House Democrats have reintroduced a bill that would make “gender identity” a protected class under federal civil rights law and force men who identify as women to be treated and accepted as female. If the measure, known as the Equality Act, becomes law, it would drastically impact numerous sectors.
Hospitals and insurance companies will have to provide costly sex-reassignment therapies, employers and workers who don’t conform to new sexual norms will lose their businesses and jobs and women would lose female-only facilities and sports. The only requirement for protection under the bill is a self-declared “gender identity.”
In a statement celebrating the Equality Act’s reintroduction last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this: “To dismantle the discrimination undermining our democracy, we must ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated equally under the law — not just in the workplace, but in education, housing, credit, jury service and public accommodations as well.”
The veteran California congresswoman claims the measure has strong bipartisan support even though two Republicans that supported it when it was first introduced in the last Congress are no longer in office. Florida’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen retired and Virginia’s Scott Tayler failed to win reelection. Fortunately, the bill is likely to encounter serious resistance in the Republican-majority Senate as well as the White House.
Nevertheless, the transgender movement has become a dangerous war on women and girls and the law floating around in Congress will be detrimental to both. The Equality Act would be a setback to women’s rights in several areas.
American women would be stripped of single-sex accommodations in public multi-stall bathrooms, domestic violence or rape crisis shelters, drug rehabilitation centers, jails, juvenile detention facilities, homeless shelters, locker rooms or group showers. Judicial Watch recently wrote about a separate law that aims to defund women’s shelters that don’t allow transgender men who self-identify as women.
The Equality Act goes further by also stripping a woman’s right to have a person of the same sex conduct security searches on their body, supervise drug tests, handle intimate medical care and supervise children on overnight trips. This is because the language in the proposed law replaces sex with gender identity, open to the claimant’s interpretation, as a protected category.
This would be especially harmful to females in areas such as competitive sports. A decades-old federal measure known as Title IX prohibits discrimination in all federally funded education programs, including sports.
It ensures that boys and girls in elementary through high school and men and women in college have athletic opportunities. If the Equality Act passes males will have the right to compete against females, an atrocity that even the most liberal women and feminists reject.
Among them is tennis legend Martina Navratilova, an 18-time Grand Slam champion who encountered lots of discrimination for coming out as gay during the peak of her professional tennis career in the 1980s. “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women,” Navratilova said. “It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.”
A recent public high school case in Georgia supports the tennis great’s assessment. At a track competition, a transgender athlete easily beat all the females. The mother of one of the demoralized athletes reached out to several women’s rights groups for help but her concerns fell on deaf ears. A conservative public policy women’s organization in Washington D.C. helped the mother express her concerns to Congress.
In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee the mother writes this: “To say that my daughter, as well as the other female athletes, were humiliated and had a sense of defeatism is an understatement. In the words of my daughter, ‘What’s the point Mom, we can’t win.’ Hearing this broke my heart, for my daughter and for all the female athletes, who train so hard, but no matter how hard they work and train they will never be able to beat a biological male. … What are we doing to our girls by forcing them to race biological males?”
Concerned Women for America, the group that assisted the Georgia mother, has conducted extensive research on the Equality Act and recently published a document outlining the measure’s dangerous consequences for women and girls.
Shea Garrison, the organization’s vice president of international affairs, says the bill wrongfully “redefines civil rights law” and “elevates the interests of one group over another.” An esteemed academic, Garrison’s work and research focuses on women’s economic and social empowerment, religious freedom and human rights.
EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission.