What You Must Know about the Equality Act
Audrea Decker – My Faith Votes
Equality. It is a word that has helped spark movements and revolutionary change around the globe. It is a powerful word representing opportunity, fairness, and equal rights for every person under the law.
The fight for equality helped free African Americans from the bonds of slavery and segregation to finally allow them to enjoy their God-given human rights and opportunities.
The movement calling for women’s equality helped women gain the right to vote, brought discrimination into the light, and lifted women out of poverty and oppression across the world.
Now we hear the powerful word equality being discussed again, in Washington D.C., local communities, places of business, television shows, and through social media.
This time, however, the word “equality” is being used to describe everything but true equality. Political players, media pundits and community activists have one goal in mind: undermine what God has designed and established – biological sex – and ultimately silence the human right that birthed America – religious freedom.
This new “debate” over equality is perhaps the biggest threat to biblical values that our generation will ever face. It is an aggressive all-out assault on biological sex and gender, basically prohibiting people from acknowledging that God created man and woman – period.
There are already 240 co-sponsors of the Equality Act in the House of Representatives and 46 co-sponsors in the Senate. On May 1, 2019, the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee and is fast advancing to a full vote on the floor of the House. This single piece of legislation has the power to transform America as we know it.
Think this is a dramatic statement? Let me explain.
The Equality Act would add two new classes under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act: “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”. These two classes would replace the definition of “sex.” While this may seem harmless, the ramifications will be catastrophic, affecting free speech, freedom of conscience and religious freedom.
The Equality Act Suppresses Religious Freedom in the Public Square.
Businesses and non-profits would be forced to recognize and accept an unlimited number of genders and gender preferences in their business practices.
We’ve already seen some examples of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws and ordinances codified in cities and states across the country. Their startling effects have required individuals to defend themselves in court for exercising their right to free speech and living out their traditional faith values.
A high-school teacher in Virginia was fired for failing to use the proper pronoun for a transgender student, despite the fact he had agreed to call the female student by a new masculine name.
Bakers, florists, and wedding photographers, to name a few, have already been prosecuted for their religious objections to participate in gay marriages and transgender celebrations.
In Colorado, Jack Phillips spent years in legal battles because he chose not to make a wedding cake for a gay couple and would not make a “gender transition” celebratory cake because it violated his religious beliefs.
Insurance companies and hospitals will have no choice but to provide gender reassignment surgeries and therapies, which will mean Christian nurses and doctors will have to participate in these procedures and choose between their freedom of conscience and keeping their jobs.
If the Equality Act becomes law, cases like Jack Phillips will not end in favor of religious liberty. Christians will be forced to pay for, and participate in, gender transitions and therapies that violate their faith. People of faith will lose protection under the law to freely follow their religious convictions in the public square.
The Equality Act leads to Diminished Parental Rights.
When gender and sex reassignment surgeries and hormones are normalized on the federal level, it will further encourage this ideology in our children’s education. And even more concerning, parental rights could be eliminated if parents don’t support treating their child’s gender dysphoria with surgery or hormones.
Parents in Ohio last year lost custody of their daughter because they refused to treat their seventeen-year-old with testosterone supplements to help her transition to become a male. The parents instead wanted to provide their daughter with counseling, but the Hamilton County Job Family Services charged them with abuse and neglect for merely refusing to sign-off on their daughter’s hormonal treatment for gender transition.
If the Equality Act becomes law, parental rights will be further diminished and gender transition treatment equated to medical treatment.
The Equality Act Undermines Women’s Privacy And Opportunity.
If gender identity and sexual orientation become a new protected class under federal law, then biological men will be permitted to use women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and any other facility designated for women.
The Equality Act would mean even Christian retreat centers, youth camps, and Christian schools would all have no protection under the law to keep facilities, retreats, or camps strictly for biological females.
In Georgia, a male classmate was permitted to enter the girl’s restroom because of a transgender restroom policy, and he sexually assaulted a five-year-old little girl. Sadly, these cases will become much more likely if the Equality Act becomes law.
Women will also be significantly discriminated against in sports. Transgender males will be permitted to compete on girls sports teams, which will not only disadvantage females’ opportunity to win but will inevitably take away scholarships and opportunities from women to compete in sports at the highest level.
We have already seen a case of this in Connecticut where two biological males, self-identifying as women, competed in the Women Connecticut Track State Championship and took first and second place. This meant the women who took third and fourth place were overlooked by college scouts and their opportunity for college scholarships lost. The female runner who lost said, “We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts. It’s demoralizing.”
Women will experience inequality, their privacy violated, and opportunities dramatically diminished under this policy.
The Equality Act will do the exact opposite of what the word “equality” is intended to mean.
Do not be mistaken; the Equality Act elevates one set of beliefs over another and, as a result, will further divide our nation. For those who adhere to a biblical view of gender, this policy is a threat to the rights they currently enjoy. Parents, women, business owners, faith-based charities, teachers and medical professionals who hold a biblical worldview will all lose their right to religious conscience and freedom in the public square, or face discrimination and persecution.
The Equality Act is disguised with a positive word and seeks to destroy sex and gender as God defined it (Genesis 1:26-18) and religious freedom as we know it.