A Message from MUR
By now, you may have heard the news that the General Secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, resigned from his position following allegations of improper behavior. The circumstances are very troubling and sobering. All of us, as one body in Christ, are affected by this news.

It also serves as a reminder that all of our clergy, bishops and priests, are desperately in need of our prayers, sacrifices, and edifying examples of holy lives to strengthen and encourage them in their vocation.

Read the media release from USCCB.
Same-Sex Attraction and Gender Discordance
The latest episode of the podcast kicks off with Anna Carter of Eden Invitation, talking about their exciting ministry with those who experience same-sex attraction or gender discordance. Later in the episode, Kara and Andrew finish Edward Sri's Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love! Find previous episodes here, and share it with your friends!
We Can Stop the "Equality Act"!
The Senate has yet to vote on the misnamed Equality Act, which the USCCB continues to oppose. By seeking to insert "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" into civil rights laws, it would discriminate against people of faith and impose gender theory in schools, workplaces, charities, shelters, hospitals, doctors' offices, and more. Its provisions could also be construed to create an abortion mandate. For a deeper look at some of the issues with gender theory, check out our podcast at the links above!

Our Policy Advisor, Robert Vega, participated in a webinar detailing the potential harms of the bill, along with a podcast for the USCCB's religious liberty office. They also hosted another podcast on gender theory with guests Margaret Harper McCarthy and Michael Hanby.

Please contact your U.S. senator to stop this bill from becoming law! Check out this in-depth briefing: The Equality Act and What It Means for Catholics and visit usccb.org/equality-act to learn more.
A Year of St. Joseph
Pope Francis has proclaimed in his Apostolic Letter Patris Corde a special “Year of St. Joseph,” a wonderful opportunity to increase our love for St. Joseph, patron of both the Universal Church and of all families.

The USCCB has compiled a hub of resources, catechetical materials, and prayers/devotions to assist in the ongoing celebration of this special year, and our podcast just covered it in its newest episode.
Legal/Policy Updates

Stuck in Court - On July 21st, a federal court stopped Arkansas's new law restricting gender-related medical interventions for children from going into effect as the litigation unfolds, while another similarly blocked West Virginia's new law protecting women's school sports from male competition. Earlier in the month, a Tennessee federal judge preliminarily ruled against the state's new law requiring businesses' restroom signage to indicate if they allow access based on "gender identity."

First Amendment Freedoms - On July 2nd, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Barronelle Stutzman's petition for review, effectively letting Washington state force the Christian florist and grandmother to create arrangements for same-sex "weddings." Similarly, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 26th against a Christian website designer from Colorado, forcing her to make webpages for same-sex "weddings." On July 12th, a federal court had ruled against an Indiana teacher who was forced to resign for refusing to use "transgender" students' preferred names (and offered to call all students by last name). Conversely, a California state appeals court struck down a state law requiring preferred pronoun usage in nursing homes on July 16th. And in another victory, the 7th Circuit held on July 9th in favor of a parish that had dismissed a music director who was in a same-sex "marriage." On July 28th, the Maryland federal court ruled that a lawsuit could go forward against a Catholic hospital for not providing gender-related surgeries.

Conversion Therapy - The governor of Minnesota issued an executive order on July 15th, restricting "conversion therapy" for minors. While preventing harmful practices, such rules (now present in some form in about half of states) can also be overbroad and limit the ability of professionals to talk with youth about accepting their bodies or living chastely.

Foster Care and Adoption - Kentucky's governor yielded in a battle with a Baptist foster care and adoption agency, reaching a deal on July 15th to continue contracting with them for at least a year without forcing the organization to place children with same-sex couples.

Schools - On July 8th, North Carolina's education department voted to advance putting "LGBTQ" history in the curriculum. On July 15th, an Oregon school board terminated two teachers who had resolved to resist gender ideology. The Nebraska education department's plans to require teaching "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to young children has attracted objection from 47 school districts as of late July.

International - On July 2nd, a UK court rejected the challenge of a female inmate and upheld the government's policy of placing male "transwomen" in women's prisons. On July 11th, Israel's high court voided laws that prevent same-sex couples from using gestational surrogates. The European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling urging Russia to recognize same-sex civil unions on July 13th, which Russian promptly rejected. The EU announced plans to take legal action against Poland and Hungary over laws it seems "anti-LGBT" in mid-July. Argentina began offering "non-binary" sex markers on government IDs on July 21st per a presidential decree. Montenegro's first same-sex "wedding" was held on July 25th.