Just days before the midterm elections, now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed from Harvard University to make passing the “Equality Act” one of her top legislative priorities — and she wasn’t bluffing.
The House Judiciary Committee voted last week to advance the deceptively named “Equality Act,” which, according to the conservative legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, “gives people of faith an ultimatum: Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment.”
If the proposal is approved — which isn’t out of the question, given it has 240 co-sponsors — the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act would both be amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding and the jury system.
The bill would, among a whole host of other things, reverse the Trump administration’s effort to protect employers who object to covering abortion services on religious grounds, a shift away from a controversial policy advanced by the Obama White House.
It would also put the president’s ban on transgender troops in jeopardy. The law could potentially be used to force the U.S. military to foot the bill for gender reassignment surgeries.
If passed, the legislation would bar people like cake baker Jack Phillips from refusing to provide goods or services that go against their religious convictions on issues like the definition of marriage and sexual orientation.
This trend is not new, but it seems to be picking up speed.
Pete Buttigieg, a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has addressed his sexual orientation often, targeting Vice President Mike Pence over his religious opposition to same-sex marriage.