Mary Beth Waddell is a Senior Legislative Assistant at Family Research Council. This article appeared in the Washington Times on May 15, 2019
The In-Equality Act, unfortunately, isn’t about equality at all. Rather, it’s about government-imposed ideology and unfairness. When discussing her agenda for this Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “if there is some collateral damage for some others who do not share our view so be it.”
Through the hearings and markup, many important points were raised, including the In-Equality Act’s erasure of women and our strides toward true equality. For example, women’s sports would effectively be obliterated by allowing men who identify as women to compete. Government loans designed to help female entrepreneurs because they “face unique obstacles in the business world” would cease to be effective, as men would be eligible for such loans.
The fight to keep battered women’s shelters, public bathrooms, gym lockers and showers, etc., safe and private would be lost. This fight has been ongoing for years. A little kindergarten girl was assaulted by a boy allowed in the girl’s restroom at their school. A rape survivor was forced to quit her job when her employer began allowing men into the women’s private spaces. Women in a shelter were harassed by a man who was allowed residence there. These are real women with real stories of harm, yet Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee dismissed them as “phantom fear mongering.”
There are a multitude of other harms that weren’t discussed or were only briefly mentioned, including harm to the very individuals the bill claims to help. For example, the medical community would become politicized as medical providers would be forced to offer services that they believe are medically dangerous, unnecessary and against parents’ wishes.
Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, blood clots, strokes, diabetes and cancer. A 2011 Swedish study found that the suicide rate after “transition” surgery was an astonishing 19 times higher than the general population. Death by neoplasm (a benign or cancerous mass) and cardiovascular disease was 2 to 2.5 times higher. Activists try to attribute suicide statistics like these to “intolerance and bigotry” but Sweden accommodates the demands of the transgender community. The reality is that laws aimed at preventing “discrimination” are not going to help these individuals find the help they really need. Such harmful laws will only keep them in a cycle of death and prevent the medical community from helping break that cycle.
As the “In-Equality Act’s” rigid ideology is imposed, stories of individuals like Walt Heyer, Jamie Shupe and others who broke out of this cycle of suffering from gender dysphoria would become almost nonexistent. Walt Heyer lived as a woman for eight years and Jamie Shupe was the first legally recognized “nonbinary” individual. As Mr. Heyer put it, “the tragedy is failing to recognize and treat the deeper wounds” that caused the dysphoria. “Many struggling individuals who request a change of gender are looking for an escape, a hiding place.” “They see a transgender identity as an appealing portal to a happier new life,” but they discover “after surgery that the sex-change promoters [used them] in a grand social and medical experiment.”
Jamie Shupe said, “My psyche is eternally scarred, and I’ve got a host of health issues from the grand medical experiment.” “The best thing that could have happened would have been for someone to order intensive therapy. That would have protected me They just kept helping me to harm myself.” “I should have been treated. Instead, at every step, doctors, judges, and advocacy groups indulged my fiction.”
Neither same-sex attraction nor gender dysphoria is inborn or unchangeable. In one study, up to 38 percent of men and 53 percent of women with same-sex attractions “changed to heterosexuality” in only a six-year period. As many as 98 percent of gender-confused boys and 88 percent of gender-confused girls accept their biological sex after puberty. These individuals deserve compassionate care. They shouldn’t be used as pawns of a malignant ideology.
Medical providers are already being sued for refusing to offer this harmful treatment under Obamacare’s nondiscrimination clause, which was interpreted through regulations to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” This would now be a legislative mandate, not just a regulatory one that is more easily reversed.Before the House votes on this bill, I hope they seriously consider these issues. Not only does this bill hurt women, children, family-owned businesses, and people of faith, but passage of the Equality Act would harm the very individuals it claims to be protecting.