The U.S. House passed 236-173 HR 5, misnamed the "Equality Act," with eight Republicans voting in favor and no Democrats voting against it. The eight Republicans are: Susan Brooks (Ind. - 05); Brian Fitzpatrick (Penn. - 01); Elise Stefanik (N.Y. - 21); Greg Walden (Ore. - 02); John Katko (N.Y. - 24); Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla. - 25); Tom Reed (N.Y. - 23) and Will Hurd (Texas - 23).
HR 5 takes the unpreceded step of eliminating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) as a claim or defense to the application of many federal laws. This bill drastically alters religious freedom in all cases, not just those involving LGBT. It elevates LGBT to the same level as race, and federalizes abortion and abortion funding. The bill now goes to the Senate as S. 788.
This "Equality Act" extends federal protections to include sexual orientation, gender identity and pregnancy, that is, abortion. HR 5 applies to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and more. In addition, the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" will be defined to mean "pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition." In other words, under the terms of this bill, "pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition ... shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions." The "Equality Act" also expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings or displays; (2) goods, services or programs and (3) transportation services."
"No one who voted for the misnamed 'Equality Act' deserves to serve in Congress," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. "This bill destroys the fundamental religious freedom on which America was founded. This bill is unpatriotic and dangerous. The misnamed 'Equality Act' has nothing to do with equality and is the most serious threat to life and liberty ever proposed by Congress. This bill needs to be stopped in the Senate. If this bill becomes law, the consequences are staggering."
This bill destroys bathroom privacy. It would welcome both genders into every bathroom in America.
It directs religious K-12 schools and daycare centers to force children to obey adults who show up at work one day as a man and the next day as a woman. These children are at a highly impressionable age. When kindergarteners have seen such events in the past, many have gone home shaking and crying, worried that they could wake up with a different gender!
And this bill gags counselors from giving professional help to those facing unwanted same-sex desires or actions. It even criminalizes those who share their own story of finding freedom in Christ from homosexuality in a book or speaking engagement. This bill literally sets the stage for banning the Bible, which offers the power to free those wanting to turn away from homosexual conduct.
And there is no religious exemption to this bill!
Further, this bill demands that every religious adoption agency place innocent children in homes with adults involved in same-sex conduct. And it also demands that religious families be willing to accept practicing LGBT minors in their home as a prerequisite to being approved as foster parents.
Under HR 5, property owners would be forced to accept renters whose actions violate their religious beliefs, including renting out a room in their home or their private vacation home.
Home-based businesses would be forced to hire and welcome LGBT people into their privately-owned home, even if they are trying to raise their children according to their own religious beliefs!
This legislation would create many more victims—like women in shelters who have been sexually assaulted by a man posing as a "transgender" to gain access to the facility.
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- Churches would be forced to host same-sex ceremonies.
- Churches will lose tax-exempt status for noncompliance.
- Colleges will lose accreditation for noncompliance.
- Noncompliant colleges will be ineligible to receive student loans, causing most religious schools to compromise their core mission or close.
- If churches or religious organizations take overnight trips, including sports or mission trips, they cannot segregate rooms by biological gender.
- Biological men will have access to bathrooms, showers and nursing-mother rooms at any time and can stay as long as they please.
- Churches would be forced to hire staff involved in LGBT conduct, even positions of authority in affiliated daycare classes and give them complete access to all children in the restrooms.
- Cross-dressers could demand that they be greeters, ushers, Sunday school teachers and more.
- Even the smallest slight would give someone the legal right to sue the church. For example, if a person assumed they were turned down for a staff position because of a LGBT lifestyle, they could sue the church for damages, even if that was not the reason they were denied the job.
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