The Equality Act is the most comprehensive assault on religious liberty, the right to life, and privacy rights ever packaged into one bill in the history of the United States. It passed the House Judiciary Committee last week and is scheduled for a vote this week, possibly on Thursday.
This act is based on the idea that sexually challenged men and women—those who think they can transition to the other sex—should be treated as if they were members of a minority race. There is no basis in either the natural law or the positive law for such a judgment: “gender identity” is not analogous to race.
Unlike race, which is a natural characteristic, “gender identity” is an unnatural condition. Moreover, the former is an ascribed attribute; the latter is an act of volition. They have nothing in common.
Here are 12 reasons why the Equality Act is so insane:
- It would mean that homosexuals and the sexually challenged would qualify for affirmative action. Though the 1964 Civil Rights Act explicitly did not allow for preferential treatment, it has been interpreted by the courts that way. Therefore, if homosexuals and the sexually challenged are included in this historic piece of legislation, they would get preferential treatment in hiring.
- The act would effectively gut the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, eviscerating important religious rights.
- State laws that protect religious liberty would be gutted.
- Freedom of speech, belief, and thought, as the U.S. Bishops have said, would be put “at risk.” Conscience rights are the most important of all rights. When they are attacked, all liberties are jeopardized.
- Taxpayer-funded abortions would become a reality.
- The bishops stress that “Houses of worship and other religious spaces will be turned into places of ‘public accommodation.’”
- Adoption and foster care providers would have their rights stripped.
- Catholic hospitals would no longer be allowed to govern as Catholic facilities, threatening healthcare for everyone, especially the poor.
- Starting in kindergarten, students would be indoctrinated in the LGBT agenda.
- Parental rights would be decimated.
- Men who transition to female could compete in women's sports, effectively working against the rights of women.
- Privacy rights would be a thing of the past. As has already happened, a man who thinks of himself as a woman would be allowed to use the women's locker room, parading around with male genitalia. In normal times, he would be arrested for indecent exposure.
If anyone thinks this is an exaggeration, check out what has happened to religious liberty in New Jersey and Ohio where Catholic hospitals have been targeted. Unless they agree to perform a hysterectomy on a woman who claims to be a man, they can be sued. The ACLU has been suing Catholic hospitals all over the nation trying to force them to adopt its anti-Catholic agenda. While it typically loses, this legislation will reverse that record.
All persons are equal in the eyes of God, and that certainly includes the sexually challenged. But no society grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition is required to sabotage its heritage in the name of truly bizarre notions of liberty and equality.
Those who fantasize that they are a member of the opposite sex, and take steps to achieve that result, suffer from a mental disorder. The research on this subject is clear. Years following sex reassignment surgery, the suicide rate spikes for those who undergo this operation. They need our help, and our prayers. What they don't need is pandering or affirmation.
Even those radical feminists and lesbians who belong to the Women's Liberation Front are opposed to the Equality Act. They are certainly more enlightened than the big corporations who are supporting it.
If the American people knew more about this act, they would be opposed to it by a large margin, and this is doubly true of parents. This isn't about fairness—it's about a war on religion, privacy, and common sense. The Equality Act is madness on stilts.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.