Did the House Just Launch a Massive Attack Against Religious Freedom?

(Photo by Holly Stratton on Unsplash)

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill that threatens the free exercise of religion and free speech. H.R. 5, known as the Equality Act, broadly imposes the LGBT agenda and does not exempt churches or religious employers, organizations or colleges. It specifically forbids raising religious free exercise as a claim or defense to the LGBT agenda.

This bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by striking the word "sex" and inserting "sex, sexual orientation, gender identity" as protected classes throughout the federal code. This amendment applies to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and more.

Therefore, church leadership and nonprofit faith-based organizations and schools would be forced to hire gender-confused individuals and allow men access to female (or vice versa) restrooms, showers, locker rooms, dressing rooms, shelters, dormitories and sports. This legislation would also create many more victims—like women in shelters who have been sexually assaulted by a man posing as a "transgender" to gain access to the facility.

Churches that provide weddings or baby showers would be forced to provide the same facilities to LGBT events and "same-sex weddings." Church tax-exemption and college accreditation (including federal student loans) would be affected.

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LGBT indoctrination would be required in school curricula and in workplaces, and Christian teachers in public schools would be forced to not only to listen to such presentations but also to make them for students. Private Christian schools will also be affected.

Faith-based adoption agencies would be forced to go against their religious beliefs and convictions and would be required to place children in homes with same-sex couples. The bill also demands that religious families accept practicing LGBT minors in their home as a prerequisite for being approved as foster parents. State social services could also remove children from their home if the parents oppose the child's "right to transition to a person of the other sex" or enter homosexual sexual relationships.

Christian business professionals (photographers, artists, bakers, wedding planners, printers and so on) would be forced to use their creative expression to promote the LGBT agenda or face fines and imprisonment. Home-based businesses would be forced to hire and welcome LGBT people into their privately owned home, even if they are trying to raise their children according to their own religious beliefs. Under H.R.5, property owners would be forced to accept renters whose actions violate their religious beliefs, including renting out a room in their home or their private vacation home.

This bill also gags counselors from giving professional help to those minors and adults facing unwanted same-sex desires or actions. It even punishes counselors who share their own story of finding freedom in Christ from homosexuality. This bill literally sets the stage for setting up the Bible as prohibited material where it addresses homosexuality.

"The Equality Act is not about equality. This bill eviscerated religious freedom and targets churches with an LGBT wrecking ball," said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. "This bill pushes the LGBT agenda on all people and targets Christianity in every area of life—including the church. There also will be an increase of sexual assaults when males 'identifying as females' are allowed to use girls and women's bathrooms and locker rooms. We will see an increase of instances where Christians and others are being punished unless they violate their beliefs in order to comply with such a law. And that is just the beginning of unconstitutional chaos in America," said Staver.

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