In the months since the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage, LGBT advocacy groups are pushing Congress to take up the Equality Act.
The legislation is designed to expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “…to include sex, sexual orientation and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation.”
It would have a zero tolerance clause for religious exceptions concerning same sex-marriage and gender identity. In essence The Equality Act would vastly broaden the government’s power over religious people and institutions.
Overall, the Equality Act is designed to both undermine rights and protections granted by the first amendment, as well as undermine the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act — by legislating that beliefs cannot provide the basis for a claim or a defense against LGBT special interests.
It starts out by changing definitions. Christian Today, reported: “The proposed law would change public school desegregation standards ‘to provide for the assignment of students without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity’” and “‘…recognize individuals in accordance with their gender identity if sex is a bona fide occupational qualification.’”
The day to day implications range from scholarships, dorm rooms, hospital rooms to school age girls and young women being forced to undress in front of boys. The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson notes: “Difficulties can also arise when a student identifies as transgender and seeks to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to his or her new gender identity. These situations are best handled at the local level, by the parents and teachers closest to the children?”
In one broad sweep, religious conscience rights are gutted.
In a chilling declaration Chad Griffin, President of the Human Right Campaign, told the audience at the HRC Gala celebration in Chicago that the Equality Act is going to be “…the biggest legislative battle in the history of our movement…” and added that the movement has 10 million voters “to decide elections.”
The US Department of Justice, which supported the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, is required to act if it receives a complaint from someone who claims discrimination. The legislation would also require employers to “…recognize individuals in accordance with their gender identity if sex is a bona fide occupational qualification.”
Currently the Equality Act has 170 co-sponsors in Congress. It is also backed by one of the most powerful businesses in the world — Apple. In a statement to Human Rights Campaign, Apple wrote: “At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.”
You can find your member of Congress here. Tell them to oppose the Equality Act, disastrous legislation for religious conscience rights.