Faith-Based Schools Protected From ‘Existential Threat’ To Identity

New York Families Action is a Christian voice in the New York State Capitol. We advocate for policies that edify the family, defend public faith, and protect the vulnerable.

As Christian New Yorkers are well aware, many state lawmakers are hostile to the Christian principles for which New York Families stands. This fact makes our job in Albany a challenging one. While we love nothing better than advancing public policies that respect life, family, and freedom, we spend much of our time trying to fend off legislation that would make New York’s laws worse than they already are. When evil, destructive bills fail to pass in New York, this is cause for celebration.

In late May, New York Families was very concerned about the Nonpublic Dignity for All Students Act (NDASA) (Bill S.3180-A-Hoylman-Sigal/A.1829-B-Jean-Pierre). In addition to creating new mandates to combat bullying, this misleadingly-named bill would force Christian schools and other religious schools to:

  • Use opposite-sex names and pronouns to address “transgender” students;
  • Allow boys who believe they are “transgender” to use girls’ locker rooms;
  • Allow boys who believe they are “transgender” to compete in girls’ sporting events; and
  • Allow students who believe they are “transgender” to crossdress in school.

The bill would also jeopardize the freedom of religious schools to limit admission to students from their respective faith traditions. New York Families Action Executive Director Jason McGuire commented, “The ‘Nonpublic Dignity’ bill is an existential threat to Christian schools’ ability to maintain a distinctly Christian identity.”

The organization’s Policy Director Stephen Hayford added, “Late in the 2024 state legislative session, there was a flurry of activity surrounding the so-called ‘Nonpublic Dignity’ bill. The bill was approved by committees of the Senate and the Assembly, and it was amended twice. The timing of the second amendment led to concerns that the bill might be voted upon and passed during the waning days of the 2024 legislative session.”

To head off this dangerous bill, New York Families Action did three things. First, we updated our memorandum of opposition to the “Nonpublic Dignity” bill and provided that updated memorandum to every member of the Legislature. In so doing, we offered legislators and legislative staff up-to-date information about the disturbing provisions contained in this bill. Second, we updated our action alert regarding this bill, enabling Christian New Yorkers to e-mail their elected officials to express opposition. Third, we coordinated our efforts with key allies in the nonpublic school community.

Thankfully, the efforts made by our organization and others to oppose the “Nonpublic Dignity” bill met with success, and the bill did not receive a vote. We praise the Lord and give Him thanks for this outcome. It truly is cause for celebration.

McGuire cautioned, “Like every other political victory, the ‘Nonpublic Dignity’ victory is temporary. LGBT advocates will be back in Albany in 2025 to push for the passage of this bill. New Yorkers of faith cannot be satisfied with this victory; rather, we must work together to make sure that this destructive bill never receives a vote in our state legislature. We need our friends and allies to support us in this endeavor. Are you a Christian school parent who does not want boys in the girls’ locker room with his daughter? Are you a Christian school teacher or administrator who refuses to tell young people lies about their sexuality and gender that could irreparably damage them? Are you a pastor whose church is connected to a Christian school that desires to maintain Biblical integrity? Or are you simply a Christian who understands the crucial importance of Christian schools’ efforts to equip young believers to thrive in an increasingly secular culture? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ we need your help in this fight.”

If you haven’t already done so, please click here to e-mail your state legislators and ask them to vote ‘no’ on the ‘Nonpublic Dignity’ bill. Also, please be on the lookout for more communications from New York Families in the coming months as we build a successful opposition campaign to defeat the ‘Nonpublic Dignity’ bill. Finally, please pray against this deceptive legislation.

McGuire concluded, “No child should be subjected to harassment, bullying, or mistreatment of any kind, whether inside or outside of school. Furthermore, kids who are insecure in their sexuality or their gender identity should be treated with compassion and helped to resolve those challenges. However, compassion and deception are two different things. The sponsors of the ‘Nonpublic Dignity’ bill cannot be allowed to bully Christian schools into tolerating homosexual or transgendered behavior or pretending that such behavior is not sinful and destructive. Christian schools and other Christian institutions must continue to humbly speak the truth in love about God’s sovereignty and his creative purposes for every person’s gender and sexuality.”

If you appreciate this victory, and want to see more like it, please consider partnering with New York Families Action today.