Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act. Supporters say they want to add anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity similar to the existing provisions for people based on sex, race, ethnicity, and religion. However, critics contend the legislation would ramp up inequality for Americans who do not agree with the LGBT agenda.
Emilie Kao directs the Devos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation. She says the Equality Act actually leads to more inequality.
“We don’t think anybody should be discriminated against simply because they are gay or transgender. Everyone should be treated with respect. But the problem with the Equality Act is that it doesn’t treat everyone with respect. It basically codifies ideologies about sexual orientation and sex differences into civil rights law. That will lead to the punishment of people who don’t agree with those viewpoints,” said Kao.
Kao says the bill would lead to an erosion of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and parental rights.
To begin, the Equality Act would trump the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, meaning wedding vendors such as bakers and florists who feel servicing a same-sex wedding would violate their consciences would not be able to cite their sincerely-held religious beliefs when sued under this law.
Kao says it would also strip legal protections for people who simply disagree with same-sex marriage or the transgender agenda. She says teachers have been fired for refusing to use the preferred pronouns of a student identifying as a different gender and hospitals have been targeted for refusing to perform gender reassignment surgery.
According to Kao, the Equality Act would also gut parental rights. And she cited a transgender case in Ohio as a preview for what the Equality Act would do nationwide.
“A Catholic family lost custody of their daughter when the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital said that she should be taking testosterone for gender dysphoria. When the parents disagreed, the state charged the parents with child abuse and a judge terminated their custody,” said Kao.
Parents would also find themselves powerless in confronting an increasingly activist curriculum on these matters.
“In many cases, the parents are not even informed that children as young as kindergarten are being read stories in which they are told something that is a fallacy, which is that a person can transition from one sex to the other sex,” said Kao.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Kao explain how the Equality Act would lead to greater inequality and why the promoters of the legislation are determined to criminalize those who disagree with their agenda.
She says there is a lot more at stake here than most Americans realize.
“I think what people should be aware of is the endangerment of religious freedom – it’s already happening at the state level – the endangerment of parental rights, and the endangerment of women and girls’ safety and privacy, not to mention fairness in sports,” she said.