U.S. Christians could be forced to violate their beliefs
Michael Ireland - Assist News
A new law threatens to force Christians in the United States to violate their conscience.
If the proposed Equality Act becomes law, males identifying as females could use women’s locker rooms, faith-based adoption and foster agencies would be required to place children with same-sex couples, and florists and bakers would be forced to fill orders for same-sex weddings.
Critics say these are just a few of the potential results of the new law.
This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
The bill also expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.
The bill allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity. Furthermore, the bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.
“Every American should be treated with dignity and respect, but our laws need to protect the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights that we have,” says Greg Baylor from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian organization which advocates for religious freedom, as reported by CBNNews.com.
CBNNews said the ADF is currently handling cases in numerous states where laws like The Equality Act already exist.
If The Equality Act passes, Baylor says, “we will see a proliferation of instances where Christians and others are being coerced to violate their beliefs in order to comply with such a law.”
CBNNews reported that while introducing the bill, Democrat lawmakers talked about making the protection of same-sex individuals a priority over other Constitutional freedoms.
“We cannot allow claims of religious freedom to be used to discriminate against an LGBT individual,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).
Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, talked with Pat Robertson on Tuesday’s 700 Club. Staver called The Equality Act, “a dangerous threat to religious freedom.”
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) stated: “It makes a difference when any level of government or any corporation says that this discriminatory behavior and action is wrong. It makes a difference and it provides those of us in our community – the LGBT community – with the tools that we need to fight back.”
In requiring things like faith-based adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples, opponents fear religious liberty cases will pop up all over the country.
“Some of the things in The Equality Act are very disturbing and alarming as far as what they could do to Christian values in this country, so we’re certainly keeping a pulse on it,” said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA).
“Concerned believers can make their voices heard about the “Equality Act,” by calling the Capitol Hill Switchboard to leave a message for your representative: 202-224-3121.”
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