Focus on the Family reports on what’s in the new trillion-dollar infrastructure spending bill:
Senators released the full text of a proposed infrastructure bill on Sunday after weeks of negotiations. The “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” clocks in at 2,702 pages and will spend roughly $1 trillion dollars.
Of concern for Christians is a provision which includes “gender identity” as a protected class.
Page 2,149 includes the following stipulation:
“No individual in the United States may, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that is funded in whole or in part with funds made available to carry out this title” (Emphasis added).
Provisions similar to this are often referred to as SOGI laws (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity laws).
These types of laws are like a Trojan Horse. Though their purpose is ostensibly to prevent discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, often, their real result is coercion, permitting discrimination against Christians who hold to historic Christian teachings on sexual morality.
As The Heritage Foundation explains, SOGI laws “penalize many Americans who believe that we are created male and female and that male and female are created for each other.”
Also, they “violate the privacy and safety of women and girls, the conscience rights of doctors and other medical professionals, and the free speech and religious liberty rights of countless professionals.”
The Daily Citizen previously noted that SOGI laws “result in the harassment and punishment of people with deeply held religious beliefs.”
The Religious Freedom Institute notes:
This may seem innocuous. However, if this legislation becomes law, the government would effectively force potential recipients of funds made available through the Infrastructure Bill — via the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program embedded within it — to accept “sexual orientation and gender identity” ideology (SOGI) as a condition for funding. This would undermine the work of religious institutions that abide by historic, orthodox understandings of sex and marriage and might otherwise use these funds to serve their neighbors by advancing the purpose of the Digital Equity Act: To expand the daily access of individuals to the internet, especially those who are elderly, are incarcerated in non-Federal correctional facilities, are veterans, have disabilities, are English learners or have low levels of literacy, are from racial or ethnic minorities, or live in rural areas.
Rural faith-based colleges and universities, small faith-based businesses, and religious hospitals and medical clinics, sometimes providing the only healthcare services for miles, could be forced to violate their religious conscience or be denied participation in the program.
So, to make it more clear, when you read about Christian florists, bakers, wedding photographers, bed and breakfast owners, etc. being sued by secular left fascists, they are able to do it because of SOGI laws. What the infrastructure bill does is enact these SOGI provisions at the federal level.
Elections matter. During the last elections, a lot of Evangelicals for Biden – people like Tim Keller, Beth Moore, Russell Moore, David French, etc. – were very much opposed to Donald Trump for president. They were so anxious to distance themselves from traditional conservative values, like religious liberty. Please keep that in mind during the next election – the evangelical leaders you trust might be the ones who destroy your religious liberty. Don’t look to “The Gospel Coalition” or the SBC ERLC to fight for your religious liberty.