By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
February 25, 2021
Passed by the House on Thursday, the so-called Equality Act will upend religious freedom in America unless it can be stopped in the U.S. Senate.
“When people hear the word equality, they want to support it because no one should be treated less than equal, but make no mistake, this far-reaching and egregious law is not about making people equal,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “It’s about banning disagreement on LGBTQ issues and stripping individuals of their right to follow deeply held religious convictions or even to operate under common sense and scientific knowledge regarding the differences in the sexes.”
Having already signed an executive order on preventing discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation on his first day in office, President Biden is calling for H.R. 5 to “lock in critical safeguards in our housing, education, public services and lending systems.”
But what he calls safeguards are anything but safe to free-thinking Americans.
According to the Heritage Foundation, the Equality Act would make mainstream beliefs about marriage, as well as basic biological facts about sex differences, punishable under the law.
Among other provisions, H.R. 5 would force employers, medical professionals, educators and religious organizations to allow men into women’s shelters, pay for or perform sex-change procedures, and engage in speech that violates their consciences. Doctors or hospitals which refuse to perform abortions could face lawsuits as could faith-based adoption and foster care agencies that refuse to violate their belief that every child deserves a mother and a father.
Further, anyone targeted by the law would be without the legal protection once afforded them by the religious freedom guaranteed in the Constitution and, more specifically, outlined in the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“The so-called ‘Equality Act’ is not at all about equality. If it was, the bill would not include houses of worship and eliminate religious freedom as a claim or defense. The bill is a massive expansion of the federal government into every corner of our lives,” said Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel founder and chairman. “The reach of the bill combined with its vagueness and the repeal of the federal religious freedom law will result in a torrent of harassing and frivolous lawsuits. If this bill becomes law, the consequences are staggering.”
Franklin Graham pointed out that the Equality Act could prohibit religious organizations and churches from hiring only like-minded people who believe what they believe.
“Can you imagine a Christian organization being forced to hire people hostile to its deeply held beliefs who have no passion for its beliefs, teachings, and mission? That doesn’t work,” Graham said.
Paradoxically, the “equality” law would immediately make women less than equal by robbing them of their right to privacy in locker rooms, dressing rooms, shelters and restrooms. It would also undermine their athletic pursuits.
“The Equality Act would destroy women’s and girls’ sports in this country as we know it,” Graham said. “It would allow biological males who choose to identify as females to compete for titles, scholarships, and recognition at all age levels.”
Inez F. Stepman, senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum, pointed out the ridiculous nature of the law in the Wall Street Journal.
“Under the guise of fairness, the Equality Act would forbid policy makers from ever taking into consideration the differences between men and women that are necessary in order to guarantee safety and equality of the sexes,” she wrote.
Even law professors who have supported the insertion of special protections for sexual orientation and gender identity into federal laws admit the Equality Act goes way too far.
“It protects the rights of one side, but attempts to destroy the rights of the other side,” Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia, told NPR. “We ought to protect the liberty of both sides to live their own lives by their own identities and their own values.”
Rabbi Avi Shafran, public affairs director for Agudath Israel of America, had this to say about the act: “Those the Equality Act was crafted to protect are individuals. So are religious Americans. And we have rights, too, ones important enough to have been enshrined in the Constitution. Simply put, the Equality Act as written insults our nation’s foundational commitment to the rights of religious believers.”
To illustrate the proposed law’s reach, The Christian Post told readers they should only care about the Equality Act if they “are a Christian, or a person of faith, or a woman, or own a business, or run a nonprofit, or go to school, or teach at a school, or are a medical or mental-health professional, or (especially) are a female athlete, or under the age of 18, or ever use a public restroom.”
The Rev. Creech said that, while statements about the Equality Act may sound like hyperbole, the ramifications of the legislation cannot be overstated.
“This law would absolutely change life as we know it in the United States,” he said.
The measure now moves to the Senate where its future is uncertain.
TAKE CHRISTIAN ACTION: Contact both of North Carolina’s U.S. Senators and urge them to vote “No” on the “Equality Act.
Sen. Richard Burr:
Phone his office in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Thom Tillis
Phone his office in Washington, D.C.