Last year, we heard a lot about peaceful protests that, in reality, were not peaceful. This year, we are going to hear a lot about the Equality Act that, in reality, creates inequality. If the past is any indication, proponents of the Equality Act, which is set for a Thursday vote in the House of Representatives, will shamefully attempt to usurp the civil rights movement’s history and legacy as they do.
In no way are one’s sexual conduct and inclinations or gender dysphoria equivalent to skin color. Suggesting or implying as much diminishes the hard-fought gains of that movement. While the scientific evidence shows that “sexual orientation” can sometimes change, science also shows that skin color is constant. Beyond that, the Equality Act would reinstitute the kind of legal system discrimination the civil rights movement sought to undo, only on ideological rather than racial grounds.
Where the civil rights movement sought to free millions of Americans from the oppression of government laws that treated people differently because of skin color, the Equality Act will require the law to treat people differently because of their religious beliefs.
Where the civil rights movement sought to create a world in which people would be judged only by the content of their character, the Equality Act will punish businesses, schools, and individuals simply for believing that a man cannot become a woman.
Where the civil rights movement sought to create a world in which professional opportunities were available equally to everyone, the Equality Act will punish medical professionals who do not want to surgically remove healthy body parts or give puberty blockers to a child.
Where the civil rights movement sought to create a world in which everyone would have an equal opportunity in their community, the Equality Act will force the closure of adoption agencies and foster care providers if their beliefs are disfavored.
While the civil rights movement sought educational opportunities for all, the Equality Act will ensure the closure of Christian colleges and universities that are faithful to the Bible’s teachings about marriage, sexuality, and gender.
While the civil rights movement sought to create equal opportunity for men and women of all races, the Equality Act will ensure that men can always participate in women’s sports if they want to. Women of all races will be subject to legal liability and public shaming if they object.
Where the civil rights movement created real equality, the Equality Act creates a separate but equal status based on deeply held beliefs. Under the Equality Act, those who reject a historical understanding of sexuality and gender have no concerns, but those who hold to a historical understanding of sexuality and gender will have fewer professional, educational, and athletic options and face greater legal liabilities regardless of where they are or what they do.
Businesses owned by people with orthodox Christian, Jewish, or Muslim beliefs should eventually expect to have higher insurance rates as well because their legal exposure will be significantly higher because of those beliefs.
That’s not equality.
That is a force of destruction!
Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council, in Washington, D.C. He is the former, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.