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Equality Act would create inequality

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By Carol Terryberry
Guest Columnist

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The so-called Equality Act introduced by congressional Democrats in March would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Whereas the original Civil Rights Act ensured that African-Americans had equal access to public accommodations and material goods, the policies contained within this bill — H.R. 5 — would actually create more inequality for women and people of faith and hurt the individuals it is meant to help, namely children and youth suffering from gender dysphoria. In addition, everyday Americans would be penalized for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex.

H.R. 5 would force both public and private schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses to recognize an individual’s “chosen gender” rather than their biological sex. As a result, women and girls would be required to share bathrooms, locker rooms, and dorms with men who identify as women. Many women feel unsafe in this situation and would be hurt by this bill. Pascha Thomas was forced to remove her child from school after a male classmate assaulted her 5-year-old daughter in the girls’ restroom. School administrators refused to change the policy allowing students access based on self-identified gender identity, despite her complaints.

Employers and businesses would face increased regulation and lawsuits, be forced to provide insurance for gender transitions, use preferred pronouns or face litigation, and open any single-sex space, including bathrooms and locker rooms, to both sexes. People will be put out of work for their beliefs.

Also, female athletes would have less access to sports scholarships, as they will be forced to compete with biological males who will likely dominate women’s sports. Two biological males who identify and compete as women easily took first and second place at the Connecticut State Track Championships. The Equality Act would defeat the entire purpose of Title IX, which was meant to ensure that women have the same opportunities as men in sports.

Faith-based adoption agencies would be forced to close rather than violate their sincerely held religious beliefs regarding traditional marriage. This has already happened in New York , Illinois and Pennsylvania. The 483,000 children in need of adoption would be hurt by this bill, because the majority of these agencies are faith-based.

Medical professionals would be required to provide gender-affirming treatments like puberty blockers and hormones to gender-dysphoric children, despite studies showing the irreversible physical harm these treatments can cause without improving their mental condition or suicide rates. Medical facilities have worked with the courts to take these children away from their parents if they object to these drastic, life-altering procedures. Parents in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter because they declined to put her on testosterone supplements. Catholic hospitals in New York and California have been sued for declining to perform hysterectomies and mastectomies on healthy girls with gender dysphoria.

H.R. 5 provides legal support for a radical school curriculum, teaching sexual preferences and transgender theory to elementary and pre-K children. In states where this curriculum is now being taught, it is integrated into all subjects, and parents cannot opt their children out.

H. R. 5 would silence thought and debate on important issues facing our nation, such as gender, marriage and faith. Free speech must be protected and preserved. Empowering the government to interfere in how regular Americans think, speak and act is authoritarianism and violates our first freedoms.

Clearly, this anti-science, ideologically driven bill causes harm for women and children and falls short of true equality. Don’t let the name fool you.

Carol Terryberry is an Elizabeth City resident.

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