WASHINGTON – The so-called Equality Act was introduced in Congress this week and is likely to soon be heard on the House floor. The Heritage Foundation’s Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, released the following statement in response:
“Every American should be treated with dignity and respect and no one should face unjust discrimination. But the Equality Act creates inequality and discrimination by stigmatizing and penalizing the beliefs that hundreds of millions of Americans hold about biological sex and marriage. It forces them to conform to government-mandated beliefs on gender and sex that violate their consciences by threatening them with financial or criminal penalties.
“This bill brings us one step closer to a dystopian nightmare where Americans of all faiths and no faith will be forced to agree with government-imposed ideology or be treated as an outlaw. At the same time, this legislation erases the gains and protections for girls and women in our nation. No law should eliminate privacy and safety in intimate spaces or demolish fair competitions in the name of political correctness.
“Even more troubling is the far-ranging impact this bill would have on Americans’ way of life. This will upend our constitutional freedoms, instill destructive gender ideologies in schools, politicize medicine, open the door to taxpayer-funded abortions, and decimate parental rights.
“Making sure that Americans do not face unjust discrimination simply for identifying as gay or transgender does not mean changing our nation’s civil rights laws so that political viewpoints about sex and a destructive gender ideology become state orthodoxy through punishment of dissenters.”