Why the Equality Act Will Negatively Impact Us All

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According to a Gallup survey, approximately 1 in 6 from America's youngest adult generation (Gen Z, ages 18-23) now self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Of that subset of non-heterosexuals, 72% say they are bisexuals.

The report seems to correspond to the alarming social trend and practice of liberal views on gender and sexuality among Millennials and even older generations. Sadly, it seems everyone knows someone whose personal or extended families have been impacted by these changing and challenging sexual mores.

Religious Freedoms Are at Risk

Given these alarming statistics, I believe it is important to review the "Equality Act," which was pushed through the U.S. House of Representatives last week. It will now move on to the Senate, and we can only imagine the political pressure our senators will be under to vote in its favor.

President Biden previously pledged to enact, within the first 100 days of his administration, a plethora of "progressive" executive actions and appeals for legislative support from a fully-Democrat Congress. The so-called "Equality Act" is an unsurprising result and consequence of the controversial 2020 election.

However, under the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, that body barely had time to vote on it, let alone to honestly consider its provisions or consequences. The bill never had a hearing nor adequate debate in the Democrat-dominated House. Why the unprecedented, partisan rush for such important legislation?

I pray that the bill will be more thoroughly reviewed in the Senate, even though those legislators are evenly split 50-50 between those who caucus as Democrats and Republicans. I trust they will have the time and opportunity to carefully evaluate it and civilly debate it, as wisely designed by our founders. Even so, the Democrat leadership there can "stack the decks" and refuse equitable hearings and debate rules. Of critical concern is how the "Equality Act" specifically exempts itself from obeying the provisions of the Clinton-era Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.

Ironically, that important 1994 legislation was presented to Congress by then-Representative Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.). It unanimously passed the House and only had 3 dissenters (97-3) in the Senate. That RFRA legislation has been the foundation of all religious freedom cases brought before the Supreme Court in the past quarter-century. If Senator Schumer and his more than four-dozen Democrat senators now vote for this "Equality Act," they will be, in essence, repealing the religious-freedom provisions they previously restored in 1994. So much for religious freedoms and the First Amendment!

What I Wrote to My Senators

This week, I wrote to both of my U.S. Senators and urged them to distinguish themselves as sincere, independently-minded and moral leaders, who actually read and study such culturally-transforming legislation and carefully discern any negative, unintentional consequences for our citizens and nation. I said, in part:

Senator, in this week's political theatre, I hope you will show yourself as someone who does more than repeat partisan talking points from your party's leaders. I feel most of the politicians who are interviewed on TV have not attempted to even read the bills. They depend on others to give them summaries with scripted bullet points. Don't be like them.

I'm a "person of faith" and very concerned about this bill and its real-world consequences for real people. For instance, I have been told that, if this bill passes your chamber, conscientious objection to abortion (performing or funding) could be criminally punished. Additionally, I've been told boys will be able to shower in girls' locker rooms and adult biological-men could share girls' and women's restrooms and private spaces.

Also, with no specific protections for people of faith included in this bill, priests, pastors, Orthodox rabbis and Islamic imams will be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, and the list goes on. Are these statements true?

Or, how about this one: "The Equality Act will destroy religious freedoms, women's rights and competitive sports." Is this a fair evaluation or not? Could you find contextualized content in the actual bill to confirm your answer? My "enquiring mind" wants to know!

Senator, as a fair-minded and religiously knowledgeable person, yourself, you would not want to vote for such a culturally transforming and consequential legislation without actually knowing what's in it and what the long-term consequences might be for your own family, friends and constituents.

Please have one of your aides take the projected aspects of the bill I've presented above and find the related text in the bill to show whether these projected consequences are correct or not. Wouldn't that be a "fair and equal" consideration?

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is God only made two genders: male and female. Science and human history verify this reality. Considerations other than that are fantasies and fallacies of human imagination.

The apostle Paul explained that the righteous judgment of God awaits those who lust for sexual expression with members of the same sex and other forms of sexual immorality (Rom. 1:24-32). The judgment is not just for those who "practice such things" but also those who "give hearty approval of those who practice them" (Rom. 1:32).

May we, as individuals and as a nation, repent of our immoral and self-destructive ways, renounce them all to our holy God and return to the maker and sustainer of our spirits, souls and bodies!

Gary Curtis served in full-time ministry for 50 years, the last 27 years of which he was part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the Van Nuys' California Foursquare church. Now retired, Gary continues to write a weekly blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com and frequent articles for digital and print platforms.

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