Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) voted against H.R. 5, which would provide a universal right to abortion, essentially eliminate women’s sports, obliterate women-only spaces like bathrooms, locker rooms, and battered women shelters and jeopardize parents’ jurisdiction over their child’s health care.
“This bill should be called the IN-equality Act. There is nothing equalizing about it,” Hartzler said. “It hijacks the Civil Rights Act of 1964 erasing decades of progress for women across the country, punishes everyday citizens, silences free speech and discriminates against people of faith. Americans have the right to live and work according to their beliefs, without the federal government mandating how they should view marriage, human sexuality and gender.”
H.R. 5, the misnamed “Equality Act,” was introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). The legislation amends multiple civil rights laws by adding sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as protected civil rights classes, including fluid sexual preferences and self-declared gender identities. If an individual or entity is perceived to have violated these new protected civil classes, he or she can receive civil penalties, monetary fines or even imprisonment.
This new expansion of protected classes in the so-called Equality Act would have the following effects:
Sex-specific domestic violence or homeless shelters, locker rooms at gyms and schools, showering and restroom facilities will be outlawed. Any place of public accommodation and any entity that receives federal funding will be bound by H.R. 5’s new definition of sex. For examples, read about the Downtown Hope Center or the Poverello House.
Women can no longer expect or request female only hospital rooms, group showers, juvenile detention facilities, or rape crisis centers. For an example, see here.
Women’s and girl’s athletics will be subverted by men and boys transitioning to female, or even those who might falsely claim to be women.
Title IX, the federal civil rights provision guaranteeing girls the same educational opportunities as boys, would become irrelevant under H.R. 5. For examples, read about track runner Selina Soule or mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Tamikka Brents.
Under H.R. 5, employers would be required to recognize gender identity over biological sex when making employment decisions where sex is considered a bona fide occupational qualification. Employers could no longer base hiring decisions where biological sex is a necessary consideration, such as when hiring TSA agents to administer pat-down searches on female passengers, teacher monitoring locker rooms or bathrooms for elementary girls, guards in women’s prisons, or doctors providing intimate medical exams on women.
Employers offering health insurance, regardless of the organization’s mission, would be required to cover sex reassignment surgery. Religious charities like Little Sisters of the Poor could not opt out of this requirement or take such a case to court.
Family-owned businesses, like Jack Phillips’ Masterpiece Cakeshop or Barronelle Stutzman’s Arlene’s Flowers would be required to celebrate same-sex unions and transition procedures.
“Misgendering” or using the wrong pronouns to describe an individual could be considered harassment and could cost an employee his or her job. For an example, read about Virginia high school teacher Peter Vlaming.
By amending Title IV of the Civil Rights Act, the ‘desegregation of public education’, the Equality Act would pressure K-12 schools to teach gender fluid and self-affirming gender identities as part of the sex ed curriculum.
Secular all-female universities would be required to accept male students identifying as female students.
Under H.R. 5, the medical profession will not have the option to guide kids experiencing gender dysphoria through puberty without prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or even surgery. As a result, parents who fail to affirm their child’s gender identity will not be able to find appropriate medical care and may lose custody of their child. This has already happened in Ohio - read about it here.
Faith-based foster care and adoption care agencies that prefer child placements with a mother and a father will be labeled “discriminatory” and be forced to permanently closed. This is already happening in states and cities that have adopted SOGI laws and ordinances (see Kids Deserve More for ongoing SOGI lawsuits in Michigan and Philadelphia).
Provides a universal right to abortion, compromises taxpayer safeguards against funding abortion, and eliminates conscience protections for health care providers who do not want to participate in abortion.