A national organization of Christian communicators is standing in strong opposition to a bill before Congress it says threatens religious freedom and even does away with protections for churches.
HR 5 is called "The Equality Act" – and its single-digit number indicates it a high-priority bill for Democrats, who hold a majority in the House of Representatives. It would amend the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add homosexual and transgendered people as protected classes.
In addition to codifying sexual dysfunction and confusion into law, it would force churches, Christian schools, and other ministries to endorse the sinful practices. During recent congressional hearings, attorney Lawrence Lorber, an expert in employment law, was asked by Congressman James Comer (R-Kentucky) how this might affect churches:
Lorber: "It could cover, indeed, religious facilities."
Comer: "Could this even apply to a church?"
Comer: "Or other place of worship?"
Lorber: "Sure, because they do conduct various activities which are church-related but are public gatherings."
Because worship services are public gatherings, that would mean a church could be forced to hire a transgender pastor and put that person in front of their congregation.
Attorney Craig Parshall served previously as general counsel for National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). Parshall says the Equality Act is an unprecedented and spectacular threat to religious freedom. "It is breathtakingly broad in its application and disconcertingly dangerous to fundamental religious liberties," he tells OneNewsNow.
Parshall cites one example from the hearings that indicates homosexual activists are going all out to make sure HR 5 passes into law.
"Another witness went so far as to encourage American citizens to go to their pastors of their church and insist on special acknowledgement of transgender rights – and if the pastor doesn't go along with that, that they ought to take their money and put it to some other use," he describes.
At its annual meeting in March, NRB's board of directors unanimously adopted a resolution urging Congress "to reject coercive proposals like the Equality Act and rather to pass laws preventing government intolerance and discrimination against those who – with malice toward none – simply wish to adhere to biblical understandings of gender, sexuality, and marriage."