By Tom Campisi, publisher of tristatevoice.com
The United States House of Representatives recently passed the Equality Act, which seeks “to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.”
As the bill awaits debate in the Senate, a large assembly of Christian, pro-life, and pro-family leaders—locally and nationally—are warning that the Equality Act is not equitable at all when it comes to religious freedom.
Additionally, critics claim that it redefines the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and nullifies the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993.
“Don’t be fooled by the title of the bill. It’s not what it sounds like,” said Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization, said, “The Equality Act poses a devastating and unprecedented threat to free speech, religious freedom, and the progress that women have made toward true equal treatment in law and culture. The Equality Act should be concerning to anyone who values religious freedom and true equality.”
Gregory Quinlan, executive director for the Center for Garden State Families, said, “The Equality Act is not about equality, but the criminalization of faith.”
“This is not equality because it is giving absolute dominance to a small sexual minority over every facet of American life. The Equality Act is a direct attack on the First Amendment to circumvent the establishment clause.”
Mary Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, said language in the Equality Act “could be construed to mean that medical workers would be forced to perform abortions even if it violates their consciences.”
“The bill will also eliminate any prohibition on taxpayer funded abortions,” she said.
According to Jason J. McGuire, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF), the bill would: “give biological males access to female-only spaces (including women’s shelters); create unfair conditions for female athletes; place some hospitals, medical professionals and Christian businesses in legal jeopardy; and force Christian colleges and faith-based charities to recognize same-sex unions and transgenderism.”
The National Association Evangelicals, an umbrella organization that represents 40 different denominations and serves a constituency of millions, said the Equality Act “threatens to turn houses of worship and other religious spaces into ‘public accommodations’ subject to intrusive government intervention, in violation of the First Amendment.”
“Where these new rights conflict with the rights of religious people, the Equality Act offers no protection and explicitly removes the existing protection of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”
“So much is on the line,” regarding the sanctity of life, the well-being of children, religious freedom, and the privacy and safety of women and girls, said Craig DeRoche, President and CEO of Family Policy Alliance. DeRoche noted that the bill seeks to silence anyone who disagrees with the proposed progressive agenda.
Christian, pro-life, and pro-family leaders are urging people to contact their senators and voice concern and opposition to the bill.
McGuire, of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom (NYCF), called on Senator Charles Schumer to reconsider his support for the Equality Act. Ironically, In 1993, Schumer introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
“The Equality Act offers no religious liberty protections for people of faith, but rather deliberately strips them of assurances granted under a law signed by President Bill Clinton. NYCF calls upon Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) to remember how important those protections were then and still are today.”
“NYCF calls upon Leader Schumer’s colleagues in the United States Senate to refuse to pass this misguided legislation. While every American should be treated equally under the law, the Equality Act would—ironically—make our nation less fair and less equal.”