- The Equality Act does not exempt religious organizations. Instead, it creates new opportunities for churches to be considered places of public accommodation by adding things like “public gatherings” and “food banks” to the list of covered activities and establishments.
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Apr 09, 2021 · Under the Equality Act, a church is defined as a “public accommodation.” If it declines to hire same-sex “married” teachers based on behavior which violates church moral teaching, that church would...
Feb 15, 2021 · The Equality Act changes little for churches Though in its current form the Equality Act would add new protected characteristics to the Civil Rights Act and Fair Housing Act, it also would leave the religious exemptions to those laws in place. When it comes to discrimination claims, there is strong protection for churches in these laws.
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Within the next few weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the radical and controversial “Equality Act.” The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to “prohibit discrimination” on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Equality Actwould amend two landmark civil-rights laws—the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act—to change the definition of “sex.” Instead of the term being solely in reference to biological men and women, it would also cover sexual orientation or gender identity for the purposes of employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, education, and federal programs. According to the bill, the term “sexual orientation” means homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality, and “gender identity” means the gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth. The bill also explicitly states, “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.) shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.” (See also: 9 Things You...
Support for the Equality Act is embedded in the language of the Democratic Party platform, which says, “Democrats will always fight to end discrimination on the basis of . . . sexual orientation, [and] gender identity . . . ” In the House, the bill has 240 co-sponsors, including every Democrat and three Republicans (Brian K. Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, John Katko of New York, and Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon of Puerto Rico). In the Senate, the bill has 46 co-sponsors, including 45 Democrats and one Republican (Susan Collins of Maine). Several large corporations have also endorsed the bill, including Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS, Verizon, and Wells Fargo.
A coalition of 86 faith-based nonprofits, religious entities, and institutions of higher education sent a letter to Congressstating their opposition to the Equality Act. Almost all Republicans in the U.S. Senate are also expected to vote against the bill.
As Andrew T. Walker wrote in an article for TGC, “The bill represents the most invasive threat to religious liberty ever proposed in America. Given that it touches areas of education, public accommodation, employment, and federal funding, were it to pass, its sweeping effects on religious liberty, free speech, and freedom of conscience would be both historic and also chilling.” “Virtually no area of American life would emerge unscathed from the Equality Act’s reach,” Walker adds. “No less significant would be the long-term effects of how the law would shape the moral imagination of future generations.” Twenty-four states have similar laws and the consequences for residents of those states have been disastrous, says Monica Burke, research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. “These policies are not being used to promote equality,” Burke says. “Instead, they are being used as a blunt-force weapon to ban disagreement on marriage and s...
Jun 11, 2021 · Under the Equality Act, as in the past, churches would only be treated like places of public accommodation when they behave like secular businesses by, for example, renting out their community centers to nonmembers, said Katy Joseph, director of policy and advocacy for Interfaith Alliance.
Mar 17, 2021 · The Equality Act would essentially expand the definition of public accommodations to places of worship, redefining how they operate and subjecting them to discrimination suits, the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Mary Rice Hasson told Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) during Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Equality Act.
Feb 11, 2021 · Our Constitution does guarantee religious freedom, after all. But if the “Equality Act” is passed—which President Biden has promised to push for in the first 100 days of his administration—not even churches and religious schools will be safe from the government’s reach.
Mar 12, 2021 · While the Equality Act does not list churches among public accommodations, it does stipulate that an establishment subject to the non-discrimination laws in question is any individual or entity...
- Gene Veith
The Equality Act does not include any religious exemptions. It could directly impact churches and ministries by preventing them from being able to live out biblical beliefs about marriage, sexual morality, and the distinction between the sexes. It could force churches to open sex-specific facilities to members of the opposite sex.