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Congressman: Equality Act could 'nullify' civil rights for women

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, has joined a chorus of opposition to H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which would embed in federal law the agenda of LGBTQ activists.

“H.R. 5 – in the words of a Women’s Liberation Front leader – nullifies ‘women and girls as a coherent legal category worthy of civil rights protection,'” he warned on the House floor. “It could endanger millions of American women, undermine fundamental American rights to faith in both religion and science and actively put children at risk by medicalizing them in harmful, permanent ways – without parental involvement.”

The proposal already has drawn opposition from faith leaders across the nation, including a “Who’s Who” list who wrote to House leadership.

The bill would “gut” religious freedom protections, specifically stating that LGBT rights take precedence over the Constitution’s protections for faith and its exercise. While representatives have voted for it, it still must negotiate the labyrinth of the Senate and then somehow get the president’s signature.

It also would destroy women’s athletics by allowing men who say they are women to participate at all levels.

It would force the Catholic Church to allow a women to become a priest, irrespective of church policy.

It also would force religious employers to pay for insurance for “gender transition” and other procedures that “violate biblical teaching.”

And it would nullify the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by preventing people from using religious freedom as a defense against LGBT demands that contradict their faith.

It also would allow individuals to simply demand an abortion.

“Americans can all agree. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. No one should be mistreated by his or her employers, coworkers or anyone else. However, when lawmakers propose amendments to federal law, we must avoid doing more harm than good,” Collins said. “We must not pass legislation that harms children, sets back the rights women have fought so hard to attain or erases the gains made possible by other federal civil rights laws, such as Title IX. H.R. 5 does all of these things. This bill would do much more harm than good, and women and children would bear the brunt of the damage.”

He pointed out that just last year, boys won the top two spots in the Connecticut girls Class S Indoor Track Meet.

He cited tennis great Martina Navratilova’s explanation of the threat H.R. 5 poses to women’s sports: “Unless you want to completely remake what Women’s Sports means, there can be no blanket inclusion rule. There is nothing stereotypical about this — it’s about fairness and it’s about science.”

“If H.R. 5 becomes law,” Collins said, “our daughters and others will be asking us, ‘What did you do, when it counted, to protect girls and women’s sports?'”

Additionally, never before has a “undefined, self-referential, ideologically driven” category been used to alter federal law affecting everyone from elementary schools to colleges and health care centers.

“H.R. 5 would make self-reporting of gender identity a protected class under federal law and require doctors and educators to blindly follow the self-reporting of adolescents and young adults. Health care protocols and even state laws would be no defense, as they would be superseded by this federal law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution,” he said.

And then he wondered about the “transgender girls and boys” who would be hurt “by allowing doctors to prescribe hormones and perform major surgeries on adolescents without parental consent or involvement. In fact, H.R. 5 would actually compel doctors to medicalize children without consulting their parents. Families of transgender children are begging Congress to listen before we leap.”

Religious beliefs would be trampled, he said. In fact, the bill targets “faith traditions” that acknowledge biological sex as a “scientific reality,” he warned.

WND reported a letter from 21 Christian leaders to Republican and Democratic leadership in the House and Senate declared their “adamant” opposition to the “poorly named Equality Act.”

“We the undersigned cannot remain silent concerning a dangerous bill pending in Congress known as the Equality Act (H.R. 5). Not only is it incompatible with God’s Word (the Bible) and the historic teaching of the church, but the Equality Act is also riddled with threats to religious liberty and the sanctity of human life,” they wrote.

Signatories included Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, former Rep. Michele Bachmann, Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ, Stephen Broden of Fair Park Bible Fellowship, Times Square Church Pastor Carter Conlon, James Dobson of the James Dobson Family Institute, Jim Garlow of Well Versed, Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse, Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist in Texas, Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, Harry Jackson Jr. of International Communion of Evangelical Churches and Robert Jeffress of First Baptist in Dallas.

Others were Guillermo Maldonado of King Jesus International Ministry, author and radio host Eric Metaxas, Robert Morris of Gateway Church, Ramiro Pena of Christ the King in Waco, Everett Piper of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Ralph Reed of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, James Robison of LIFE Outreach, Todd Wanger of Watermark Community Church and Tim Wildmon of American Family Association.

Collectively, they are considered leaders for tens of millions of Americans.

“First, the ideology enshrined in the Equality Act – which falsely equates one’s sexual conduct with immutable characteristics like skin color and ethnicity – is a falsehood that openly contradicts the scriptural mandates we were given for our good (1 Thess. 4:3-8),” the letter explains. “We cannot remain silent and allow this lie to harm countless men, women, and children – whether in this or any other legislation. … No family would be safe from the long reach of the Equality Act.”

Also, the leaders contended, the Democratic proposal would “gut” religious freedom protections in the U.S.

The Alliance Defending Freedom previously condemned the plan.

“Essentially, the ‘Equality Act’ gives people of faith an ultimatum: Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment,” wrote the ADF’s Sarah Kramer in an post about the proposal.

Washington watchdog Judicial Watch earlier warned it would remove access to all single-sex “public multi-stall bathrooms, domestic violence or rape crisis shelters, drug rehabilitation centers, jails, juvenile detention facilities, homeless shelters, locker rooms or group showers.”

Family Talk founder James Dobson previously warned, “Make no mistake – the so-called Equality Act is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to finish off religious liberty in America once and for all, which ought to be plainly obvious based upon a cursory reading of the First Amendment.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said, during congressional discussion, that religious rights protected by the First Amendment never should be used as a defense in a conflict with LGBT demands.

Liberty Counsel said the bill “literally sets the stage for setting up the Bible as prohibited material where it addresses homosexuality.”

The Heritage Foundation said employers, workers, medical professionals, parents, children, women and nonprofit organizations all would be harmed by the plan.