Republican Lawmakers Explain Why They're Against the 'Equality Act'

Posted: May 17, 2019 10:40 AM
Republican Lawmakers Explain Why They're Against the 'Equality Act'

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

UPDATE: The House has passed the bill by a vote of 236-173.

Only eight Republicans voted in favor of it.


Congress is voting on the Equality Act on Friday, and if you just read the title offered by its Democratic authors you'd think passing it was a no brainer. But Republicans who've read the fine print have found several holes in it.

The legislation would add sexual orientation and gender identity to characteristics protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. To Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the bill is "a top priority because equality for the LGBTQ community is a top priority" for the party.

But Republicans have a different perspective. The legislation imposes "top-down, government-led discrimination against all Americans who hold a differing view of human sexuality and gender,” Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) said at a press conference on Thursday.

The Equality Act, she declared, "is a vote against parents, it’s a vote against women, it’s a vote against doctors, it’s a vote against educators, it’s a vote against children.” 

Her colleagues couldn't agree more.

“The Equality Act represents the absolute worst of the radical-left’s pro-infanticide, anti-conscience agenda," Rep. Banks said in a statement. "By amending the definition of ‘sex’ in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this legislation codifies a fundamental right to an abortion up until the moment of birth. It also ensures that American taxpayers foot the bill for these abortions by effectively eliminating Hyde protections – protections I recently pledged to uphold in a letter to Speaker Pelosi.”

“Additionally, the so-called ‘Equality Act’ would undermine President Bill Clinton’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 by forcing health care providers to perform abortions and gender reassignment surgeries regardless of their religious or moral convictions. This egregious abuse of Americans’ First Amendment rights is why I will be voting no without hesitation.”

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy won't be voting "yes" either. 

"The Democrats’ latest piece of legislation is another mirage, packaged with a deceiving title, that ultimately chips away at our religious freedoms, would jeopardize Title IX sports programs, and puts our children at risk by eliminating parental consent in life-altering medical procedures,” he said.