The following information in this article was put together the by the Alliance Defending Freedom Ministry Alliance Team. Its purpose was to inform Americans on the impact a Federal “Equality Act” would have on our First Amendment rights. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can be of help to you or your church!
From Alliance Defending Freedom:
Perhaps the most significant threat to religious freedom today is the deceptively-named Equality Act. Alliance Defending Freedom is not a political organization. We are, however, dedicated to protecting religious freedom and exposing threats as they arise – from wherever they originate.
Unfortunately, President Biden has promised on his website to advance the proposed Equality Act as a core component of his campaign:
“Biden will make enactment of the Equality Act during his first 100 days as President a top legislative priority. Biden will also direct his Cabinet to ensure immediate and full enforcement of the Equality Act across all federal departments and agencies.”
The Equality Act was passed by the House last legislative term. We have every reason to believe it will be introduced again, and if the public is not educated about this issue, we fear it may become the law of the land.
If passed, the Equality Act would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to many existing federal non-discrimination laws. This would not only affect employment law, but also areas such as athletics, housing, public and private schools, businesses, and more. These changes conflict with many religious beliefs, contradict the common good, and harm the everyday lives millions across the country.
This is a federal bill that would fundamentally threaten American freedoms. Each of the following issues impacts you, no matter where you live:
The Equality Act Shrinks Protections for Churches and Ministries:
The Equality Act does not include any religious exemptions. It could directly impact churches and ministries by preventing them from being able to live out biblical beliefs about marriage, sexual morality, and the distinction between the sexes. It could force churches to open sex-specific facilities to members of the opposite sex. It could compel ministries and Christian business owners to pay for health coverage that includes procedures that go against their deeply held convictions such as “sex reassignment” surgeries. It could even forbid houses of worship from ensuring that their employees abide by their doctrines or beliefs about marriage, sexual behavior, and the distinction between the sexes.
To make matters worse, the Equality Act would not allow religious individuals and organizations to use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to defend themselves from the threats it creates.
The Equality Act Violates Women’s Privacy and Ends Opportunities
The Equality Act could violate women’s privacy and dignity by forcing women’s-only shelters and other private, intimate spaces, like locker rooms and restrooms, to be open to men. It could also mandate that men who self-identify as women be allowed to compete in the female category for women’s titles, women’s scholarships, and even business opportunities created exclusively for women.
The Equality Act Violates Doctors’ Oath to Do No Harm
It could force doctors, counselors, and healthcare practitioners to violate their conscience by prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and “sex-reassignment” surgery to otherwise healthy children who are struggling with their gender identity, even though such treatments cause grave and often irreversible harm. It could even force pro-life hospitals and doctors to perform or facilitate abortions.
The Equality Act Forces Religious Adoption and Foster Care Providers to Close
It would harm the over 400,000 children in our nation’s foster care system by shutting down faith-based adoption and foster care providers who believe that God created men, women and families such that children thrive best in homes with a married mother and father unless those providers agree to violate that deeply held belief.
The Equality Act Ends Financial Aid for Faith-Based Colleges and Universities
It would deny federal financial aid to students at faith-based colleges and universities unless the schools abandon policies and practices reflecting their sincerely held beliefs about marriage and sexuality. It may even forbid religious educational institutions from admitting only students who share the school’s beliefs. The Equality Act will also cut off federal tuition assistance to single-sex institutions of higher education – and may even make them illegal.
The Equality Act Threatens Religious Creative Professionals
It would target people of faith, including photographers, videographers, floral artists, and cake artists, who willingly serve people from all backgrounds, by forcing them to promote messages and celebrate events that conflict with their religious beliefs. State and local laws similar to the Equality Act have been used to punish creative professionals like Jack Phillips, Barronelle Stutzman, and Blaine Adamson.
This bill imposes a new sexual orthodoxy, and punishes those who do not agree. It undermines fundamental freedoms. It is dangerous.
You can be assured that Alliance Defending Freedom will be ready to represent many whose freedoms are attacked. We will go to court on behalf of the American people – for years if necessary – to protect our God-given freedoms.
For more information on Religious Freedom Issues please check out this website: https://www.adfministryalliance.org/.
Published January 27, 2021