Conservatives Oppose Legislation that Undermines Women And People of Faith

Conservatives are united in strong opposition to the Democrat-sponsored “Equality Act” and the “Fairness for All Act.” The titles of these bills belie their consequences, which will undermine parental rights, and the pro-life and conscience rights of medical professionals, make environments inherently unfair, unequal, and unsafe for women and curtail religious freedom for both religious organizations and people of faith.

The Equality Act will elevate transgender theory and “gender-affirming” care to the level of a civil right. Counselors will be prohibited from helping gender-dysphoric children become comfortable with their own bodies. Medical professionals will be vulnerable to lawsuits if they decline to perform hormonal or medical procedures on patients who identify as transgender. In public schools, curriculum could teach children that their sex is not a biological reality, but subjectively self-perceived. Ultimately, parents’ rights to educate their own children and seek the best medical treatment for them would be undermined. In Ohio, a judge terminated a couple’s custody of their 17-year daughter when they disagreed with the recommendations of a gender clinic and county agency that she take testosterone injections.

Despite its title, the Equality Act actually undermines the rights of women and girls, forcing them to share private facilities with anyone claiming to “identify” as a woman. It also diminishes the ability of women to, quite literally, compete on an equal playing field. Males who identify as women are already beginning to dominate women’s sports and strip female athletes of the opportunity to fairly compete for medals and scholarships. This will only increase as colleges, universities, and franchise sports teams begin to prioritize men identifying women above biological women.

The Equality Act explicitly nullifies the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a defense to a claim under any portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This exacerbates already troubling trends which are silencing people of faith and limiting the autonomy of religious organizations. The ability of churches, synagogues, and mosques to employ people according to their religious beliefs will be severely limited. Even without the law, religious institutions and individuals have come under sustained fire for living out their religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman and that we are born male and female. Under the Equality Act, individuals and institutions could see increased lawsuits for failing to affirm same-sex marriage (in foster care and adoption), make single-sex private facilities co-ed, and use preferred pronouns for individuals who identify as transgender.

Language within the Equality Act could also have the effect of jeopardizing longstanding conscience protection laws. Specifically, the law’s public accommodation language could require health care providers to perform abortions over their religious objections. Pro-life groups are also concerned that the language could impact federal policy which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.

Though the Fairness for All Act attempts to square this circle by providing exclusions for religious institutions, it is an unsuitable substitute, and at best, would amount to only a temporary delay to full enactment of the Equality Act.

Conservatives are united in strong opposition to the Democrat-sponsored “Equality Act” and the “Fairness for All Act.” The titles of these bills belie their consequences, which will undermine parental rights, and the pro-life and conscience rights of medical professionals, make environments inherently unfair, unequal, and unsafe for women and curtail religious freedom for both religious organizations and people of faith.

The Equality Act will elevate transgender theory and “gender-affirming” care to the level of a civil right. Counselors will be prohibited from helping gender-dysphoric children become comfortable with their own bodies. Medical professionals will be vulnerable to lawsuits if they decline to perform hormonal or medical procedures on patients who identify as transgender. In public schools, curriculum could teach children that their sex is not a biological reality, but subjectively self-perceived. Ultimately, parents’ rights to educate their own children and seek the best medical treatment for them would be undermined. In Ohio, a judge terminated a couple’s custody of their 17-year daughter when they disagreed with the recommendations of a gender clinic and county agency that she take testosterone injections.

Despite its title, the Equality Act actually undermines the rights of women and girls, forcing them to share private facilities with anyone claiming to “identify” as a woman. It also diminishes the ability of women to, quite literally, compete on an equal playing field. Males who identify as women are already beginning to dominate women’s sports and strip female athletes of the opportunity to fairly compete for medals and scholarships. This will only increase as colleges, universities, and franchise sports teams begin to prioritize men identifying women above biological women.

The Equality Act explicitly nullifies the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a defense to a claim under any portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This exacerbates already troubling trends which are silencing people of faith and limiting the autonomy of religious organizations. The ability of churches, synagogues, and mosques to employ people according to their religious beliefs will be severely limited. Even without the law, religious institutions and individuals have come under sustained fire for living out their religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman and that we are born male and female. Under the Equality Act, individuals and institutions could see increased lawsuits for failing to affirm same-sex marriage (in foster care and adoption), make single-sex private facilities co-ed, and use preferred pronouns for individuals who identify as transgender.

Language within the Equality Act could also have the effect of jeopardizing longstanding conscience protection laws. Specifically, the law’s public accommodation language could require health care providers to perform abortions over their religious objections. Pro-life groups are also concerned that the language could impact federal policy which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.

Though the Fairness for All Act attempts to square this circle by providing exclusions for religious institutions, it is an unsuitable substitute, and at best, would amount to only a temporary delay to full enactment of the Equality Act.

We urge conservatives to reject the Equality Act when it comes to a vote in the House of Representatives, and further oppose the Fairness for All Act as an appropriate alternative.