Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The Equality Act (HR 5) is moving in Congress but Congressman James Comer (R-Tompkinsville) is “deeply troubled” after looking into the details. “It’s a clever name with an allegedly noble purpose,” Comer said before the House Committee on Education and Labor, “but a vehicle for serious harmful consequences.”


The act adds “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” as protected classes throughout the entire federal code. In essence it makes one’s self-defined sexual preference a protected civil right on par with race and ethnicity in areas of education, housing, public accommodations, and employment.


The problems are many. For starters, the Equality Act turns back gains women have made under Title IX which secures equal opportunities in education and sports. Imagine if you will, your high school daughter trained for years and competed as a track sprinter only to be edged out by a biological male permitted to compete as a girl.


This scenario isn’t theoretical. Terry Miller, a transgender Connecticut high school junior, recently set a girls state indoor record in the 55-meter dash. And Cromwell High School junior Andraya Yearwood won Connecticut’s state indoor track championships in February.


If the Equality Act becomes law transgender men would have access to previous places designated as women-only like locker rooms, showers and changing stations. They’ll also have access to women’s ministries and outreaches.


Consider that a Women’s Shelter in Anchorage, Alaska turned away a man wearing a dress who wanted to stay in the same sleeping quarters with the women—many who’ve been abused by men. Anchorage’s Equality Act was invoked to force the shelter to accept the man. How is this fair, or remotely reasonable?


“Gender ideology strips away my privacy rights and safety,” aid Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Vice President Kristen Waggoner. “We all can agree that individuals with gender dysphoria deserve compassion and dignity, but no amount of self-perception can make a man a woman, nor change the reality of what being a woman is. My privacy, my daughter’s privacy and my mother’s privacy simply don’t depend on what a man thinks about his gender.”


What about housing? Proponents say that those in the LGBT community shouldn’t be denied housing or kicked out of their dwelling simply because of their sexual status. The question is, where is this happening? Most landlords are looking for renters who are quiet, respect the property and pay the rent on time.


Consider that if there’s a tenant who doesn’t pay on time. A renter who tears up the property and deserving of eviction. If they happen to claim LGBT status, they could appeal to the equality Act and give the landlord a run for his money, literally. How is this fair to landlords?


What about employers? The Equality Act applies to employment hiring and  termination decisions. Again, most employers are looking for good workers who show up on time and do the job. They aren’t interested in delving into an employee’s sexual life.


Employees who don’t show up or do the job could claim LGBT status, appeal to the Equality Act and tie up the employer with a federal bureaucratic investigation that will surely make their life miserable.


According to Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission senior fellow Andrew Walker, “the Equality Act equates Christian ethics with hatred and bigotry.” This is because they’re forged as tools used to discriminate and used to coerce creative professionals like graphic artists, film makers and bakers whose consciences won’t let them convey every message.


“Won’t happen here,” you say? Consider the owner of Hands on Originals Blaine Adamson who refused to print a T-shirt order for an LGBT pride parade. Even though he offered to help them find the same quality product at the same price he was dragged before the Lexington Human Rights Commission and ordered to undergo “diversity training.” He’s been through the legal wringer for eight years and currently awaiting a ruling by the Kentucky State Supreme Court.


The owner of Herb and Olive Market in Elizabethtown also had her rights as an owner trampled when she told her employees that apparel promoting gay political activism was inappropriate for the workplace. The owner is a Christian and such messages aren’t consistent with her beliefs.  She’s now defending her workplace attire decision before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).


Cloistered in the banner of “equality” is the idea that gender differences are mostly cosmetic, can be individually tailored to correspond to one’s psychological state, and must be accepted by the rest of society. It’s an imposition of an ideology that doesn’t comport with science or respect gender differences necessary for safety and civility.


In order to reach wide-spread conformity, language is controlled and altered. Twitter expanded its “hateful conduct” policy by banning “dead naming” which is referring to individuals by their legal name or biological sex. They’ve also banned “misgendering” which is using a pronoun other than the person’s preferred pronoun. New York businesses that purposely misgender customers could face fines up to $250,000.


The Equality Act has more to do with an aggressive imposition of gender ideology than it does true equality. “Equality and freedom must coexist,” said Rep. Comer. “H.R. 5 totally redefines one and delivers a serious blow to the other.”