Equality Act: 'The Left's New Woke Heresy Code'

February 24, 2021

The U.S. House tomorrow will vote on the Equality Act. It will almost certainly pass, without a single Republican cosponsor. Then its fate will be decided in the Senate. It's hard to imagine just how damaging this bill would be. Essentially, it takes every issue the Left feels is a sacred cow and wraps it into one bill -- a legislative right to abortion on demand, special privileges for sexual orientation and gender identity, and the abolition of religious freedom.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) condemned the bill Tuesday on the House floor. "The so-called Equality Act jeopardizes the wellbeing of our children. It jeopardizes the role of parents, the privacy and safety of vulnerable women, the competitive edge of female athletes, the livelihoods of charities and businesses and the integrity of our healthcare system." It sticks the government's long talons into practically every area of life.

Of course, the bill's defenders cloak these horrible things in very nice-sounding terminology. After all, who wants to stand against equality? In George Orwell's novel Animal Farm, a group of animals proceed to run a farm on the premise that all animals are equal, but they eventually discover, after one group has bullied, ridiculed, and terrorized the rest, that some animals are "more equal" than others (that is, superior). Those who identify as LGBT already have equality under the law, but the so-called "Equality Act" would give them special privileges at the expense of women, children, and people of faith. That's why Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) called the bill "nothing more than an identity politics sell-out."

The Equality Act would particularly target people who believe in a Biblical view of sexuality and gender. Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) said on "Washington Watch" Tuesday that it's "one of the most hostile bills that I can think of in my lifetime towards religious freedom" because it "effectively nullifies the Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (RFRA).

Congress passed RFRA in the early 90s in response to a 1990 Supreme Court decision that gutted the First Amendment's protections for the free exercise of religion. Essentially, it restored religious freedom by requiring courts to interpret the law in a way that guaranteed protection for religion. But since then, the courts have treated religious freedom as a statutory right (under RFRA), and not a constitutional one. Provisions in the Equality Act explicitly say that RFRA doesn't apply, which would let special rights for LGBT interest groups trump religious freedom. RFRA passed almost unanimously; in fact, it's sponsor in the House was then Rep. Chuck Schumer. But now, because of the rise of the militant LGBTQ minority in America, the Democrats can't stand it.

Davidson argued the Equality Act would implement "a new kind of woke heresy code" that is "enforced across all denominations." And pastors, don't think you can hide from this policy in your church. U.S. non-discrimination law applies to any place categorized as a "public accommodation." In fact, Colorado was able to persecute Jack Phillips because his bake shop was counted as a public accommodation. The Equality Act would expand the definition of "public accommodation" to include churches and schools -- including religious schools. And then it would redefine what it means to be "male and female." If the Equality Act became law, the federal government would severely punish any religious institution that tried to bar people who identify as homosexual or transgender from using any restroom they wanted or holding office or membership.

What should rightly be called the in-Equality Act is perhaps the most anti-biology, anti-religious freedom, anti-family bill Congress has ever considered. It leaves me asking, as Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) did yesterday, "Equality for who?"