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News Alert: House Passes "Equality Act"

May 17, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House passed 236-173 HR 5, misnamed the “Equality Act,” with eight Republicans voting in favor and no Democrats voting against it. The eight Republicans are: Susan Brooks (IN-05); Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01); Elise Stefanik (NY-21); Greg Walden (OR-02); John Katko (NY-24); Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25); Tom Reed (NY-23); and Will Hurd (TX-23).

HR 5 takes the unpreceded step of eliminating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) as a claim or defense to the application of many federal laws. This bill drastically alters religious freedom in all cases, not just those involving LGBT. It elevates LGBT to the same level as race, and federalizes abortion and abortion funding. The bill now goes to the Senate as S. 788.

This “Equality Act” extends federal protections to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy, i.e. abortion. HR 5 applies to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and more. In addition, the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” will be defined to mean “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.” In other words, under the terms of this bill, “pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition... shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions.” The “Equality Act” also expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.”

“No one who voted for the mis-named ‘Equality Act’ deserves to serve in Congress. This bill destroys the fundamental freedom of religion on which America was founded. This bill is unpatriotic and dangerous,” said Mat Staver, Chairman of Faith & Liberty. “The mis-named ‘Equality Act’ has nothing to do with equality and is the most serious threat to life and liberty ever proposed by Congress. This bill needs to be stopped in the Senate. If this bill becomes law, the consequences are staggering,” said Staver.

Faith & Liberty in the Nation’s Capital is a 501(c)(3) Christian outreach to top-level government officials in Washington, D.C. We are located directly across from the U.S. Supreme Court, a block from the U.S. Capitol, and 10 minutes from the White House. Our purpose is to affect the hearts and minds of America’s public policy makers with Christ’s mandate in the two Greatest Commandments: Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind, and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.

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