Regular readers will be familiar with the cases where gay activists went after bed and breakfasts, wedding venues, photographers, florists, bakers, etc. who refused to participate in celebrations of same-sex marriage. Christians oppose same-sex marriage, because the leader of the religion defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. However, religious liberty wasn’t a defense in these cases, because these states had passed “SOGI laws”, which made it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Equality Act is a federal bill advanced by Democrats that forces all the states without SOGI laws to allow gay activists to weaponize government against Christians, forcing them to participate in non-Christian celebrations of gay activism.
Here’s the story from CBN about what happened to the Equality Act in the Senate:
Senate Democrats were emboldened by Monday’s Supreme Court decision protecting LGBTQ rights in the workplace, so they pushed for a controversial bill that would elevate those rights above religious freedom.
Every Senate Democrat, joined by two independents and Republican Susan Collins of Maine, called for a vote on the so-called Equality Act.
The bill passed the House of Representatives last year. It would extend protections for LGBTQ individuals, superseding the rights of religious groups.
One result would be forcing faith-based adoption agencies to place kids with same-sex couples, even when other adoption agencies are available.
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) joined with Republicans Joshua Hawley (MO) and Mike Lee (UT) in blocking the vote.
“The Equality Act says that if you’re a faith-based adoption agency that only places children in a home where there’s a mom and dad there, then you either have to change your faith or close,” Lankford said.
“The Equality Act says to that institution, ‘I would rather have fewer adoption agencies in America than have you open’,” Lankford continued. “That’s not protecting the rights of all Americans.”
Critics of the Equality Act say it would also weaken the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bipartisan 1994 law that protects religious liberty.
Sen. Hawley argued that the Equality Act can’t be approved because it “guts” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on the heels of a stunning Supreme Court ruling that rewrote the definition of sex with “nearly nothing to say about religious liberty or religious believers in this country.”
The Federalist described some effects of the Equality Act bill:
On the surface, the “Equality” Act is supposed to protect LGBT folks from discrimination by adding the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to all federal civil rights laws, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It would make claims of discrimination related to these characteristics legally actionable in the way racism is, and applying to virtually every area of life: the workplace, education, banking, jury service, federal funding, housing, medicine and psychiatry, and all public facilities.
It is a power grab in the guise of anti-discrimination. A bait-and-switch. It’s another attempt by a ruling micro-clique to exert mega-control over everyone else’s lives, including those it purports to protect. It allows the Mass State to maximize bureaucracy and social engineering, especially by its huge regulation of speech and expression. It erodes individual rights while claiming to uphold them.
Sane people of goodwill have a host of good reasons to object to the so-called Equality Act. And many of those reasons have been written up, including the de-sexing of toilets and showers, the compelled speech inherent in pronoun protocols and severe punishment for “misgendering,” the promised harassment of business owners, the invasion of girls’ and women’s sports by biological men who force on them an unequal playing field, the utter contempt for individual conscience, and more.
The net result of this act would be a huge inequality of power accrued to the state and drained from the individual.
Other areas that would be affected: tax exempt status for churches, private college admissions, scholarships and curricula, moral standards in Christian organizations, forced transgender treatments at hospitals and health clinics, foster and adoption agencies could not prefer naturally married couples.
The author of that article lists five specific effects of the law:
- It Undermines Everyone’s First Amendment Rights
- The Ambiguities in the Bill Threaten the Rule of Law
- Nudge Toward a Chinese-style Social Credit System
- Redefining Humanity By Outlawing Sex Distinctions
- It Enshrines Socially Destructive Identity Politics
Let’s see what the article says about #2:
The first thing that should hit any reader of the so-called Equality Act is the ambiguity of its language, especially with the bill’s outright emphasis throughout on “perceptions.”
[…]Consider how much the “Equality” Act would rely on bureaucratic and court actors to divine the “perception” of the perpetrator or victim of so-called discrimination: it would have to calculate your intent, read your mind, check out your body language, pick you apart for any suggestion of malice. For example, it repeatedly refers to sexual orientation and gender identity as “actual or perceived.” Many times throughout, the text notes that discrimination (or identity?) involves “perception or belief even if inaccurate” (emphasis mine).
This dependence on perception or belief about a person’s self-identity did not exist before. The language of this proposed law is more fluid than gender fluidity on steroids, and it’s wild stuff to push, especially at the federal level. It invites no end of accusations and lawfare that bodes ill for society and promises much human wreckage. The only people “empowered” by such a scam are those on the upper levels of this newly devised food chain who can call the shots.
Here’s more about #3 for those who didn’t know about the China social credit system:
If passed, we shouldn’t be surprised if it eventually produces a social credit system not unlike what is happening in China, whereby your livelihood, education, career, mobility, and access to goods and services is based on a literal “score” of your compliance with government policy. To paraphrase Sir Richard Scruton’s excellent observation of how that works in China, I’d say that the so-called Equality Act would help create robots out of Americans, with the state programming what they can say and do.
As more people self-censor because of the risk of losing their livelihoods and social status, they simply become more prone to robotic compliance and conformity with limits on their speech. This is fast becoming the case in China, where citizens feel the need to build up their “social credit” to be allowed access to jobs, education, housing, and who knows what other goods and services. The so-called Equality Act’s restrictions on First Amendment freedoms would be a big step in that direction.
A social credit system that scores you for conformity would be a logical effect of the intent of the Equality Act: to punish free expression in just about every sphere of life, including the workplace, at school, in the public square, and in all public facilities, and any place that might be connected with federal funding. (By the way, Scruton was punished—stripped of his chairmanship of an architectural commission in Britain—simply for explaining what the social credit system does to people in China. That should be another lesson for us here.)
Now, I know some Christians will say “why does that matter to me, I already agree with sex outside of marriage and I agree that marriage is just when any number of people of any sex cohabitate and have sex”. Right, this is only a problem who think that the Bible is an authority, and that Jesus knows more about morality than LGBT activists and Democrat politicians.
Right now, I live in a state with no SOGI law, and I write about studies, etc. that are critical of the gay agenda from behind an alias. The second that this Equality Act becomes law, I would instantly have to delete this blog, my Facebook page, and my Twitter in case “discrimination” was “perceived” by an LGBT activist based on my previous writings, and they decided to investigate. It would be like writing articles critical of Nazism prior to the ascent of Hitler. It’s fine to do it when Hitler’s not yet in power, but once he’s in power, you shut it down and get out.