After the House passed the Equality Act and is left under the prerogative of the Senate to enact it into law, an expert is contemplating on its implications to Christians in the education sector.
Dr. Alex Chediak, an author and professor, looks into the legislation's effect on both the students and teachers, through his article on The Stream. As Evangelist Franklin Graham said that the bill sounds "deceiving," he also describes it as something with "devil" on its details. And these "details," he said, are bad for women and religious freedom.
The Equality Act would expand the term "sex," which was meant by the 1964 Civil Rights Act as biological, into gender identity and sexual orientation.
Dr. Chediak cites three areas where the bill would bring harm and confusion in the area of education.
First, high school sports for women and "misgendering" in schools.
The legislation would regard it as a discrimination if a biological male, who identifies himself as female, would be denied access to a sports team for women or into a locker room designated only for girls. This practice would violate women's privacy and could pose a concern.
Dr. Chediak also mentioned about the two transgender athletes, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, who won the 2018 girls state championship in Connecticut. He said that these awards should have been given to biological women. This practice of men beating women in high school sports would essentially limit biological women's chances of having sports-base college scholarship.
Also, the bill would make "misgendering" and "deadnaming" punishable.
Dr. Chediak spoke about two Christian teachers, Mr. Peter Vlaming of West Point High School in Virginia and Dr. Nicholas Meriwether of Shawnee State University in Ohio, who were both removed from their positions for "misgendering" their students. Mr. Vlaming and Dr. Meriwether cited their Christian belief for doing such, but their reason was rejected by their employers. With Equality Act, a person's religious belief would then be disregarded.
Next, on hiring practices.
Christian schools today have the freedom to choose teachers they want to hire. Given a Christian school's religious belief, it is implied that teachers would conduct themselves adhering to the Christian standards of the school. But with Equality Act, one can claim to be discriminated if a teacher, who decides to be a transgender or having a relationship with the same gender, is removed from a Christian school. How can a Christian school teach about the values of Christianity to its students if its educators themselves are committing "sodomic" sins in their faces?
Finally, the legislation would affect even children as young as grade schoolers.
Dr. Chediak noted about a mother, who spoke about her transgender 8-year old child, whom Biden encountered during a townhall meeting. The professor was stunned at the fact that a mere grade schooler could decide on living that way, unless encouraged or medically assisted.
Under the Equality Act, Christian grade schools are feared to be pressured to act against their belief, allowing its students to choose their own genders, like what happened to the 8-year old.
The bill would cover all education institutions receiving federal funding. With this, even Christian schools may be pressured to accept the government's rules or face the risk of being defunded.
Like all other personalities and conservatives dissenting the Equality Act such as Evangelist Graham, Dr. Chediak also warns of the massive danger of the legislation's effect to people's lives, particularly in schools and America's precious children.
"We have good reason to be concerned with the Equality Act. In the end, it's not about equality. It's about weaponizing gender identity, minimizing biological distinctions, and punishing dissent. And our schools and children are directly in the crosshairs," he concluded.
Dr. Chediak earned his doctoral degree in Material Science & Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. He is also a professor at California Baptist University since 2007.