People of faith aren't out of the woods yet

Monday, June 22, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

U.S. Capitol with LGBTQ flagThe vice president of AFA Action warns that we've not heard the last of the Equality Act on Capitol Hill.

A trio of Senate Republicans blocked a vote last week on H.R. 5, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and other supporters of the bipartisan measure are still in favor of the legislation.

Passed by the House in 2019, the Equality Act had support from every Democrat, as well as from eight Republicans. If the Democrats retain the House and win control of the Senate, the Equality Act will be made a priority.

"This so-called Equality Act basically removes any basic limitation on government forcing people to violate their own religious liberty," warns Rob Chambers of AFA Action, the politically active arm of American Family Association (AFA). "It eliminates any type of protection that the Religious Freedom Restoration ACT (RFRA) will be able to provide people of faith."

RFRA was passed in 1993 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Legislators that support the Equality Act tried to get a vote last week to build off of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Bostock v Clayton County, Georgia. In a 6-3 decision, justices said employers cannot fire someone for being LGBT. If they do, then employers would be violating that person's rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, wrote the majority opinion.

Chambers

"That was their opportunity to take the public sentiment in support of transgender and sexual orientation rights before the Senate," says Chambers about the supporters of the Equality Act. "Of course, they tried to do this or pass it on unanimous consent, and they failed because Senators Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) all basically denied the unanimous consent."

Critics of the ruling in Bostock say the word "sex" in Title VII does not include sexual orientation and gender identity. They add that it should not be the role of the judicial branch to amend the law. Others point out that the stated purpose for the Equality Act is to create or include civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.


Editor's Note: AFA Action is a division of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.

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