Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins: Equality Act ‘Egregious Attack’ on Religious Freedom

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins delivers remarks at the opening of the council's Value Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Hosted by the conservative Christian council, the summit is the 12th annual gathering of activists and elected officials who oppose gay marriage …
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Tony Perkins, the president of Family Research Council, said Thursday morning at a press conference on Capitol Hill that the Democrats’ Equality Act (H.R. 5) is “an egregious attack” on religious liberty with an “Orwellian reach” from which no faith organization will be able to escape.

“The so-called Equality Act is unfair on many fronts,” said Tony Perkins, who was joined by Republican House representatives. “It is an attack on parental rights, women’s sports, but to the millions of people of faith in this country, it is an egregious attack on the freedom to believe and live according to those beliefs.”

Perkins explained:

It would position the government to lord over churches and other faith-based institutions, dictating potentially who they hire, how their facilities are used, and even punishing them for not falling in step with a view of human sexuality that directly contradicts orthodox biblical teaching:

The measure would ensure that gender ideology – i.e., transgender bathrooms, forced preferred pronoun use, and biological men playing women’s sports, etc. – is cemented into federal law.

“No institution or person of faith, be it school, church, synagogues, mosque, business, or non-profit will escape the Orwellian reach of the Equality Act,” Perkins said, adding:

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act will be committed to the “memory hole,” and we will then experience a catastrophic loss of religious freedom in America, and, as a result, every American, those who believe and do not believe, will suffer the consequences. I urge the American people to speak with great force and clarity to Congress to stop H.R. 5, the Inequality Act:

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage also called the Equality Act “one of the most pernicious attacks we’ve ever faced in America.”

“HR 5 is a sweeping assault on the religious liberty rights of people of faith while simultaneously enacting powerful special legal rights for the LGBT community,” he explained. “Perhaps even worse, the legislation effectively makes showing support for traditional marriage to be illegal discrimination under federal law. We’ve never seen such a sweeping, damaging proposed law.”

Brown said the legislation “declares the belief that marriage is only between a man and a woman to be a ‘sex stereotype’ under federal law.”

“Further, the bill makes discrimination on the basis of a sex stereotype illegal,” he added. “This means that any tangible step to refuse participation in a gay ‘wedding’ would be illegal discrimination under this legislation.”

The bill, which says it seeks to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes,” has 240 sponsors, including two Republican co-sponsors: Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA) and John Katko (NY).

Monica Burke of the Heritage Foundation summed up the likely effects of the Equality Act with the observation at The Daily Signal that “it actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law.”

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