With celebrity crimes, Democrat primary candidates, the wall, and the weather dominating the media, the looming Equality Act is probably far off your radar. This misguided and toxic proposed legislation, especially from the perspective of conservative Christians, will be introduced in Congress within the next few weeks. Here is why it is bad policy and would establish a dangerous precedent.
The Equality Act, as introduced and defeated in both 2015 and 2017, would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Well, who could be against equality? Truthfully, the seemingly positive title, “Equality Act,” is everything but positive for those who believe in biblical sexuality. The Act includes areas of education, public accommodation, employment, and federal funding, but is much further reaching than those areas imply.
Certainly, Christians reject all forms of discrimination for all persons created in God’s image including those who identify as LGBT. All people are worthy of our love, respect, and fair treatment. However, this act would codify and essentially guarantee equal access for LGBT persons to all venues in our schools, work places, public facilities, and, yes, churches (think bathrooms, dressing rooms, sports participation, etc.). The 1964 Act guarantees equal access to all races which is clearly advocated in the scriptures. The 2019 Act would provide the same access for homosexuals and transgender people which is certainly not the intent of God as indicated in the Bible. God created male and female with certain natural functions, roles, and helpful partnerships for fulfilled lives. He instituted marriage for a man and a woman. He made it perfectly clear that these relationships were not to be corrupted. The Equality Act would blur if not ignore these principles.
The act would almost surely lead to criminal prosecution of religious leaders and other Christian who speak or write in opposition to homosexuality, transgender, or gay marriage. The courts, in deference to the act, would not likely distinguish between illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation and objection to the LGBT lifestyle, although the distinction is obvious. A restaurant owner refusing to serve a biological male dressed in drag is discrimination; my writing a blog post criticizing that person’s lifestyle is not. The Equality Act’s sweeping impact on religious liberty, free speech, and freedom of conscience would be historic.
Schools, businesses, and all other institutions would likely have to mandate training and programs that would teach LGBT lifestyle acceptance. The law would force a cultural change to sexuality in practice having no core ethical limits other than consent, and to male and female definitions being psychologically based rather than biologically based.
The 2015 bill had the financial support of three corporations–Apple, Dow Chemical, and Levi Strauss. Today, the 2019 proposed bill has 161 corporate sponsors with a combined annual revenue of $3.7 trillion. Obviously, the lobbying efforts of this one will be brutal with unprecedented momentum and funding. The 161 supporting companies include the social media giants of Twitter, Google, and Facebook, so posts in strong opposition to the bill may be taken down. I anticipate television and all other media outlets being bombarded with ads promoting the act. If you show active opposition to the Act, you will be demonized. But it will be the right thing to do.
I urge all those concerned about the Equality Act to be alert for its introduction in Congress and prepared to oppose it aggressively in every area of influence you have at your disposal.
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