House of Representatives passes Equality Act

Catholic bishops warned that legislation would harm free speech, conscience rights and the exercise of religion; bill now faces uncertain fate in U.S. Senate

Hand wearing gay pride rainbow wristband making a power fist gesture in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. (Via Shutterstock)

The House of Representatives passed the controversial Equality Act on May 17, amid heated opposition from those who argue it would pose serious threats to critical constitutional freedoms.

The House approved the bill by a 236-173 vote. Eight Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Seven Democrats refrained from voting for or against.

The legislation would add anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to existing protections for race, color, national origin, sex, disability and religion.

It would apply not just to employment, but other areas like housing, jury duty, credit, and education, as well as at retail stores, emergency shelters, banks, transit and pharmacies, among others. It would also specify facility access for self-identified transgender persons, such as access to male and female bathrooms.

Representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had opposed the measure in a March 20 letter. They said that while they support efforts to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect, the legislation would fail to advance those goals and would instead harm society.

“The Act’s definitions alone would remove women and girls from protected legal existence,” they said. “Furthermore, the Act also fails to recognize the difference between the person – who has dignity and is entitled to recognition of it – and the actions of a person, which have ethical and social ramifications. Conflating the two will introduce a plethora of further legal complications.”

The bishops also warned that the Equality Act would harm free speech, conscience, and exercise of religion. It would require that homeless shelters place biological men with vulnerable women and adoption agencies place children with same-sex couples, even if this violates their beliefs and the birth mother’s wishes. It could threaten professionals in the wedding industry who will serve all customers but cannot express messages to which they object. And it would require health professionals to provide “gender transition” treatments and surgeries in violation of their medical and ethical judgments, they said.

Furthermore, the Equality Act would exempt itself from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a move that the bishops noted is “unprecedented.”

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

Comments

  1. So what? The Dems control the House. So, no surprise there. Last time I looked, a bill also had to be introduced into and approved by the Senate, and then signed or vetoed by the President. Fat chance of those things taking place.

  2. Candace P says

    Yep, and one of the Democrat Party leaders said yesterday that you can’t be a Democrat if you’re pro-life. I agree with her about that.

    I’d go further and say you can’t be a Democrat if you’re a faithful Catholic. Wish the Catholic bishops understood that simple fact of the modern Democrat Party. Time to just state the bald truth.

  3. Hell hath no fury like a sexual revolution scorned.

  4. helen wheels says

    “The House of Representatives passed the controversial Equality Act by a 236-173 vote.
    The legislation would add anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender
    identity to existing protections for race, color, national origin, sex, disability and religion.”

    Other provisions of the bill include changing “up” to “down” and “hot” to “cold.” Another
    provision that garnered full Democrat support was the provision that declared “2+2 = 5”

  5. We live in a time when it’s evil not to embrace evil. The new norm is complete insanity! There will be Hell to pay if you remain silent.

  6. Anonymous says

    It’s great to know, that President Trump stated he would veto this wrongful bill, if it is presented to him!

    • Anonymous says

      If “LGBT” people lead a good, chaste life–they will do very well, (perhaps far better than most heterosexuals!) and gain much admiration and respect!

  7. Clinton R. says

    He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. (GEN 5:2) God created man and then woman. They are made for each other in every way. Anything else is from the evil one.

  8. Joel Fago says

    The Equality Act would institute more abomination in the United States of America. Woe to our country!

  9. Is it a mortal sin yet to support Democrats and vote with them and for them?

    • Anonymous says

      If you vote for someone because they support an intrinsic evil like abortion, it is a mortal sin.

  10. Has Father James Martin, S.J. said anything about this yet?

    • Anonymous says

      Not outright but put some links on his social media. If you are interested, he also liked the Game of thrones finale and has 19 tweets in a row talking to Church Militant, LifeSite News and TFP which concludes with him telling them he does not care what the say or do. I think that is probably a Twitter record for clapping back.

  11. Your Fellow Catholic says

    Let’s be clear about what this bill does: It guarantees that LGBT people won’t be made homeless because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It makes sure that they won’t be fired from their job just because of those qualities. or denied credit soley for these reasons. What is an abomination is that some landlords, employers, and lenders discriminate solely on the basis of who a person is, rather than what that person does.

    • YFC, the USCCB has for once spoken with great clarity in contrast to your obfuscating the dark consequences of this bill. Face those consequences, YFC. LGBT people are per capita among the most well-off in our society, even while monstrous efforts are made to put Christians out of work and on the street for upholding their beliefs. Christians are now the most persecuted group in the world today, and in this country, LGBT advocates lead the way. The bishops now seem to understand this, for which they deserve praise.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says

        I’m not sure why anti-Christian discrimination should be used to justify anti-LGBT discrimination. It’s not a zero sum game. All people are to be treated with dignity and respect, whether Christian or LGBT, Christian and LGBT, or none of the above. Even the Churh teaches that discrimination against LGBT people is not to be tolerated. I don’t think you’d say that black people should be enslaved because the Israelites were once enslaved, would you? And if you want to try to claim that LGBT people are per capita among the most well off, you might actually want to cite some statistics, because I think you’ll find that you are not correct.

  12. Sebastian says

    When are they going to start including pedophile orientation in their calls for equality?

  13. ELIZABETH T. says

    IT WON’T PASS THE SENATE 🙂

  14. Camille Giglio says

    There are multiple thousands of faithful Catholics attending church every weekend. Seems to me the Bishops should be firmly encouraged to instruct the faithful in the pews regarding defending, life, liberty, religious practices. And, we, the faithful, should be instructing the California Catholic Conference to stop supporting the Democrat Party.

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.