The Equality Act Is Back In Play: What It Means For Religious Liberty

The Equality Act adds the phrase “sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity)” to our nation’s civil rights laws that ban discrimination on the basis of race. This means the law would suddenly treat people as racists if they dare to dissent from the left’s ideology on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

1. The Equality Act would force employers to cover abortion, and medical professionals to perform or assist in performing abortions.

When the Obama administration tried to force this same policy in its very last months in office, a federal judge declared it unlawful. When the Trump administration came into office, the Trump Justice Department agreed with that judge and did not appeal his ruling, which placed a 50-state injunction on that regulation.

2. The Equality Act would force employers to pay for sex “reassignment” procedures in their health insurance plans, and require medical professionals to perform them.

Think Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor, but only worse. If a health care plan covers mastectomies in the case of cancer, but not in the case of “reassignment,” the Equality Act would deem this illegal “discrimination.” So, too, if a doctor chooses to perform mastectomies in the case of cancer but not for sex “reassignment” purposes. That doctor would be guilty of illegal “discrimination.”

Thankfully, when the Obama administration attempted to impose this mandate, a federal judge struck it down, and the Trump administration agreed with the judge and did not appeal the ruling. Should the Equality Act become law, it would undo Trump’s policy of protecting the freedom of medical doctors to not perform “reassignment” procedures if they deem them bad medicine.

3. The Equality Act would force all schools and businesses to open their women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and sports teams to boys who “identify as” girls and to men who “identify as” women.

The Obama administration imposed this transgender mandate on schools in all 50 states, and thankfully the Trump administration reversed the misguided policy during its first weeks of office. But, should the Equality Act become law, it would override the Trump policy and would threaten the privacy, safety, and equality of women and girls across the country.

5. The Equality Act would force faith-based adoption agencies to either violate their conviction that every child deserves both a mother and a father or to stop serving children in need altogether.

Thankfully, the Trump administration has taken initial steps to protect adoption agencies from these misguided policies. Additional steps are needed. But if the Equality Act became law, it would force all adoption agencies in all 50 states to either violate their convictions or close their doors.

6. The Equality Act would force a variety of small business owners to violate their beliefs about marriage, sexuality, and gender.

At the state level, this has happened to bakers, florists, photographers, and even funeral home owners.

Thankfully the Trump administration has supported these small business owners as their cases proceeded through the court system. But should the Equality Act become law, it would bring the full force of the federal government against these small business owners, treating them as violators of federal civil rights law.

7. The Equality Act, in general, threatens the freedom of speech, freedom of association, and free exercise of religion rights of countless people.

Anyone who believes we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other, will be at risk. This means Orthodox Jews, Roman Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Latter-day Saints, Muslims, and people of no particular faith tradition but who take science seriously will be on the wrong side of federal civil rights law.

Ryan T. Anderson, “Nancy Pelosi’s Equality Act Would Undo Trump’s Most Significant Achievements,” The Daily Signal (May 7, 2019). Read more»


Rod Dreher adds today: “Joe Biden said today that if he’s elected (and assuming he has a Democratic Senate behind him), he will sign the Equality Act within the first hundred days. I believe him, too. This is an issue that the Democratic Party is united on. The only reason it’s not the law now is because the Republican Senate would not pass it.” Read more»


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  1. Is it possible the church needs to prepare now for the inevitability of laws like this? On first reading of this list, I thought that Christian employers would have to stop offering health insurance to avoid violating their consciences but the ACA has an employer mandate with fines. Looking at the other points, the enforcement reach of the federal government is huge and at least 20% of the population would snitch to the government about compliance. Churches, in particular, often sit on choice tax-exempt real estate and have members who can pay fines. All this will eventually collapse under its own weight, but it could take decades.

    Big corporations, by the way, would probably love the Equality Act and many of them operate the state apparatus for their own benefit.

  2. I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t it the case that the equality act will also force colleges to except transgenderism in order for students to receive guaranteed student loans? If so, about 3/4s of Christian colleges are going to either close or compromise.

  3. Next thing you know – a baker might be forced to bake a cake for a same-sex union. Then where will the gospel be? Oh… wait…

    • Probably what matters more, is correctly catechizing the members of our churches, so that they know what is worth searing one’s conscience over, and what is not. Food sacrificed to idols eagerly comes to mind. Evangelical Correctness is the true tyranny within our churches these days – which you wrote excellently about (perhaps unwittingly) in your initial chapter “How We Got Here” in Covenant, Justification and Pastoral Ministry. Linking arms with those who do not have a biblical conscience, so we can push back against “modernism” is always a bad idea.

    • If my math is right (and it may not be) – it appears that the AFDC spends ($17.35B) .08% of the US GDP ($20.54T), which is a mere 2% of the military budget ($738B). I’m pretty sure even making it a full fifth, as God required of Joseph in Egypt’s (Gen 41) would not be tyrannical ($4.108T in our money). Caesar simply cannot steal what already belongs to him – whether to nail up our Lord, cut off Paul’s head, or redistribute to the alien, foreigner, etc. I’d simply prefer they do good than evil with the power they are given.

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