This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a harmful bill with a misleading title. This legislation would bring major disruptions to U.S. law by, among other changes, revising every title of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to expand the definition of “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
The ERLC strongly opposes the Equality Act because, among other negative effects, it would:
- punish faith-based charities for their core religious beliefs about human dignity and marriage,
- remove conscience protections for pro-life doctors and nurses, and
- jeopardize the pro-life Hyde Amendment language that helps prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortion.
The ERLC affirms the full dignity of every human being. At the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Messengers passed a resolution to “reaffirm the sacredness and full dignity and worthiness of respect and Christian love for every single human being, without any reservation.”
Each person ought to be treated with dignity, but government policy must continue to respect differences of belief. The Equality Act would have harmful consequences, and it should not be passed into law. Congress would make the situation worse in this country with this legislation, both in terms of religious freedom and in terms of finding ways for Americans who disagree to work together for the common good.
The ERLC will continue to oppose the Equality Act and similar legislation introduced this Congress as we work to serve our churches and Christians throughout the nation.
For the Kingdom,