The Unfair Consequences of the Equality Act

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Back in March, Nancy Pelosi introduced the Equality Act, a bill that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under federal civil rights law. On the surface, it puts me in the mind of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which furthered equality by ensuring African Americans had equal access to public accommodations. However, the Equality Act, is not in that same vein. In a very real way, it penalizes Americans for their religious beliefs and makes it harder to separate from a leftist group think. 

The bill passed the House of Representatives and once it did, the White House was silent. To quote the Catholic News Agency article from Mar 2, 2021. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki would not directly answer questions by EWTN News Nightly White House correspondent Owen Jensen on conscience rights in health care, at Tuesday’s White House press briefing.

Jensen brought up the Equality Act, which passed the House last week and which outlaws “pregnancy discrimination” and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB), as well as pro-life groups, have warned that the legislation would essentially create rights to procedures such as abortion, sterilization, and gender-transition surgery. The bill could also eviscerate conscience protections of health care workers opposed to participating in these procedures, these groups have warned.

“Pro-life groups right now are very concerned about the phrase ‘pregnancy discrimination’ in the Equality Act,” Jensen said. “That it would force doctors to perform abortions, even if it violates their conscience. There are also concerns the bill would force doctors to perform gender-transition surgeries and sterilizations, again, even if it violates their conscience.”

“What does the president, President Biden, say about those concerns?” he asked Psaki.

The press secretary replied that Biden “has been a long supporter of Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. She said nothing of conscience protections.

When Jensen followed up by asking about Biden’s position on “conscience concerns,” Psaki simply repeated her previous statement.

That was then, as of June 20, 2021, the Equality Act is being stalled in the Senate. To quote The Washington Post

The long march toward equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender Americans — whose advocates have eyed major advances with complete Democratic control in Washington — has run into a wall of opposition in the U.S. Senate.

Floundering alongside other liberal priorities such as voting rights, gun control and police reform, legislation that would write protections for LGBTQ Americans into the nation’s foundational civil rights law has stalled due to sharpening Republican rhetoric, one key Democrat’s insistence on bipartisanship, and the Senate’s 60-vote supermajority rule.

While Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) hinted at a potential action this month — the annual LGBTQ Pride Month — Senate aides and advocates say there are no immediate plans to vote on the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes of the 1964 Civil Rights Act alongside race, color, religion and national origin.

I am HAPPY that the “Equality Act” seems to be losing traction. I hope it never passes. Why? If the Equality Act becomes law, I predict the following would happen next…

  • Businesses will be required to perform service requests that go against their religious beliefs
  • Doctors who object to abortions on religious grounds, will be required by law to perform them anyway. 
  • Doctors who object to transgender surgeries on religious grounds, will be required by law to give them anyway.  
  • Employers would be required to provide medical insurance for “gender transition.” 
  • Churches would be forced to hire staff that violate their religious doctrine under the threat of lawsuit. 
  • Biological men who compete as women would be required to share locker rooms with their female teammates.
  • Biological men who identify as women would be required to live in women’s shelters. 
  • Doctors would be pressured to give puberty blockers to children without the consent of their parents

In case you are thinking that I am being alarmist or homophobic or (insert expletive of your choice here), let me share with you some examples that have informed my opinion. 

  • There is the case of Jack Phillips is a baker that declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding because it went against his religious beliefs. It went all the way to the Supreme Court. Phillips won. 
  • There is the case of Barronelle Stutzman, owner of a flower shop who declined to service a gay wedding. 
  • There is the case of Elane Photography where a Christian photographer for declining to create photographs telling the story of a same-sex commitment ceremony.
  • There is the case of Kelvin Cochran who published a book on traditional, biblical views on marriage. 
  • There is the case of 303 Creative who preferred not to use her web design business to promote same sex marriages. 
  • There is the case of Steve and Bridget Tennes who were banned from selling their produce at a farmers market on public property because of their religious beliefs.
  • There is the other case of Jack Philips where he turned down a request to make a “gender transition celebration” cake. 
  • There is the case of Peter Vlaming who was fired from job because he refused to use a female student’s preferred masculine pronoun opting instead to refer to them by their preferred name. 
  • There is the case of Evan Michael Minton who sought a hysterectomy as part of his transition from female to male.
  • A 2019 edition of The American Journal of Bioethics has an article with this headline, “Transgender Children and the Right to Transition: Medical Ethics When Parents Mean Well but Cause Harm.” Spoiler alert: The article argues that transgender adolescents should have the legal right to access puberty-blocking treatment (PBT) without parental approval.
  • As Pascha Thomas can attest, predators will take advantage of same-sex bathroom policies. (A male classmate who identified as a female, assaulted her five year old daughter in the girls bathroom.)  
  • Nine homeless women filed a lawsuit against Naomi House, a women’s shelter because they allowed a man claiming to be a woman, to sexually harass them during mandatory shower time. 
  • The World Medical Association has a proposal to amend the organization’s ethical rules to require that physicians with a conscientious objection to an intervention refer patients to other physicians without the moral reticence.

That being said, think about this quote from a 2019 article on Living Facts

The Pew Research Center’s 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study, which surveyed more than 35,000 U.S. adults, found that the share of U.S. adults who say they believe in God slipped slightly from 92 percent to 89 percent between 2007 and 2014. That share is still remarkably high when compared with other advanced industrial nations.

And more recent Pew Research Center surveys (from 2018 and 2019) show that two-thirds of American adults (65 percent) continue to identify with some religious faith (including a wide variety of Protestants as well as Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and adherents of other faith traditions).

Should the Equality Act become law, there would be a devastating consequence to commerce, healthcare and society overall because most Americans are religious. As such, many will opt out of their professions instead of being forced to comply against their faith. Will all Americans do this? Certainly not. Many will not be able to afford that course of action and they will be HIGHLY resentful. This brings to mind another consideration, a deep and resounding backlash against the political party who enforces it. Perhaps that is the real reason why it has stalled in the Senate, so far? 

Be that as it may, I would like all persons reading this to contact their Senator and make your displeasure felt. Assuming of course, your outrage matches mine.

  1. Visit the Senate website (www.senate.gov).
  2. Conduct a search using the Find Your Senators pull-down menu in the upper right corner (select your state and click Go).
  3. On the results page is a link to the Senators’ website, contact information, and links to an online contact form (forms vary by Senator).

Big THANK YOU to Liz Wheeler who gave me the heads up on this. You have a new subscriber in me. 

Thank you!

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