You’re listening to Family Council in Little Rock, bringing you the latest news and updates. Here are today’s stories.
In our first story, a federal judge in Little Rock has struck down a law designed to protect children from sex-reassignment procedures. U.S. District Judge James Moody blocked the enforcement of the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (or SAFE) Act, a state law passed in Arkansas in 2021. The law safeguards children by prohibiting sex-reassignment surgeries, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones on minors.
Family Council President Jerry Cox expressed disappointment with the ruling, saying that subjecting children to sex-change procedures can have harmful, long-term effects. Cox believes that the higher courts will recognize the importance of the SAFE Act and ultimately uphold the law as constitutional.
Moving on to our second story, a federal lawsuit in Maryland highlights the significance of laws passed in Arkansas. Three families, including one Muslim, one Roman Catholic, and one Ukrainian Orthodox, recently filed a lawsuit against the Montgomery County Board of Education in Maryland. The lawsuit challenges the school district’s policy, which no longer notifies parents about LGBT content at school and prevents them from opting their children out of pro-LGBT material.
The families argue that the LGBT Pride Storybooks provided in the schools are not age appropriate and promote a one sided transgender ideology. Similar pro-LGBT books have caused controversy in libraries across Arkansas. The Arkansas Legislature has taken steps to prevent this type of material from being present in public school classrooms, with laws such as the 2023 LEARNS Act protecting elementary students from inappropriate sexual material and prohibiting critical race theory in public schools.
Our final story brings us to Batesville, Arkansas, where a Christian preacher named Jeremy Anders is being prosecuted for exercising his religious freedom. Mr. Anders was arrested in April for harassment due to preaching on a public sidewalk.
Attorney Bob Ballinger, the Director of Law and Policy for the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, is defending Mr. Anders in court. In a statement, Mr. Ballinger highlights the importance of protecting individual rights, including the right to preach and speak on sidewalks.
Former Senator Jason Rapert, Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, also voiced his concerns, emphasizing that the freedom of religion, speech, and peaceful assembly are critical rights that should be protected. Mr. Anders hopes that his case will set a precedent for the protection of religious expression in public spaces.
That wraps up our news segment for today! Stay tuned for more updates from Family Council in Little Rock. You can find more information on our website at FamilyCouncil.org. Thanks for listening!