Responding to “SOGI” Laws—Tone and Truth

Bible

How Should We Respond?

When opposing laws that create special rights based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" (SOGI) believers should be gracious, kind, courageous and truthful. As the apostle Paul wrote to his protégé, Timothy, "We are not given a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self–control" (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV).

Here are three basic pointers when responding to SOGI laws in the public arena, whether it’s an online comment on an article, an email to your legislator, or discussing the issue with concerned friends and family:

  • This will include being educated and equipped, understanding the terms and language of SOGI proponents, while also knowing and articulating the arguments against such ordinances.
  • Model love and grace: As believers, we want to respond to attacks on our faith and freedom out of love—not fear; ask God for His heart for those caught in sexual sin and brokenness.
  • Be passionate, without being disrespectful: While we may be angry about the way these laws threaten our religious freedom, the education of our children and the privacy and safety of individuals, we can be passionate and forceful without being mean and derogatory.

Talking Points

These are some pithy, easily understood arguments to use when speaking or writing about these issues:

Laws that privilege "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" threaten safety and privacy.

  • The "transgender" or "gender identity" umbrella includes a diverse range of people, including men who dress as women as a sexual fetish, out of a sexually-driven compulsion. It is completely understandable that women would not want such men in their locker rooms, changing rooms and restrooms.
  • Public accommodations laws that include special protections based on "gender identity" put our safety and privacy at risk.
  • Women and children, in particular, are placed at risk when a man dressed as a woman can use women’s restrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms.
  • There have been a number of incidents where men, dressed as women, have attacked women in restrooms. The presence of these men in women’s restrooms is perfectly legal under laws that privilege "gender identity and expression."
  • Transgender-identified individuals have said that male body parts are female, "because we believe it to be so." Laws protecting privacy should not be changed because of this faulty thinking.

Sexual orientation and gender identity laws threaten religious freedom.

  • Laws that provide special protections based on "sexual orientation," "gender identity or expression" result in the harassment and punishment of people with deeply held religious beliefs.
  • Special protections based on sexuality demand that religious business owners choose between their livelihood and their faith.
  • People of faith are marginalized and criminalized by SOGI laws, forced to acquiesce to a secular, hostile ideology.
  • It is perfectly reasonable to believe what faith and science demonstrates: Humans are divided into two sexes, male and female—not a multitude of "genders."
  • It is not "inclusive, tolerant and welcoming" to marginalize and exclude people of faith. SOGI laws treat deeply held beliefs about marriage and sexuality as bigotry and discrimination.
  • SOGI laws place sexual activity above religious faith.
  • Across the nation, charitable institutions have been shut down and religious institutions challenged with lawsuits because of their stance on marriage and sexuality.

SOGI ordinances and laws, at the local, state and federal level, increase the power and scope of government, overly burden businesses, and force business owners to violate their deeply held beliefs.

  • Businesses and non-profits operate under a heavy load of government regulations—SOGI laws add to that onerous burden.
  • SOGI ordinances put the full power of the government to work enforcing a radical sexual and ideological agenda.
  • SOGI laws force people of faith to participate in activities and events that they oppose, violating their religious freedom.
  • Business owners across the nation have been threatened, fined and ordered to attend or conduct "re-education classes" due to SOGI laws.

SOGI laws are based on sexual and gender theories and ideology, not reason or science.

  • Gender ideology ignores biological reality to assert that gender is fluid and changeable and that there are an infinite number of genders. Many people of faith and science disagree with this radical ideology.
  • It is perfectly reasonable to believe what faith and science tell us: Humans are divided into two sexes, male and female, not a multitude of "genders."
  • The government should not penalize those who believe—based on science, reason, and faith—that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
  • It is not bigotry to believe that children need a mother and father. Social research data supports this truth, and individuals should not be punished for saying this.

Special rights based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" jeopardize parents’ rights to direct their children’s education and safeguard their children’s innocence.

  • Against many parents’ wills or without their knowledge, SOGI laws have exposed young children to teaching about sexuality and "gender" that they are too young and ill-equipped to handle.
  • Many parents do not want their children taught ideology that says gender is fluid, people are able to change genders, and there are a multitude of "genders."
  • These laws put parental rights—including the right to educate children and raise them according to our faith and values—at risk.

Children who believe God’s design for sexuality and that marriage is the union of a husband and wife should not be penalized for expressing those beliefs at school.

© 2016 Focus on the Family. From Focus on the Family website at FocusOnTheFamily.com.