Equality Act would stomp religious conservatives

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
 | 
Billy Davis, Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Two dudes on wedding cakeWhen the Democratic Party takes over the White House and both chambers of Congress in a few days, one obvious target is religious conservatives who interfere with the Left’s version of progress -- but there is legislation waiting for passage that would swiftly take care of that burdensome problem.

President-elect Joe Biden vowed before Election Day to pass the Equality Act if elected, and to pass it within 100 days of taking office, The Hill reported in October.

In a post-election story, USA Today suggested America’s views on homosexuality have progressed to the point that it’s past time to amend and update Civil Rights-era laws guaranteeing fair housing and equal employment with the Equality Act, which would ensure the same legal protections for homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders.

“Still,” the news story opined, “many Republican lawmakers who say they back equality for marginalized groups see LGBTQ rights in particular as inevitably at odds with religious liberty.”

That single reference to religious beliefs, mentioned in the 27th paragraph of a 29-paragraph news story, essentially summarizes how the Left and their media allies view religious conservatives, who continue to stand firm on their biblical beliefs about marriage, homosexuality, and sin.  

“What the Left has been trying to do, and they're going to continue to try to do with the Equality Act and other legislation,” says Walker Wildmon, a spokesman for American Family Association, "is ... punish people who have sincerely held religious beliefs.”

One News Now has documented state-level punishment of Christians for years now, such as Colorado baker Jack Phillips and Kentucky print shop owner Blaine Adamson; but the Equality Act promises to go beyond local and state legal fights since passage of the Equality Act would update the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That mean mean a Christian baker such as Phillips, after refusing a cake order for a homosexual wedding, could face off against the U.S. Dept. of Justice and its Civil Rights Division.

Masterpiece Cakeshop (entrance)In a 2019 op-ed, also published by USA Today, self-described “gay conservative” Brad Polumbo warns the legislation “purports” to protect LGBT people such as himself by promising legal protections in everything from employment to jury selection. 

“Yet the bill defined ‘public accommodations’ so loosely and called for regulations so sweeping,” he writes, “that it would crush religious freedom and radically reshape American society.”

The controversial topic of “public accommodation” isn't new. In 2016, One News Now reported four Massachusetts churches sued in federal court after the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ruled churches are not exempt from the state government’s “public accommodation” laws that regulate businesses on behalf of the state's homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders. 

In a decision that foreshadows passage of the Equality Act, the state commission determined churches fall under the state’s then-new non-discrimination law if they hold events open to the public. In particular, the commission ruled, that meant churches must follow state law on the issue of “gender identity” in their pews and presumably in their restrooms.

Wildmon

The lawsuit was withdrawn in late 2019 after the Massachusetts attorney general assured the plaintiffs the law applies to churches in “certain narrow circumstances,” and the state website removed “houses of worship” from its list of places of public accommodation. Such a legal compromise, which benefitted the four churches, would presumably end if the Equality Act becomes federal law.

Reacting to future passage of the Equality Act, radio talk-show host Janet Mefferd tells One News Now the bill has no exemptions at all for religious organizations -- and that, she warns, is no oversight on the part of Democrats.

“These people don't want any religious exemptions whatsoever,” she emphasizes. “They recognize that Christians' freedom to be able to invoke their biblical stances is a problem for inverting morality.”

A legal win ‘by default’

According to Wildmon, passage of the Equality Act would require "gutting" the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The compromise bill, signed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, was viewed as protection for religious beliefs after a controversial 1990 court decision. It passed with near-unanimous consent in the House and Senate. 

gavel with Bible 2The op-ed by Polumbo also warns about the Equality Act ending RFRA. 

That is because, he writes, legal language in the Equality Act means the discrimination claims of a homosexual plaintiff would win in court “by default” over the First Amendment and religious claims of another American.

If true, that would turn the 1993 law upside down. Citing the so-called Sherbert Test, the language of the 1993 law strengthened the First Amendment and religious liberty by forcing upon the federal government the burden of showing why religious freedom must be violated.

The wrongly-named Equality Act, Polumbo writes, tosses that legal burden aside along with religious freedom itself.


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

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWS BRIEF

FEATURED PODCAST

VOTE IN OUR POLL

During the Biden administration, the biggest targets of the Left will be…(Choose two)

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

McConnell pressures Democrats to keep Senate filibuster
2 Fox News political execs out after prematurely calling Ariz. election for Biden
Biden marks nation's COVID grief before inauguration pomp
Washington state nixes methanol plant meant to supply China
From Gaga to Garth, Miranda to Moreno: Celebs join inaugural
McConnell accuses Trump of feeding lies to Capital protesters
Stores drop MyPillow after CEO supports Trump election battle

LATEST FROM THE WEB

VP Mike Pence expected to skip Trump send-off to Florida for Biden's inauguration
Rep. Waltz: Shoplifters given more due process than President Trump
Liberals lash out at Chuck Todd for calling on Biden to keep his campaign promise
Why the left has to suppress free speech
Leftists successfully persecuting those who questioned election results, aiming to destroy careers

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
In fractured country, Left determined it will define 'unity' and punish dissenters

I lean LEFTComparing our country’s post-election political climate to an emboldened Nazi regime is a provocative claim but the Left won’t stop openly stating it intends to destroy the Right at the same time the president-elect plans to call for unity.