On Thursday, Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island reintroduced the Equality Act to the House of Representatives.
The pro-LGBT legislation is set to be voted on this week and is co-sponsored by 223 Democrats. While passing the House is to be expected, the chances of the legislation becoming law under the Senate is not yet certain. But President Biden is already urging Congress to "swiftly pass this historic legislation," he said in a statement on Friday.
President Biden, who fully supports the pro-LGBT legislation that could potentially endagner religious freedom and human rights, said that "full equality" has been denied to the LGBTQ+ community because of the "rampant discrimination" against them. Referring to the Equality Act, he said that it was a move to provide "long overdue federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."
However, if the pro-LGBT legislation becomes law of the land, it will have a detrimental impact on religious freedom and women's rights. For one, Christian Headlines reports that the bill will amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which confronts racial discrimination by adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the list of protected classes for public spaces and employment.
If and when Congress will "swiftly pass" the bill as per President Biden's request, it will have implications on even the most trivial matters, such as using a shared facility. The pro-LGBT legislation says that anyone cannot be denied access to shared facilities such as restrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms, "that is in accordance with the individual's gender identity."
According to NBC News, the pro-LGBT legislation that is the Equality Act has been introduced by Rep. Cicilline every year since 2015, but was stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. Democrats are more confident that the pro-LGBT legislation will pass with a majority. But the Equality Act does not come without backlash.
The New York Post's Ryan Anderson criticized the pro-LGBT legislation, writing that while it may provide the LGBT community with certain protections, it does on the other hand "persecute those who don't embrace newfangled gender ideologies" and "sacrifice the hard-won rights of women, while privileging men who identify as women."
If Congress is ready to "swiftly pass" the pro-LGBT legislation upon Biden's request, the nation will have to get ready to deal with a lot of major changes that would endanger people's rights and freedoms. Under the law, men who identify as women will have the right to compete in women's sports, enter exclusive schools for women, take up work that are intended for women, use women's public restrooms and facilities, and more.
The pro-LGBT legislation, if passed by Congress, will also put in danger people's religious freedoms. Under the Equality act, religous institutions such as schools, adoption agencies, and other such organizations will "face federal sanction for upholding the teachings of mainstream biology and the Bible, modern genetics and Genesis, when it comes to sex and marriage," Anderson wrote.
President Biden is convinced that the pro-LGBT legislation is needed, saying, "No one should ever face discrimination or live in fear because of who they are or whom they love." However, the Equality Act is undeniably a step back for women who have been fighting for their rights for years and a threat for religious organizations to comply with modern day sexual ideologies.