House Democrats are poised to pass the Equality Act once again, claiming it will merely amend federal civil rights law to ensure sexual orientation and gender identity are included among the protected classes, even though the Constitution already provides protection for the rights of all American citizens, regardless of their “identity group.”
In 2021, the Equality Act could pass the Senate as well, and if so, President Joe Biden is expected to sign it into law. The legislation would end the federal recognition of the two complementary male and female sexes in favor of gender identity.
If enacted, the Equality Act could have a major impact on children and their parents, upending the culture as American families now know it.
The text of the legislation reads:
An individual shall not be denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.
That text indicates the privacy of girls in public facilities, such as school bathrooms and locker rooms, would no longer be honored.
Boys who identify as, or claim to be, girls could compete on girls’ athletic teams, take showers with them in public school locker rooms, and sleep in their hotel rooms when their teams are on the road.
Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday giving sweeping “rights” to men and women who want to live as the opposite biological sex. https://t.co/ImNoLEairi
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 22, 2021
Inside the classroom, the Equality Act could allow for the normalization of gender ideology and abortion in school curricula.
Melanie Israel of the Heritage Foundation explained Monday at the Daily Signal that, under the legislation, parental rights could take a far back seat to mandated school programs:
The Equality Act could lead to changes in school curricula, such as texts that affirm and promote controversial sexual orientation and gender identity viewpoints.
The Equality Act could also be used to override states that have prohibited sexual orientation and gender identity curricula. Where states have conversely mandated sexual orientation and gender identity curricula, parents and schools do not have access to “opt-out” options.
Israel observed as well that Planned Parenthood, a giant of both the lucrative abortion and transgender medical treatment industries, would likely have greater access to young people in sex education programs under a federal Equality Act.
She elaborated on the possibilities:
If the Equality Act were to become federal law and public school curricula become further entwined with sexual orientation and gender identity ideology, Planned Parenthood is well-positioned to further its presence in public schools and take advantage of an additional avenue to promote both sexual orientation and gender identity ideology as well as the organization’s hormone treatment services.
In other words, additional sexual orientation and gender identity curricula could become yet another marketing tool for America’s abortion giant.
Chuck Schumer said he is on board with Joe Biden’s presidential campaign promise to allow youth access to sports activities, bathrooms, and locker rooms based not on their biological sex but their preferred gender. https://t.co/iYDrWjfYyX
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 3, 2020
In a Heritage Foundation virtual webinar, titled “The Promise to America’s Children: Protecting Kids from Extreme Gender Ideology and Laws,” Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) expressed her concern the Equality Act would have a significant impact on what is taught in schools:
Sexual information, it’s just going to be the norm, that the schools will start promoting the idea of sexual orientation or gender identity as just part of the curriculum, without us knowing about it, or having an opportunity to opt in or opt out because it’ll just be considered discrimination.
Hartzler, a former teacher, said parents who disagree with the mandated gender ideology, with books containing examples of same-sex couples, etc., would be viewed as fueling discrimination.
“It’ll just be infiltrated into the entire curriculum, from kindergarten on, without parents even knowing about it, or having an opportunity to have a say, and so that’s the first concern I would have as a parent,” she said.
Hartzler added she is also concerned the Equality Act could affect parental decisions over the health care of their children.
The congresswoman recalled the story of parents in Ohio who lost custody of their daughter several years ago because they opposed her desire to transition to male. A judge allowed the girl’s grandparents to take custody of her because they supported her medical transition.
“It is just heart rending to think that parents were not able to determine the health care, what they thought was best for their daughter, and the judge actually stepped in and took away their custody,” the congresswoman said.
Children in foster care could likely be affected by the Equality Act as well.
An adoptive mother, Hartzler said the legislation could likely have a negative impact on faith-based adoption agencies that strive to place children in homes with a mother and father.
She observed how some states and cities have already claimed the exclusion of same-sex couples as potential adoptive parents is discriminatory and that faith-based adoption agencies seeking out only families with a mother and father should no longer be allowed to operate.
The Missouri congresswoman explained the consequence of such policies is that many foster children are unable to be adopted into a loving home through faith-based adoption agencies if they are shut down. The Equality Act would nationalize such a policy.
Ryan Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, explained in an op-ed at the New York Post Sunday that the writers of the Equality Act have explicitly exempted the bill from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The Act states:
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.) shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.
Faith-based schools could thus “face federal sanction for upholding the teachings of mainstream biology and the Bible, modern genetics and Genesis, when it comes to sex and marriage,” Anderson noted.
Let’s be clear: Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 25, 2020
Under the Act, children are also likely to learn any attempt to protect unborn human life is now considered “discriminatory.”
The text of the bill states:
Discrimination can occur on the basis of the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition of an individual, as well as because of sex-based stereotypes. Each of these factors alone can serve as the basis for discrimination, and each is a form of sex discrimination.
As Israel noted, the legislation would force the term “sex” in the Civil Rights Act to mean pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, and the last of these — “related medical conditions” — has already been interpreted to include abortion by both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Thus, discrimination on the basis of sex could include refusing to perform an abortion or provide funding for the procedure.
Anderson summed up the concerns about the legislation.
“Rather than finding common-sense, narrowly tailored ways to shield LGBT-identifying Americans from truly unjust discrimination, the bill would act as a sword — to persecute those who don’t embrace newfangled gender ideologies,” he said of the “Orwellian” Equality Act.