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A new civil rights division within the Department of Health and Human Services will protect health-care workers who refuse to provide services that run counter to their moral or religious convictions, the Trump administration announced Thursday.

This office will consider complaints from doctors, nurses and others who feel they have been pressured by employers to “perform, accommodate or assist with” procedures that violate their beliefs. If a complaint about coercion or retribution is found to be valid, an entity receiving federal dollars could have that funding revoked.

Former Houston mayor Annise Parker is the new president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a nonprofit organization focused on identifying and electing LGBTQ people to public office.

Parker is intimately familiar with the organization because her earliest campaigns for Houston City Council were supported by the Victory Fund after it was founded in 1991. The group’s backing eventually helped Parker become the first openly LGBTQ person elected mayor of a major U.S. city, in 2009.

Now, Parker is checking off another “first” as the first elected official to lead the Victory Fund. She takes over for Aisha Moodie-Mills, who announced her departure during the group’s International LGBTQ Leaders Conference on December 8.

Houston Magazine OutSmart reports that at least 35 LGBTQ Texans are running for office in the 2018 primary and general elections–including governor and lieutenant governor contests. Five candidates identify as transgender. More than one-third are from Harris County. The publication added five to the list by Wednesday afternoon.
The publication began the article by stating:

With equality under attack by the Trump administration and the Texas Legislature, LGBTQ candidates across the state are lining up to fight back.

Two years ago on BreakPoint we told you about a promising young Christian football player. On Monday, he was the hero of Alabama’s national football championship win.

Alabama’s stunning come-from-behind NCAA championship victory over Georgia was fueled by freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. In a remarkably humble interview after the game, especially given what he’d just accomplished on national television, he said: “I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With him all things are possible.”

Now two years ago, on BreakPoint, I talked about Tagovailoa’s faith—back when he was still in high school. Here’s a part of that broadcast from 2015:

A husband-and-wife baking team must pay a $135,000 fine for declining to make a cake for the wedding of two women, Oregon’s second-highest court has ruled. A three-judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a decision by a state agency that led to the fine and forced Aaron and Melissa Klein to close their bakery.

The court ruled that baking wedding cakes is not “speech, art, or other expression” protected by the First Amendment. The judges said the state did not “impermissibly burden the Kleins’ right to the free exercise of religion” because it compelled the Christian bakers only to comply with “a neutral law of general applicability.”

Get a load of this:
A few days ago, Iran's foreign minister tweeted "a very happy and peaceful Christmas to all."

I wonder what the Christians jailed this month in Iran would think about that tweet.

I wonder what Iranian youth would think about that tweet, but sadly the regime bans Twitter.

Except, of course, if you're a high ranking official.

“I was depressed. I was going through difficulty at that point. I needed counseling, I needed care, not assisted suicide pills,” J.J. Hanson, who died Dec. 30 at age 36, told The Daily Signal last year about a time in his life after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

A Marine veteran, Hanson is survived by his wife, Kristen, and two sons, James and Lucas.

Told when he was diagnosed in 2014 that he would live only a few months more, he managed to have three more years with his family.

Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and the CEO of venture capital firm Social Capital, said in a November interview that social media is damaging society and voiced concerns about its impact on his own children.

For a party who argues there's no war on Christmas, the secular Left sure spends a lot of time talking about one! From smart-alecky op-eds to condescending cartoons, it's starting to feel like some liberals are more obsessed with the idea than anyone. But considering the wildly enthusiastic response to Donald Trump in Pensacola, maybe they're right to be worried.

Combatants in the annual “War on Christmas” have some new data to chew on, thanks to a survey released this week by the Pew Research Center.

While many doubt that Christmas is embattled, as some conservative pundits contend, the new study does suggest American attitudes are changing.