By Calvin Freiburger
Evangelical leader Rev. Franklin Graham is speaking out against one of the LGBT lobby’s top congressional priorities, warning that the so-called Equality Act would have “catastrophic consequences” for both religious freedom and women’s rights if it became law.
The Equality Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include “sex,” “sexual orientation,” and “gender identity” among expressly recognized “non-discrimination” categories in “public accommodations” (the definition of which would be dramatically expanded); and force employers of 15 or more people to recognize their claimed “gender identity,” forbid them from “discriminating” based on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity,” and mandate transgender “access” to sex-specific facilities.
“If the Senate majority changes or if enough Republican senators change their position, it would be up to the president to veto the bill. And if that office were to change hands in 2020, I have little doubt this would become the law of the land,” Graham wrote in the July-August issue of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association magazine Decision.
If that happens, he continued, Christian employers “would lose all protections to hire people who adhere to their biblical statements of faith. Christians will be persecuted for their sincerely held beliefs as never before. The clear teachings of the Bible on the sins of homosexuality and abortion will no doubt be considered ‘hate speech.’ It will be a nightmare from which this nation may never recover.”
Conservatives have long warned that the legislation’s true purpose is not to protect homosexual or gender-confused Americans from tangible harm, but to force other Americans such as photographers, florists, and bakers to participate in same-sex “weddings”; to force employers and businesses to accommodate cross-dressing, same-sex cohabitation, and sex-change treatments regardless of their own values or policies; and to force women and girls to sleep, shower, and use the bathroom alongside gender-confused males.
WND adds that in the same issue, the Graham association’s Jerry Pierce warned that the Equality Act “would make no exemptions for religious institutions and explicitly invalidates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” leading to the closure of adoption agencies that insist children be placed in homes with a mother and a father along with stripping “parents of their right to raise and educate their own children if their beliefs contradict government mandates.”
“Rather than offering meaningful protections for individuals, the Equality Act would impose sweeping new norms that negatively impact the unborn, health care, charitable services, schools, personal privacy, athletics, free speech, religious liberties, and parental rights,” five chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) declared in May.
“The Act’s unsound definitions of ‘sex’ and ’gender identity’ would erase women’s distinct, hard-won recognition in federal laws. Its sex-based nondiscrimination terms would end women’s shelters and many single-sex schools. It would close faith-based foster care and adoption agencies that honor children’s rights to a mother and father. The bill would even act as an abortion mandate,” the bishops added.
The Daily Caller reported last month that every 2020 Democrat presidential candidate averaging above 1% in the polls has endorsed the Equality Act, including former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.