HOBBS: By Bowing To Gender ‘Identity,’ The Equality Act Destroys Equal Treatment
In Connecticut, two high school female athletes were left off the podium, while two more will be afterthoughts to college recruiters because they were all forced to compete against two significantly faster biological males who identify as women.
In Pennsylvania, high school students are told their right to bodily privacy — the freedom to not be seen undressed in a locker room, shower, or restroom by the opposite sex — finishes a distant second to the desires of classmates whose views of their gender identity are out of alignment with biological reality.
In Alaska, female survivors of domestic abuse, human trafficking, and rape are reduced to choosing between sleeping and disrobing just three feet away from intoxicated men who claim they’re women, or braving the elements of an ice-cold northern winter instead.
In Virginia, a high school French teacher and father of four is given an ultimatum: Either call a female student by masculine pronouns or lose your job.
In Ohio, parents are stripped of their right to care for their own teenaged daughter, because unelected state officials are bent on subjecting her to an experimental high-dosage hormone regimen that will change her life forever.
And in Washington, D.C., the House of Representatives on Friday passed the so-called “Equality Act,” a bill that would forever redefine the meaning of “sex” to include both “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” and immediately bring these troubling situations to the front door of every American home, business, and place of worship.
While it is likely dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate, the fact that the Equality Act made it out of the House is rather remarkable. Never before has one chamber of Congress approved a measure that would coerce virtually every American to comply with an extreme and destructive ideology. Never before has one chamber of Congress passed a bill that so directly and comprehensively interferes with religious freedom and rights of conscience. Never before has one chamber Congress passed a bill that strips people of faith of the protections they’ve enjoyed under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.
Containing not even a trace amount of protection for religious freedom, the Equality Act would put an immediate target on Christian, Jewish, or Muslim business owners who, like Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, serve everyone but cannot promote every message or celebrate events that conflict with their faith.
In fact, it’s the Equality Act’s notable lack of any religious exemption that gives the game away. There is a very real threat to people of faith, and judging by the expansive list of line-toeing multi-billion dollar corporations, many in the business community are all too willing to throw religious believers under the bus in order to receive their stamp of approval from the Human Rights Campaign.
Redefining sex, as the Equality Act proposes to do, strikes at the very heart of civil rights legislation, defeating the purpose of needed laws designed to create an equal playing field in American life regardless a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
Included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the protected class of “sex” is there to make sure that each woman has an equal opportunity to participate in American life. Ensuing legislation over the following decade would go on to specify that the promise of equal treatment extended to housing, educational opportunities, and more.
Yet, in an incredible stroke of irony, the “Equality Act” specifically rolls back those hard-fought protections for women. By obliterating the clear understanding that there are real, intrinsic, and undeniably beautiful differences between men and women, the Equality Act creates an overtly unfair world where women disproportionately pay the price for a man’s belief that he is a woman.
If that seems far-fetched, all you need to do is look at the above examples. These represent just a taste of what’s behind the looking glass of the Equality Act or any other effort to redefine sex under the law.
As we’re seeing throughout the 23 states (plus localities all throughout the U.S.) that have cast off the objective definition of sex in favor of the theoretical, redefining sex not only erases equality for women in sports, jobs, and bodily privacy, it creates massive problems for everyone.
Life, business, and societies come with enough of their own built-in challenges, pitfalls, and gray areas. Nobody wins when ideological politicians propose new — and in this case, serious and intractable — dilemmas like the Equality Act.
Jay Hobbs is deputy director of media communications for Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents numerous clients who have been harmed by laws similar to the Equality Act.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.