Between the “anti-Semitic tropes” used by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and the controversial Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY14), U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has faced challenging situations in the first few months of 2019.
Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi has created a challenging situation for the rest of us by making the so-called Equality Act a priority in Congress.
On April 2, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Equality Act (H.R. 5 – Cicilline). This deeply misguided proposal would make sexual orientation and gender identity protected categories under federal civil rights law. Under the Equality Act, so-called “discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity would be unlawful in employment, housing, education, and public places. In essence, the Equality Act would make the same mistakes on the federal level that the State of New York made in passing the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) in 2002 and the Bathroom Bill (GENDA) in 2019. The Equality Act states that “an individual shall not be denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.” The bill would cause a wide range of problems, including:
- Endangering women and girls by giving biological males access to homeless shelters for women and to women’s locker rooms and restrooms;
- Punishing public employees who decline to address “transgender” persons by their “preferred pronouns”;
- Forcing employers to allow “transgendered” behavior in the workplace; and
- Punishing Christian-owned businesses that decline to provide services for same-sex ceremonies.
Furthermore, concerns have been raised about whether the Equality Act would require boys that identify as “transgender” to be allowed to compete against girls in interscholastic sports.
Worse yet, Rep. John Katko (R-NY24) is one of two Republican voting members of Congress to have joined the 21 Democrats in New York’s congressional delegation and Speaker Pelosi in co-sponsoring the Equality Act.