Respect Life Month - More Pivotal Than Ever
This October marks the first Respect Life Month since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. To kick off the month and help build a culture of life, USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities Chairman Archbishop William Lori called for radical solidarity and unconditional love for mothers.

Archbishop Lori asked Catholics to “shift the paradigm to what Saint Pope John Paul II described as ‘radical solidarity,’ making the good of others our own good, including especially mothers, babies (born and unborn), and families throughout the entire human lifespan.”

Learn more about taking action at Walking with Moms in Need.
Back to Middle-earth
The newest episode of the podcast covers a new book taking a holistic look at the human person, Sexual Identity: The Harmony of Philosophy, Science, and Revelation. In addition (22:55), before they discuss The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in a few weeks, Kara and Andrew turn to JRR Tolkien's posthumously published history of Middle-earth, The Silmarillion.

In the prior episode, we finished our interview with the founders of WalletWin and wrapped up our series on Richard Linklater's Before trilogy.

Find previous episodes of the podcast here and share it with your friends!
Rethinking "Conversion Therapy"
Numerous bans on so-called "Conversion Therapy" have taken effect, based on the notion that they harm more than they help. While the phrase evokes bygone harmful practices such as electroshock and boot camps, it is used to outlaw talk therapies, which are non-coercive, freely chosen, and psychologically standard methods of treating a patient. Lawmakers and advocates claim that what are often termed "Sexual Orientation Change Efforts" (SOCE) have disproportionately high rates of negative mental health impacts, but a new study has found that those indicators occurred before the patients began SOCE, as much or more than they occurred after. This data-driven approach isn't getting media coverage, but it can bring clarity to a cultural conversation which is often prone to miscommunication.
Resisting the (dis)"Respect for Marriage" Act
Thank you for joining us in opposition to the “Respect for Marriage Act”, which would prevent states from restoring the authentic understanding of marriage between man and woman if given the opportunity by the Supreme Court. The Senate has postponed a vote on the bill until at least after the November elections.

Two USCCB Bishop chairmen issued a letter urging members of Congress to oppose the bill. Please continue to tell your U.S. senators to vote “No” on the poorly-named Respect for Marriage Act, whenever it is put to a vote.
Legal/Policy Updates
HHS – The deadline to submit your public comment for the process on the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) proposed “1557” regulation to, among other things, mandate health care workers and Catholic hospitals to perform “gender transition” procedures is coming up on Monday, October 3rd. Please voice your opposition and comment at! Also, learn more about this and other hostile regulations at the USCCB webpage, Do No Harm, and view the Conference’s own comments, submitted September 7th, available here.
Title IX – On September 12th, the USCCB also submitted its regulatory comments for the U.S. Dept. of Education’s proposed rule to impose adherence to students’ asserted “gender identity” in various school settings and activities.

Victory for Catholic Schools – On September 30th, Roncalli High School and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis won a case before a federal district court, guaranteeing their right to choose teachers who publicly uphold Catholic teaching in both word and example.
School Pride – Yeshiva University, a Jewish school in New York, has been ordered by state courts to officially recognize a “Pride” club as a student organization. The USCCB joined an amicus brief led by the Archdiocese of New York to the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting an emergency stay of these rulings while the case proceeds. That stay was briefly granted on September 9th but then was lifted on the 14th. Then, after Yeshiva decided to pause all student organization activities in order to avoid having to recognize the Pride Alliance, the latter agreed voluntarily to a stay on September 21st, for the duration of remaining proceedings, so as to let other student groups resume.
Adoption – On September 6th, New Hope Family Services pregnancy and adoption center in Syracuse, New York, won summary judgment in court against the state, allowing it to continue to serve without being forced to place children with same-sex couples.
Children’s Protection  Texas was again enjoined in state court from investigating families’ facilitating their children’s “gender transitioning” as child abuse on September 16th. The state is appealing.
Health Coverage  Activists sued against Florida’s new Medicaid rule against reimbursing for “gender transitions” on September 7th. On September 27th, a deputy was awarded $60,000 in his lawsuit against Houston County, Georgia, sheriff’s dept. for refusing to cover his “gender transition.” Meanwhile, the day after, Oklahoma legislators moved to disburse large health care funds to state entities but barred recipients from performing “gender transitions” on minors, and Oklahoma U. has agreed.
Polyamory – A New York state trial judge ruled on September 23rd that plural partnerships should be entitled to the same legal rights as married couples.
Restrooms – The Oklahoma State Dept. of Ed. was sued on September 6th over a new law requiring students to use restrooms in accord with the sex on their birth certificates.
Birth Certificates  On September 19th after initial resistance, Montana yielded to a state court’s order to stop enforcing a new law requiring surgeries before changing “sex” on birth certificates.
Conversion Therapy – The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Washington state ban on what it deems to be “conversion therapy” for minors on September 6th.
Prisons – The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on September 16th in favor of a Muslim inmate’s rights to not be searched by a “transgender” guard of the opposite sex.
Local Schools – Virginia Governor Youngkin released new draft guidelines in September that would roll back his predecessor’s imposition of pro-"transgender" policies in schools. The new rules would require use of restrooms according to sex and parental consent for name and pronoun changes. A public comment period is open until October 26th. Eau Claire Area Schools in Wisconsin were reported this month to have been sued over concealing students’ social “gender transitions” from parents. Across the country, school boards this past month continued to face increased parental and community engagement against gender ideology in sex education, students' social "gender transitions," pornographic books in school libraries, and more - such as in Mat-Su, AKConejo, CAConway, AR; Roaring Fork, COShawnee, KS; the Portland, ME areaHilliard City, OHHollidaysburg, PA; Randolph, VT; and Rice Lake, WI. A few districts have begun to be responsive.