Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted, 236-173-23, to pass the so-called Equality Act (H.R.5–Cicilline). This misleadingly-named bill would make “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” protected characteristics under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Rather than promoting fairness and justice, H.R.5 would punish employers, faith-based charities, and everyday Americans who decline to live in accordance with the bizarre notions about gender and sexuality embraced by the bill’s sponsors. The Equality Act would sadly enshrine religious bigotry in America.
Jason J. McGuire, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF), made the following remarks:
“New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms thanks the members of Congress who voted against this extremist measure. We are deeply dismayed that every Democratic member of New York’s congressional delegation, along with Republican Reps. John Katko (NY-24), Tom Reed (NY-23) and Elise Stefanik (NY-21), voted in favor of H.R.5. When these individuals come calling for conservative support next year, voters should remember how quickly New York’s ‘Compromised Three’ caved to politically-correct special interests. Members of Congress take an oath to support and defend the Constitution, but today the vast majority of New York’s congressional delegation denied millions of Americans their right to live freely according to the tenets of their faith.”
Specifically, H.R.5 would:
- Endanger women and girls by giving biological males who identify as “transgender” access to homeless shelters for women and to women’s locker rooms and restrooms;
- Mandate that men who self-identify as women be allowed to compete as women for spots on female sports teams, women’s scholarships, and even business opportunities created exclusively for women;
- Put faith-based adoption and foster care agencies out of business if they conscientiously object to placing children in the homes of same-sex couples;
- Force employers to allow “transgendered” behavior in the workplace;
- Punish small businesses that decline to provide services for same-sex ceremonies due to their sincerely-held religious beliefs; and
- Remove the protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) from Americans who are sued or otherwise penalized for having engaged in so-called “discrimination” based upon sexual orientation or gender identity.
NYCF calls upon Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his colleagues to refuse to consider this ill-conceived measure.