On Thursday, the House passed the Equality Act to End Legal Recognition of Biological Sex Equality Act, which would remove the legal definintion of biological sex. The House passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act, 224-206. Three Republicans voted for the legislation.
The legislation would rewrite civil rights laws to include “sexual orientation and gender identity” as protected classes.
The bill states:
Discrimination can occur on the basis of the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition of an individual, as well as because of sex-based stereotypes. Each of these factors alone can serve as the basis for discrimination, and each is a form of sex discrimination.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who voted against the legislation, said on the House floor before the vote, “What this bill, the so-called Equality Act, is really about, it’s not about giving rights, this is about taking away rights. This is saying that part of the First Amendment that states, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;’ that’s gotta go!”
On Thursday, he spoke at a Freedom Caucus press conference:
You don’t have to take our word for it. Let me just read this from page 25 of the bill: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title,” said the Congressman at the press conference. “What’s worse: it doesn’t mention what it eviscerates really, and that is the First Amendment.
Ryan Anderson, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), said in a statement last week, “The so-called Equality Act is legislative malpractice that turns equality on its head. It isn’t drafted as a shield to protect vulnerable minorities from unjust discrimination, but as a sword to persecute those who do not embrace new sexual and gender ideologies.”
Democrats claim that the alteration will merely amend federal civil rights law to ensure sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes, even though the Constitution already provides protection for the rights of all American citizens, regardless of their “identity group.”