscience stand and visited her in jail after she was found in contempt by a federal court judge a couple months ago.
Focus on the Family is proud to partner with state family policy councils in Texas (Texas Values), Ohio (Citizens for Community Values) and Kentucky (The Family Foundation) who worked tirelessly on behalf of these important issues.