By Dr. Susan Berry Feb. 25, 2021
House Democrats have passed the radical Equality Act once again, claiming it will merely amend federal civil rights law to ensure sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes, even though the Constitution already provides protection for the rights of all American citizens, regardless of their “identity group.”
If enacted, however, the Equality Act would have a major impact on children and their parents, potentially upending the culture as American families now know it. Lawsuits filed against Americans who adhere to the science of biological sex and the First Amendment rights of citizens would now have a federal law backing them up that states gender identity supersedes biological sex.
Below are seven radical demands in the Equality Act:
- The bill would end the federal legal recognition of complementary male and female sex in favor gender identity.
The Act states discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity can take many forms:
Discrimination based on sexual orientation includes discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived romantic, emotional, physical, or sexual attraction to other persons, or lack thereof, on the basis of gender. LGBTQ people, including gender nonbinary people, also commonly experience discrimination because of sex-based stereotypes. Many people are subjected to discrimination because of others’ perceptions or beliefs regarding their sexual orientation. Even if these perceptions are incorrect, the identity imputed by others forms the basis of discrimination.
Mary Rice Hasson, fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) explains:
The concept of “gender identity” is a steamroller obliterating the significance of “male” and “female” in our language, relationships, laws and spaces. Under the Equality Act, “gender identity” determines access to “public accommodations,” a category the act redefines to include just about everywhere.
Hasson observes as well the Equality Act appears purposefully vague.
It “makes no mention of what sex actually is,” she writes, “the unchangeable reality that a person is either ‘male’ or ‘female.’”
The science of the biology of sex that people have been taught for centuries would no longer hold a place in federal law with the enactment of this legislation.
Feminist groups, such as the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) also voiced their concerns about the bill:
While the Equality Act is being sold on promising good things for women, and on ending unfair treatment of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people—which almost everyone agrees are worthy and important goals—it’s poisoned with the destruction of the law’s ability to allow any accommodations for women on the basis of sex.
WoLF noted as well many Americans may be unaware the Equality Act’s gender identity rules would pose a “danger” to women and children:
The bill’s authors made clear that gender identity is to take precedence over and replace sex as a protected category. The bill doesn’t mention individuals with clinically diagnosed gender dysphoria, or undertaking surgical or hormonal transition, thus making clear that self-declared gender identity would be sufficient to claim protected legal status.
- The bill would eliminate the traditional right to privacy of women and girls in public facilities, in favor, instead, of gender identity.
The text of the Equality Act reads:
An individual shall not be denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.
That language indicates the privacy of women and girls in public facilities, such as school bathrooms and locker rooms, would no longer be honored.
In the case of school-age children, boys who identify as, or claim to be, girls, could share their bathrooms and shower rooms at school. Parents who objected would be viewed as discriminating against children identifying as another gender.
- The Equality Act would eviscerate women’s and girls’ sports.
Men and boys who identify as female could compete on women’s and girls’ athletic teams, easily snatching away choice championship awards and scholarships.
For example, Selina Soule, a female runner from Connecticut, lost to males who claimed to identify as female in championship competitions. In addition to losing those races, she also lost out on scholarships for which she likely would have qualified had biological males not been permitted to compete against females.
Studies have shown that male athletes who claim to be female still hold an “intolerable” advantage over females even though they have undergone cross-sex hormone treatments.
- The Equality Act would be used to mandate school curricula that affirm and promote sexual orientation and gender identity views.
Inside the classroom, the bill could allow for the normalization of gender ideology and abortion in school curricula.
Melanie Israel of the Heritage Foundation explained at the Daily Signal that, under the Act, parental rights could take a far back seat to mandated school programs:
The Equality Act could lead to changes in school curricula, such as texts that affirm and promote controversial sexual orientation and gender identity viewpoints.
The Equality Act could also be used to override states that have prohibited sexual orientation and gender identity curricula. Where states have conversely mandated sexual orientation and gender identity curricula, parents and schools do not have access to “opt-out” options.
Israel observed as well that Planned Parenthood, a giant of both the lucrative abortion and transgender medical industries, would likely have greater access to young people in sex education programs under a federal Equality Act.
She elaborated on the possibilities:
If the Equality Act were to become federal law and public school curricula become further entwined with sexual orientation and gender identity ideology, Planned Parenthood is well-positioned to further its presence in public schools and take advantage of an additional avenue to promote both sexual orientation and gender identity ideology as well as the organization’s hormone treatment services.
In other words, additional sexual orientation and gender identity curricula could become yet another marketing tool for America’s abortion giant.
- The Equality Act would be used to remove custody rights from parents who refuse to have their minor children undergo transgender medical interventions and procedures.
The medical and psychological professions have become further politicized as transgender activists have infiltrated professional societies and associations.
Monica Burke explained at the Heritage Foundation such politicization is creating increased conflict in relationships among parents, medical professionals, and government.
“A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would jeopardize parental rights nationwide,” Burke warned.
Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R-MO) recalled during a presentation at the Heritage Foundation the story of parents in Ohio who lost custody of their daughter several years ago because they opposed her desire to transition to male. A judge allowed the girl’s grandparents to take custody of her because they supported her medical transition.
“It is just heart rending to think that parents were not able to determine the health care, what they thought was best for their daughter, and the judge actually stepped in and took away their custody,” Hartzler said.
“A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would make these cases more common,” Burke said.
- Since the Equality Act exempts itself from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, religious schools, hospitals, and adoption agencies could face federal sanctions for upholding their teachings with regard to life, sexuality, and marriage under the legislation.
The legislation states:
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.) shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.
The Equality Act also states actions based on the belief in traditional marriage between a man and woman is “discrimination against a married same-sex couple” and relegates such faith beliefs to the status of a “sex stereotype that marriage should only be between heterosexual couples.”
This language suggests faith-based adoption agencies that restrict adoptions to homes with a father and mother could be considered as “discriminating” against same-sex couples. A lawsuit alleging such discrimination would then have the weight of federal law behind it.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue warned the Equality Act would “promote the most comprehensive assault on Christianity ever written into law.”
Similarly, the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference asserted the legislation would “discriminate against people of faith” and “punish faith-based organizations, such as charities and schools who serve everyone in their communities, simply because of their beliefs.”
- The Equality Act’s text that names a form of “discrimination on the basis of pregnancy” would be used to punish healthcare providers who refuse to perform an abortion or to outlaw policies that ban funding for the procedure.
The bill states:
Discrimination can occur on the basis of the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition of an individual, as well as because of sex-based stereotypes. Each of these factors alone can serve as the basis for discrimination, and each is a form of sex discrimination.
Israel explained the legislation would force the term “sex” in the Civil Rights Act to mean pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, and the last of these — “related medical conditions” — has already been interpreted to include abortion by both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Thus, discrimination on the basis of sex could include refusing to perform an abortion or provide funding for the procedure.
Ryan Anderson, president of EPPC, called the Equality Act “legislative malpractice that turns equality on its head.”
“It isn’t drafted as a shield to protect vulnerable minorities from unjust discrimination, but as a sword to persecute those who do not embrace new sexual and gender ideologies,” he asserted.