Deceptive ‘Equality Act’ Raises Troubling Religious Freedom and Free-Speech Issues

CNS News | 5/21/2019 | Staff
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The U.S. House of Representatives passed the deceptively-named “Equality Act” on Friday, largely along party lines. It’s labeled as a “gay rights” or “transgender rights” law. But the Equality Act is so extreme that even many legal commentators who long supported gay marriage have taken issue with it. As John McCormack notes, “UVA law professor Douglas Laycock, who has long supported gay marriage and enacting a federal gay-rights law, says it would ‘crush’ religious dissenters.”

Legal commentator Walter Olson runs what is widely cited as the world’s oldest legal blog, Overlawyered. He backed the legalization of gay marriage in Maryland, and opposed North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.” He opposes the “proposed Equality Act” because it “would 1) massively expand federal liability in areas unrelated to sex, gender, or orientation; 2) turn 1000s of routine customer gripes into federal public-accommodations cases; 3) squeeze conscience exemptions hard. All are good reasons to oppose.”

Critics - Equality - Act - McCormack

These critics of the “Equality Act” are not anti-gay. As McCormack notes:

“Laycock has also been a longtime supporter of enacting a federal gay-rights non-discrimination law, but he doesn’t support the Equality Act, a bill just approved by the House of Representatives that would add ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, because it would ‘crush’ conscientious objectors.

Bill - House - Today - Senate - Support

“While the bill passed the House today and will be bottled up in the Senate, it has close to universal support among Democrats and would very likely become law if Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress and abolish the Senate filibuster.”

Republicans currently control the U.S. Senate by a narrow margin. CBS News says that Trump would likely veto the Equality Act if it passed Congress.

Equality - Act - Categories - Gender - Identity

The Equality Act doesn’t just add categories like “gender identity” to existing law, or obliterate religious-freedom safeguards. It also fundamentally transforms the meaning of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNS News
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