Progressive Church Lobbies Push Radical LGBTQ “Equality Act” - Juicy Ecumenism
Equality Act

Progressive Church Lobbies Push Radical LGBTQ “Equality Act

James Diddams on March 10, 2021

A significant expansion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that would legally enshrine special protections for persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) is drawing support from several mainline Protestant church agencies.

The Equality Act (H.R. 5), passed the U.S. House of Representatives on February 18 and is expected to receive a vote in the Senate, where it’s outcome is not yet clear. Despite its innocuous title, the bill would place LGBTQ identifying persons within the same specially protected categories as racial minorities. It has the support of the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and United Methodist public policy offices.

Roman Catholic and Baptist officials have expressed concern that the legislation would single out behavior for special protection, rather than persons with innate traits such as race, biological sex or disability.

Extra protections for sexual orientation could come at the expense of religious and ideological freedom to disagree with queer ideologies. The bill is specifically designed to overrule the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to make it clear that religious conscience is no defense against the progressive agenda.

One example of this comes in the marketplace. Jack Philips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, became famous as the defendant in the famous Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case revolved around whether or not Philips could be legally compelled to produce a custom cake with a message celebrating a same-sex marriage.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had explicitly religiously discriminated against Philips by referring to his Christianity as a source of bigotry. It may have been only a temporary victory: if the Equality Act passes, any baker, florist or photographer who declines participation in same-sex weddings on religious grounds will be once again vulnerable to lawsuits.

Hospitals and medical professionals would also be required to perform sex-change (“gender reassignment”) surgeries and other treatments against their moral scruples. In California and New Jersey, for example, Catholic hospitals have been sued for refusing to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women that desire surgery as part of a gender transition. Another Catholic Hospital in Washington settled out of court following an ACLU lawsuit for refusing to perform a double mastectomy on a gender dysphoric sixteen-year-old girl.

H.R. 5 would effectively end any debate regarding access to restrooms and locker rooms. Spaces that were previously specifically and exclusively set aside for women, whether a bathroom facility or an all- women’s track team, would be mandated to be open to biological males. For example, at the Connecticut State High School Track Championships two biological males easily took first and second place.

Perhaps most horrifying of all, parents in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter for refusing to place her on testosterone injections. This is despite the fact that 80-95% of people who experience gender dysphoria as children no longer feel distressed in their bodies after puberty.

Despite these problems several mainline denominations, including the Episcopal Church, The United Methodist Church, The United Church of Christ and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have all come out in support of the bill, according to Freedom for All Americans, an LGBTQ activism organization.

“The Episcopal Church fully supports people of all sexual orientations and gender identities as children of God and recognizes their entitlement to full civil rights… Convention has supported similar efforts to the Equality Act such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which proposed including sexual orientation and gender identity-based protections in federal employment law,” read a statement from the Office of Government Relations, the Episcopal Church’s public policy arm. 

The United Methodist Church’s government relations agency, the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), also came out in support of the Equality Act in 2019, when it also passed the House but was not taken up by the Senate. The ELCA also lists the Equality Act as one of many different political expressions it advocates for

“We applaud this historic legislation,” said the Rev. Amy E. Reumann, Director of ELCA Advocacy, “and are encouraged as it moves us towards a government that protects and promotes the equal rights of every person.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that these progressive denominations support the Equality Act. The Episcopal Church has supported increased legal protections for persons who identify as transgender since 2009 when “General Convention passed four resolutions supporting the lives and ministries of transgender people both within and outside the church, two of which urged support of transgender equality at the federal, state, and municipal levels” according to the Episcopal Office of Government Relations.

Progressive support for legislation like the Equality Act goes back for more than a decade. Though framed in a language of tolerance for those who are different, the bill is actually authoritarian in its legal delegitimization of anyone holding allegedly backward views of biological sex and gender.

Even on the basis of pluralism the bill is indefensible. After all, in a pluralistic society LGBTQ people and traditional Christians would be free to go their own ways so long as they don’t interfere with each other. Instead, with this bill there is only one defensible viewpoint.

  1. Comment by Tracy on March 10, 2021 at 10:46 am

    United Methodist public policy office, DOES NOT represent all Methodists. Just another glaring example why politics do not belong. The split cannot happen soon enough for both sides. Traditionalists are refusing to send funds to support such policies, that they have no input in or have even been asked what they believe should be supported. The persons in charge, I will not call them leadership as they have done no leading in a long time, have decided upon themselves what to push for, without regard to the mainstream Methodists.

  2. Comment by Palamas on March 10, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    The fact that these mainline denominations’ leadership supports this bill demonstrates that they are no longer churches at all. They are far-left political advocacy agencies. They are knowingly supporting legislation that, if passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court, would effectively end religious freedom in America. These ecclesiastical politicians are far more concerned with protecting any kind of sexual behavior and privileging mental illness over the First Amendment rights of citizens.

  3. Comment by Eternity Matters on March 10, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    An evil bill being pushed by fake Christians, all thanks to the Never Trump people who would rather see more abortions and perversions and less freedoms than to see some mean Tweets.

  4. Comment by Douglas E Ehrhardt on March 10, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    The local.UCC church recently closed.It is now a Buddhist temple. That’s where these leftist political clubs are headed. Many will be gone in the next ten years.

  5. Comment by William on March 10, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    This UMC board, like the rest of the general church hierarchy, has no relationship or connection whatsoever with the local church. In the post separation UMC, they will consolidate their power, along with the bishops, and own the General Conference. Yes, the former UMC will fully transition into a social activist organization while going through the motions as a fake church for fake Christians.

    THE GLOBAL METHODIST CHURCH cannot happen fast enough.

  6. Comment by Tom on March 10, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    These churches are supporting these bills while they still exist. At the rate they are goig, they won’t be around to support or oppose anything in a few years.

  7. Comment by Pirate Preacher on March 11, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    If we lived in a time of New Testament prophets we might witness Agabus going to any number of individuals who believe God spoke his words to Moses and placing a black mask over their mouth.

    While I have no doubt a good many members of UMC mean well, H.R. 5 will make it a crime to both read certain sections of God’s Word (those words are offensive to some–perhaps many), and act upon those words. “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” Romans 16:17

    We are called to be witnesses with the character of Christ.
    We are called to be in the world but not of the world.
    We are called to obey the laws of man up and until the point where those laws are contrary to God’s law.

    H.R. 5 may very well be the sifter God uses to filter out those who are in him and those who are not.

  8. Comment by Jim on March 11, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    From Pennsylvania Senator-

    Dear Mr. xxxxxxx,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the Equality Act. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.

    I am a proud cosponsor of S. 393, the Equality Act, which was introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon on February 23, 2020. This legislation would amend existing federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit and federal jury service. The bill would also amend existing laws to prohibit discrimination in public accommodations and federal funding on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. On January 25, 2020, the Equality Act passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 224 – 206 and was sent to the Senate for consideration. I am hopeful that the Senate will take up this important legislation to support LGBTQ+ individuals soon.

    As your United States Senator, I strongly support the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. This Nation was founded on the principles of freedom and equality, not for some, but for all. As a society and a government, we must continue to move toward the ideal of inclusion. I am committed to ensuring that our government provides equal protection under the law for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

    In recent years, there have been significant changes, both changes of the law and changes of public sentiment, regarding same-sex marriage. In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in United States v. Windsor, finding Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. This decision required the federal government to fully recognize legally married same-sex couples. Less than one year later, on May 20, 2014, Judge John E. Jones of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage, finding the prohibition to be a violation of due process and equal protection guarantees, and issued an order barring Pennsylvania officials from preventing same-sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses. I supported both the Supreme Court’s decision regarding DOMA and the Pennsylvania decision, as both were critical steps toward achieving equal rights for all Pennsylvanians and Americans.

    On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, finding that marriage is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. As a result, all states are required to issue marriage licenses and recognize marriages performed in other states of same-sex couples. I believe the Supreme Court made the right decision that will ensure all couples are treated with dignity and are able to enter into marriage with the person they love.

    I was an original cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act to officially repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and ensure that all legally-married, same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law. I consider the cumulative effect of various court rulings pertaining to same-sex marriage to be a positive one that expands the reach of civil rights and confers equality on potentially millions of Americans.

    Despite the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of marriage equality in 2015, it was still legal under federal law and in many states, including Pennsylvania, to fire someone or deny them access to public accommodations because they are gay or transgender. On June 15, 2020, however, the Supreme Court issued a decision the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This is a monumental victory in the fight for equality. However, the fight for equal protection under the law for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, remains in areas such as housing, credit, jury selection and more. That is why shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to Senate Majority Mitch McConnell urging him to bring the Equality Act before the full Senate for a vote to fully enshrine in federal law explicit protections from discrimination for LGBTQ+ individuals.

    I have heard from many Pennsylvanians about the importance of these protections. One letter I received from a seventh grader in Southeastern Pennsylvania stands out to me. In the letter, the boy told me he “recently heard that LGBTQ+ individuals have no protections against being fired in Pennsylvania. I have two moms, one is a nurse and the other has been a teacher for 17 years. They are hardworking individuals who provide for my sister and me. I do not think it is fair to be fired for who you love.” As a Senator, I cannot, in good conscience, take a position that denies these parents or children the full measure of equality and respect.

    As your United States Senator, I will continue to support the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals throughout Pennsylvania and across the Nation. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.

    For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my website, http://casey.senate.gov. I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.

    Sincerely,
    Bob Casey
    United States Senator

  9. Comment by Palamas on March 12, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Thank you, Jim, for providing Sen. Casey’s letter. It demonstrates the depth of dishonesty of the supporters of this bill. At no point does Casey address the legitimate concerns of opponents, and particularly never mentions the explicit repeal of Religious Freedom Restoration Act protections whenever First Amendment rights come into conflict with LGBT desires. His father must be rolling in his grave.

    Fortunately, the filibuster still stands in the way of the gutting of religious freedom in America. Heaven help us is that falls.

  10. Comment by William on March 12, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Senator Casey would fall all over himself supporting an amendment that would change the First Amendment —- especially, “Congress shall make no law ,,,,,,,,,,,, prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE THEREOF “

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  11. Comment by Diane on March 13, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Millions of Americans live in states with similar laws. Until this year, CPAC regularly chose to have its annual conference in one such states. I lived in a state with lgbtq equality laws and no one thought anything of it – and there was certainly less vitriol in the letters to the editor column. This is not a big issue.

    Faith-based discrimination in the public sphere is not religious freedom. In the 1950s, Many Protestants were disdainful of other faith communities. Catholics were labeled pope-worshipping heretics and Jews were eternally damned. Protestants were in control of my school district, so they made sure their sincere Protestant faith was reflected in the religious exercises that started every public school day. They chose a conspicuously Protestant religious exercise – particular to Protestant worship – to begin each day. Jewish and Catholic children started their school days with discrimination, not because the Protestant majority had religious freedom. What the had was a belief in religious entitlement. Discrimination is meant to shame and put down others. Resurrection people lift up others…lgbtq folks pay their taxes and should be treated with equality.

    To those crumbling about faith communities supporting this legislation, I say , why not? Conservative religious people – churches, denominations – do the same. Before the Civil War, churches were very involved in the issues of slavery and abolition. Some advocates silence, that such debate was political. It was as heated as the early Christians contentious debate as to whether to allow men who’d not had their penises circumcised. Really stupid debate..but then Christians have always debated where private parts belong – in the pulpit, in relationships, in the voting booth, in the kitchen, etc.

    The tragedy that conservatives are blind to is the stigma they’re attaching to each fetus diagnosed as intersex (having differences in sex development such that the the child will have a mix of male and female traits and reproductive. A chief argument of opponents of the Equality Act has focused on transgender girls and women may having elevated levels of the male hormone testosterone, giving them a competitive edge in women’s sports. They never admit that non-invasive prenatal screening can detect intersex conditions that result in the birth of a female child whose body will naturally produce high levels of. Testosterone. If testosterone levels are to be used to discriminate against transgender girls and women, then it’s simple logic that the same discrimination will happen to girls and women – having “female” on their birth certificates – who have the same biological trait causing elevated testosterone. Anyone who follows elite sports knows this is an issue.

    It is documented that pressure exists to end a pregnancy detected with differences in ax development,…parents know their child will face stigma and discrimination. Already, this eugenics game allows parents to reject implantation of embryos where differences in sex development has been detected. Intersex conditions do not make a human being defective., though the discrimination conservatives are pushing for demonstrates conservative belief that these children and adults are less-than human beings. The passage of the Equality Act is a promise of hope for these parents and their unborn child. It’s passage means their child will be born with equal rights.

  12. Comment by Douglas E Ehrhardt on March 14, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    The Equality Act is completely Satanic. It’s anti Christ. It goes against Gods created order. Only apostate churches would support it.

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