Republican Lawmakers Testify At Senate Hearing Against Equality Act

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee This Week Heard Testimony On HR 5, The Equality Act, Which Passed The House Earlier This Month. Several Republican Lawmakers Testified Against The Bill, Including Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, And Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler. 

U.S. Capitol Building At Night

Photo: Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn

Photo Credit: CC

Published March 19, 2021

By Bethany Blankley [via The Center Square] –

The proposed legislation would grant national civil protections for LGBTQ individuals by amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It would replace the word “sex,” with “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity” as a protected class in federal code, among other things.

But Blackburn argued the bill would put women in danger in women-only spaces like domestic violence shelters and prisons.

“It should be obvious why we don’t want men to have open access to women-only shelters,” she said, presenting several examples of alleged abuse committed against biological women by biological men identifying as transgender women.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who chairs the Values Action Team in the House, argued the bill is misnamed “because although this act purports the prevention of discrimination, it actually causes it by undermining hard-fought protections for women by changing the meaning of the word ‘sex’ under the federal law to encompass gender identity.”

“On occasion, Congressional leaders will purposely misname a piece of legislation to disguise its true intention. The Equality Act is the epitome of this misrepresentation,” Hartzler said. “This legislation is an affront on women’s rights and forces individuals to recognize biological males as females, decimating decades of women’s advancements and civil rights. Should this bill become law, the well being of our children, the role of parents, the privacy and safety of vulnerable women, the competitive edge of female athletes, the livelihoods of charities and businesses, and the integrity of our health-care system will all be jeopardized. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Hartzler published a list of ways in which she said women and girls would be harmed by the bill. If it were to pass the Senate, which it is unlikely to do, it would outlaw sex-specific domestic violence or homeless shelters, locker rooms at gyms and schools, and showering and restroom facilities, Hartzler notes. Any place of public accommodation and any entity that receives federal funding would be bound by H.R. 5’s new definition of sex.

Lankford expressed concerns about the bill’s elimination of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill that was introduced by then Congressman Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and signed by former president Bill Clinton on Nov. 16, 1993.

The RFRA “restored the compelling governmental interest test previously applicable to First Amendment free exercise cases by requiring a proof of compelling justification in order to burden religious exercise,” he said. But for the first time since 1993, the Equality Act would eliminate that, Lankford notes.

“Congress would be taking affirmative action to not include RFRA protections,” he said. “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn’t pick winners and losers. It provides a balancing test. The government may burden someone else’s religious exercise only if the burden is in furtherance of a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling government interest.

“Just in the last seven years, 58 percent of the RFRA cases haven’t even been dealing with Christian religion, what is the majority religion in the United States. Fifty-eight percent of the cases have been minority religions that have been protected in the United States. So why is this an issue for this?”

The bill also defines sex to include pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, he notes, adding that federal law already protects women from pregnancy discrimination. At the same time, these laws do not require employers to pay for abortions, except in very limited circumstances. The Equality Act would require the funding of abortion – including by religious organizations that will no longer be protected by the RFRA. The ACLU in 1992 recognized this and supported the passage of the RFRA.

“For those of us that believe a baby is not just a medical condition, for the people that believe children of any age, or size, or degree of development are worthy of life, we’re not bigots,” Lankford said. “We’re people who live by our genuine faith and see a child as a child. I believe that we can respect each other, we can have real dialogue over these issues that are complicated and difficult, and we can find a way to be able to pass something that honors every American but doesn’t discriminate against people of faith.”

The bill would codify a universal right to abortion, require taxpayer funding of abortion, and eliminate conscience protections for health care providers who do not want to provide abortions.

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One thought on “Republican Lawmakers Testify At Senate Hearing Against Equality Act

  • March 22, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    The constitution says we are free to practice the religion of our choice without prejudice and when have the freedom of speech that’s all good. The equality act should never been put in in the first place. I don’t really care what the LGBTQ community wants to ammend or why. Being a homosexual is a lifestyle they have chosen and it’s ok if that’s what they want this whole gender identity thing still that’s also a lifestyle they have chosen. I’m not going to name everyone of those in my opinion are sick lifestyle cultures and although they may have a freedom to do that the constitution don’t tell me to embrace or in anyway be ok with a lifestyle choice that I don’t agree with. I don’t have hate or force my opinion or project prejudice on the LGBTQ community. And the constitution is not set up to for catering to a group that want our constitutional rights removed and they have no respect for our rights at all. But I’m ok but that I want that amendment shredded and thown in the trash an also. I also would love that whole equality act taken out. And for the reason of a gender identity gender change transgender transexuals homosexual lesbians queers whatever you feel like they need to be called or they need to call themselves and last but not least just the plain old identity crisis I mean there’s time to take time a look at real issues and this whole bill is a great example of just how bad and how scared our countries and states leader are to hurt someone’s feelings by letting them hear the truth I could care less what anyone does behind closed doors in the privacy of there home but like I said there lifestyle choice is not a religion and they already have the freedom be as queer as they feel. And they need told the cold hard truth about the morals an values this country was founded on. Keep that out of schools and stop telling us we can’t have a pledge of allegiance in our school and stop with trying to change our countries history as well. People want to practice and enjoy the constitutional rights our forefathers made for us. And these groups seem to think we should only have to accept there propaganda and then turn and try to infringe on ours. Like I said a lifestyle someone chooses is there thing. It’s not a religion an they already have the same rights everyone else has they are not special and don’t need any extra then anyone else do away with all of it. No one needs more rights the anyone else they are getting special treatment and last time I checked abominations and sodomy are not in the constitution nor any of that other crap is either. Equality my ass. When they or anyone thinks the have to be treated special or deserve laws and amendments made the laws are a special kind of stupid. I say the only thing needs signed for those nut jobs are admittance forms for their local nut house. These people need told the truth and our government needs to stop the catering to them. Grow a set who cares if they cry there no better then me or anyone else


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