“Power grab.” “Tyrannical.” “The death of women’s rights.”
These are just some words and phrases used to describe a piece of legislation that the House of Representatives just voted to pass. You would almost be surprised to learn that those descriptors are used for a bill called the “Equality Act,” but those phrases above are much more accurate than the name of the bill implies.
What is the so-called “Equality Act,” and what makes it so dangerous?
Let’s take a look.
The Equality Act is the most overbearing sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) law ever proposed. The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and segregation and regulates employment, schools, and public accommodations. Supporters of the bill seek to redefine “sex” from a biological reality to a subjective perception that refers not to being male or female, but to sexual attraction or gender identity. You can read the text of the bill here.
Redefining “sex” opens up Pandora’s Box. It creates a myriad of real-world situations where it’s simply unacceptable to think, speak, or act as if there are real differences between men and women. It erases the hard-fought progress women currently enjoy in just about every aspect of life. It puts religious business owners in the crosshairs of government officials who suddenly find themselves the enforcers of the new orthodoxy. It endangers vulnerable women and children across the nation.
It is no surprise that there are many people who have spoken out against the Equality Act.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), writes at The Hill that the Equality Act hijacks the Civil Right Act and creates a “brave new world”:
In California, nine women were sexually harassed in a women’s shelter. No one stopped the leering, the inappropriate sexual comments, or the harassment. So much for the #MeToo movement. The shelter pointed to federal grant guidelines requiring that transgender individuals be admitted to the safe haven. Assaulted in the shower by the biological male, the women, not the perpetrator, were threatened with expulsion from the shelter. This is absurd, but more situations like this would be a reality under the Equality Act’s expanded definition of “public accommodation.” Women-only spaces will be a thing of the past.
The Equality Act enshrines inequality for women, girls, parents, and children, into federal law. This is an imminent threat to the common good, freedom, and the American dream that I work every day to preserve as a representative of the people of Missouri. Members from both sides of the aisle—especially those who claim to be pro-woman and pro-children—need to stop this devastating legislation. The future of women’s rights, privacy, protection and athletic potential depends on it.
Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) calls the Equality Act the “Forfeiting Women’s Rights Act” and shows just how at The Daily Signal:
It requires organizations such as schools, churches, university dormitories, or nonprofit organizations to allow biological males in traditionally women’s spaces like women’s bathrooms, women’s locker rooms, women’s showers—even without any type of medical diagnosis or psychological diagnosis.
This really infringes on the rights of women and girls to have their privacy and to have safety.
Doreen Denny of Concerned Women for America paints a horrifying picture for future generations of women:
Parents have a big enough job teaching our little girls not to trust suspicious men. But today we face a trans-activist culture seeking protected status that tells our daughters if a man thinks he’s a woman and he is in your dressing room, locker room or bathroom you shouldn’t worry. Instead you should just shut up and deal with it.
Too bad if “she” could be a sexual predator – we’ll risk your safety in the name of “equality.” Beware the consequences: not only would concern for the safety of your daughter from a biological man identifying as a woman be considered discriminatory, you could be in legal jeopardy if you said anything.
It doesn’t end there.
Stella Morabito says at The Federalist that the Equality Act is a power grab and all of our First Amendment freedoms are threatened:
Our First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, press, and association are clearly targeted by the “Equality” Act. It explicitly invalidates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act so that anybody caught in this bill’s legal web is pre-emptively stripped of the right to express his or her conscience without loss of liberty and property.
So the mask is off. All prior promises of conscience clauses in past incarnations of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws are hereby exposed as bait intended only to push through bad laws until conscience protections could be abolished.
Star Parker, president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), points out that religious freedom goes out the window if the Equality Act is signed into law:
It explicitly defines itself as overriding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that can protect people, such as Christian baker Jack Phillips, from being forced to do commerce that violates their Christian convictions.
There will be no more legal protections for Christians in commerce or in any other circumstance to enable them to avoid complicity with behavior that for them is sin.
If you think Morabito and Parker are being hyperbolic, here’s the relevant text directly from the Equality Act:
SEC. 1107. CLAIMS.
“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.) shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.”
The editorial board of National Review also shows that doctors and medical experts who might want to give their patients the best treatment possible won’t be allowed.
Another troubling section of the Equality Act is its finding that “conversion therapy” is a form of discrimination. This is worrisome because the term “conversion therapy” (originally used to describe the controversial practice of trying to change a gay person’s sexual orientation) is increasingly misapplied to tried, tested, and ethical treatments for gender-confused youth that range from counseling to watchful waiting. The Equality Act would set a dangerous precedent that could be interpreted to mandate doctors and therapists to pursue “gender affirmation” therapy, under which American girls as young as 13 and 14 have had their healthy breasts removed.
All of the problems listed above merely scratch the surface of the damage the Equality Act will do. The Equality Act is so egregious that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints—which has been in favor of other SOGI laws that are masked with words like “fairness” and “compromise”—says the Act goes too far.
And many from the gay and lesbian communities—the people the Act supposedly helps—aren’t all behind it either. Chad Felix Green of The Federalist writes:
To be clear, this bill would create a protected class based on belief alone while providing the federal government the power to punish disbelief. Regardless of the promised benefits, as an American citizen who values liberty, I simply cannot support such a massive abuse of power.
Every person should be treated with dignity and respect. And our laws should protect the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of every citizen, no matter who they are. Unfortunately, coercive SOGI laws like the Equality Act undermine both fairness and freedom for everyone.