Equality Act Puts Religious Liberty And Thousands Of Faith-Based Organizations In Danger, Senators Told

Ethics and Public Policy Center's Mary Rice Hasson

Senators were told on Wednesday during the Judiciary Committee hearing that the Equality Act puts religious liberty and thousands of faith-based organizations in danger.

"You're not welcome to live your faith in the public square," Ethics and Public Policy Center Mary Rice Hasson told senators, encapsulating the greatest threat the Equality Act poses on people who want to practice their religious beliefs.

As per Christian Headlines, Hasson revealed that the Equality Act clearly stipulated in its text that it forbids the use of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act as basis for individuals to sue those covered by the Equality Act. The 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Christian Headlines explained, prevents the government from "substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion" and was signed by President Bill Clinton.

Hasson, a Kate O'Beirne Fellow in Catholic Studies, gave as example a Jewish charitable outreach that separates men and women who would be subject to a discrimination lawsuit for violating the bill's provision against gender identity.

"So it is not true to say that people of faith don't lose anything. We lose everything," Hasson highlighted, "It's a complete, just radical, radical change in the rights for religious Americans."

The Christian Headlines reported that Hasson is one of the panelists during the senate hearing. With her is Wall Street Journal Writer Abigail Shrier.

Both were asked by Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton if they believed that the House Republic Bill 5, more commonly known as the Equality Act, will cause faith-based "charities, clinics, community services, and schools across the country" to shutter or be punished once it is enacted into law. Both affirmed the senator and both emphasized how religious liberty would be gravely affected by the Equality Act.

"Any organization or any school," Shrier remarked, "that held to a biological view of sex as part of its religious belief, would come in the crosshairs of this new anti-discrimination law."

Shrier, a researcher and an activist against transgender transitioning among the youth as per Washington Blade, is author of the book, "Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters" that has been awarded by the Economist as "Best Books 2020."

"Millions of Americans will be treated as second-class citizens and threatened with lawsuits simply for believing that men are men and women are women," Cotton said before asking the panelists.

According to Christian Headlines, the Equality Act that's supported by President Joseph Biden would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects against racial discrimination. The amendment would include to the list of protected classes the addition of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" for accommodations, education, employment, housing, and public places.

"Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. But the Equality Act, I strongly suspect," The Daily Signal quoted Justice Committee ranking member Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley during his opening remarks, "would actually dictate what women, girls, schools, churches, doctors, and others must believe."

The Daily Signal also reported that there are 4 highlights during the senate hearing on the Equality Act. These are: it is a "Misnamed Act," "We just need to be able to live our lives", women and girls only ones "asked to bear this risk," and "where no federal law has gone before."

"Misnamed because although this act supports the prevention of discrimination, it actually causes it by undermining hard-fought protections for women," explained Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.

In addition, the Daily Signal said Shrier called the bill a "misogyny in progressive clothing" and that gender ideology is its very core.

Shrier called on the general public who care for women's rights that "it would be a good time to call your senator" when she announced in Twitter that that she will be testifying on the Equality Act. Meanwhile, Hasson expressed her gratefulness in Twitter for being able to "speak on behalf of females and persons of faith, in opposition to the mis-named Equality Act" during the hearing.