The pro-life Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List also warned the Equality Act could expand abortion rights by its inclusion of “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition” in the definition of “sex.” At least one federal circuit court has held “the term ‘related medical condition’ includes an abortion,” according to the SBA List.
“As written, [the Equality Act] could roll back decades of pro-life policy on the state and federal level, as well as forcing health care workers and entities to participate in abortion,” said Marilyn Musgrave, SBA List’s vice president of government affairs, in a written statement.
Nearly half of the 50 states already have protections against LGBT discrimination. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws explicitly banning discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” according to the Movement Advancement Project (MAP).
Two more states interpret existing law as prohibiting such discrimination, and one state bars discrimination based only on “sexual orientation.” Twenty-six states have no explicit prohibitions.
“Sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” or SOGI, policies in some states have especially affected professionals who serve at weddings — such as cake designers, florists and photographers who disagree with same-sex marriage. Some have lost their businesses as a result of government rules.
Adoption agencies, religious colleges, ministries for the needy, businesses and churches are among the organizations that have faced legal action for their commitment to marriage as a male-female institution, their determination to maintain policies in keeping with their beliefs, and their willingness to protect privacy by preventing people of the opposite sex from using restrooms and locker rooms.
In a May 13 e-mail, a senior Trump administration official told the Washington Blade, a newspaper focused on LGBT issues, that the White House “absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”
In the May 17 roll call, eight Republicans voted with Democrats for the bill: Reps. Susan Brooks of Indiana; Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida; Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania; Will Hurd of Texas; John Katko, Tom Reed and Elise Stefanik, all of New York; and Greg Walden of Oregon.
MAP describes itself as a think tank that provides research to help hasten equality for LGBT people.
— Compiled by Tom Strode, Baptist Press