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‘Every American deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. With today’s vote, the House has again affirmed that LGBTQ people should enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as all other Americans,’ said Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who led the push for the bill.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? The truth is that every American does not deserve to be treated with respect and dignity; rapists, murderers, illegal immigrants, and many Leftists have not earned respectful treatment, for starters. And the Equality Act H.R.5, which was passed by the House 224 to 206 votes on February 25, is not only deceptive but opens the door to abuses of the rights of most Americans.
The Equality Act, no matter what it says, is not intended to make sure that everyone has equal rights. Specifically, it would very likely show favoritism toward LBGT groups, and discrimination against religious groups, girls and women, businesses, medical professionals, and others. The Heritage Foundation describes the bill in this way:
The proposed Equality Act (H.R. 5) turns sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) into protected classes under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The bill creates obvious liberty, equality, privacy, and safety concerns. H.R. 5 would empower the federal government to impose civil and criminal punishments on citizens who dissent from SOGI ideology, including medical professionals, parents, women and girls, businesses, and charities. The bill would violate their rights to freedom of conscience, religion, and speech. The bill would also take away basic authorities of local communities to determine who is allowed in single-sex facilities and whether biological men and boys are allowed to join women’s and girls’ sports teams.
A major issue with the bill is that it expands the meaning of “public accommodations,” which is another way of saying they have muddied the waters in defining those locations. It does include exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings or displays, as well as goods, services, programs, and transportation. It does not say that the Act is limited to those venues or specifically which facilities would be included.
The impacts could be widespread and discriminatory:
- Medical professionals could be forced into providing hormonal treatment or surgery for people who have gender dysphoria. They will be prohibited by law to insist that patients seek out psychiatric attention before surgery, or refusing treatment.
- Any person must be allowed access to facilities, such as restrooms, locker rooms, or dressing rooms based on his or her gender identification.
- Parents could be charged with child abuse for refusing to let their child receive hormone treatments or surgical treatments for gender dysphoria.
- Schools could be forced to teach sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as part of their curricula.
- Men and boys who identify as women will be permitted to compete against women and girls.
- Insurance companies could be forced to comply with the transgender mandates.
- Faith-based adoption organizations will no longer be able to place children with only heterosexual couples.
There are several other requirements that abuse the values, beliefs, privacy, and safety of other groups, too. Many of these practices have already been mandated at a state or local level. Now they would be federal law. The bill will also need to pass the Senate, which some say is unlikely—at this time. But the Left has been relentless in pushing its agendas, and it may only be a matter of time before the Senate gives in to their demands.
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Another solution that’s been offered is called “Fairness for All”:
The Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance outlines a ‘Fairness for All’ approach that would make ‘changes to federal civil rights laws to ensure that LGBT people can enjoy the same basic rights as other Americans,’ but ‘be carefully designed so as simultaneously to protect the legitimate rights of people and organizations that hold to a traditional sexual morality.’ The organization says alternative draft legislation to this effect is forthcoming, and assuming the proposal holds to these principles, it’s something that conservatives should support.
Our laws can mandate that secular employers and public venues treat LGBT people fairly, yet also maintain exceptions for bona fide religious claims.
In the past, this kind of approach might have worked. But in these times, the Left is in no mood to be fair, reasonable, or to compromise. It has already made several inroads into violating religious, traditional, and mainstream beliefs.
Why would they try to compromise now?
We can only hope that the Senate rejects this law for the sake of all Americans.Published in