What to Know About the Equality Act

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from First Things,

Two bills have lingered between the Democratic House and Republican Senate for the last few years. Now that Joe Biden is president, and both houses are controlled by Democrats, these two bills are likely to be signed into law: the Equality Act and the Do No Harm Act.

The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act to forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, but it would also fulfill the abortion industry’s long-fought desire to establish abortion as “health care” officially and legally by outlawing “pregnancy discrimination.” It requires that access to “treatment” for pregnancy must not be any different from access to any other kind of health care treatment for any other “physical condition.” But this is all code language for implementation of a vigorous national policy of abortion on demand for any or no reason.

By making abortion health care and declaring that no person shall be discriminated against in access to such care, the Equality Act would make opposing abortion access morally equivalent to opposing dialysis, chemotherapy, stitching a wound, or setting a fractured arm;…

The Equality Act would also outlaw certain kinds of psychological or psychiatric treatment, including any treatment for gender dysphoria that does not conform chapter and verse to extreme gender-identity ideology. Gender “confirmation” hormone therapy and mutilating surgery will also be protected “health care,” under the same analysis as abortion above.

Whatever crumb of religious liberty that might be left after enactment of the Equality Act would likely be swept up by the Do No Harm Act, a more comprehensive bill that would effectively render RFRA null and void. As a reminder, RFRA was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993 as a legislative correction of the Supreme Court decision Employment Div. of Oregon v. Smith (the so-called “peyote” case), in which the Court refused to exempt certain religious practices from otherwise generally applicable laws that prohibited them. It is under the federal RFRA and similar state RFRA laws that bakers, florists, photographers, and others have sought protection from being forced to participate in, and thus endorse, morally objectionable speech and rituals.

In the Biden Administration, HHS will be less about public health and more about the imposition of divisive secular social policy. The Equality Act and the Do No Harm Act will be the cudgels by which the administration executes these policies.

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