The Associated Press reported on what the Democrats intend to do if they take back the House of Representatives this November. The plan is to introduce legislation that would be the largest assault on religious liberty in our nation’s history. From the report:
Just days ahead of a midterm election they hope will deliver them a majority, House Democrats are promising to prioritize anti-discrimination legislation that would for the first time establish widespread equal rights protections for LGBTQ individuals.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently said she would introduce the Equality Act as one of her first orders of business if Democrats retake the House in November. Pelosi made the announcement at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, telling the crowd the issue of equal rights for the LGBTQ community is “personal.”
The 1964 Civil Rights Act already bars discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The Equality Act, if passed, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the law and expand those protections beyond the workplace. It would outlaw gender discrimination in places like restaurants and retail shops, in seeking housing, using health care and social services, applying for a loan or participating in the jury selection process.
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If this bill were to become a law, sexual orientation and gender identity would be protected classes, which under current federal law, they are not.
The intent of the “Equality Act” is to target the last hold-outs to the LGBT revolution-religious people. The AP report explains how the bill takes explicit aim at religious people:
A provision in the bill forbids any employer or retailer from using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed in 1993, to justify withholding services based on gender or sexual orientation. The law, which received bipartisan support, barred the government from interfering with the rights of religious practitioners. But more recently the law has been used to protect the rights of business owners to refuse service based on religious beliefs. In one 2014 case, the Supreme Court found that chain craft store Hobby Lobby, founded by religious evangelicals, didn’t have to provide its employees with contraception coverage for religious reasons.
The left wants to destroy The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which in the past enjoyed bipartisan support, forcing religious people to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs about sexuality and marriage.
If this bill is to become law, Christian business owners in the wedding industry would have no choice but to participate in gay weddings. Christian colleges would be forced to house students based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex. The list of violations against religious liberty would be virtually infinite.
Although the bill has little chance of being passed, and even less of a chance of President Trump signing it into law, the bill signals one side of the culture war wishing the total subjugation of the other.
Ross Douthat observed some years ago, “Unless something dramatic changes in the drift of public opinion, the future of religious liberty on these issues is going to depend in part on the magnanimity of gay marriage supporters.”
Yet very little evidence remains of “magnanimity” on the part of those supporting the “Equality Act.” There is evidence, however, that many of them would like to see traditional marriage supporters get their comeuppance.
Around six years ago Robert George wrote something that in time has proven to be prophetic.
“There is, in my opinion, no chance—no chance—of persuading champions of sexual liberation (and it should be clear by now that this is the cause they serve), that they should respect, or permit the law to respect, the conscience rights of those with whom they disagree. Look at it from their point of view: Why should we permit “full equality” to be trumped by bigotry? Why should we respect religions and religious institutions that are “incubators of homophobia”? Bigotry, religiously based or not, must be smashed and eradicated. The law should certainly not give it recognition or lend it any standing or dignity.”
The bottom line, Christians and other conjugal marriage supporters need to direct every ounce of energy into obtaining every religious liberty accommodation possible -while there’s still time. These may not be around much longer. This also means that as Christians, we need to be ready to love our neighbors and our enemies, bearing witness in a culture that has become increasingly hostile towards us. Private citizens could very well face fines or other penalties for their biblical beliefs about transgenderism and homosexuality, and churches may eventually lose tax exempt status. A costly love and a costly witness, but worth it in the end.