The Equality Act of 2021 sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? And yet, the entire act is deeply flawed. It will be a great threat to religious freedom and will codify laws that will force beliefs that are entirely contrary to the Catholic Church’s beliefs on human sexuality and natural law.
Yes, this act seeks to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but in a well-written statement issued on March 1, 2021, by the Colorado Catholic Conference, the Bishops of Colorado state: “However, it actually codifies discrimination against anyone with a different belief about human sexuality and forces them to conform to government-mandated beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity under threat of criminal and financial penalties.
“If the Equality Act is signed into law, the Catholic Church’s social teaching on human sexuality will be effectively outlawed as discriminatory and many of the Church’s institutions and faithful could be accused of violating this law.”
The Colorado Bishops enumerate what the effects of this legislation would be:
- Punish faith-based charities such as shelters and foster care agencies simply because of their beliefs on marriage and sexuality.
- Force both people and organizations in many everyday life and work settings to speak or act in support of “gender transitions,” even when it’s against their professional judgment.
- Risk mandating taxpayers to pay for abortions, and health care workers with conscience objections to perform them.
- Force girls and women to compete against boys and men for limited opportunities in school sports, and to share locker rooms and shower spaces with biological males who identify as women.
- Expand the government’s definition of public places into numerous settings, even forcing religiously operated spaces, such as some church halls and equivalent facilities to either host functions that violate their beliefs or close their doors to their broader communities.
- Exclude people from the careers and livelihoods that they love, just for maintaining the truth of their beliefs on marriage and sexuality (§ 3)
- Discriminate against individuals and religious organizations based on their different beliefs by partially repealing the bi- partisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, an unprecedented departure.
The Equality Act was passed by the House of Representatives and now is in the Senate. If it is passed, no longer will one be permitted to have the idea that marriage is between a man and a woman. The Equality Act Section 2(a) refers to the marriage of a man and a woman as a “sex stereotype.” It will increase the availability of abortion.
The Heritage Foundation clearly delineates what this will mean for the nation:
“If the Equality Act were to pass, section 1557 nondiscrimination regulations could be used against providers who refuse to perform abortions, or against hospitals that receive federal funding and do not provide abortions.”
The Equality Act will place a heavy burden on Catholic education, Catholic social services, and health care, as well as on the conscience of every person who holds to Catholic theological anthropology. It will change the very definition of sex and gender for our nation and those who disagree with it will be liable to charges of discrimination and severe fines. Contact your senators and let your voice be heard!