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House passes discriminatory, deceptively named ‘Equality Act’

Thursday, Feb 25, 2021

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner regarding the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage Thursday of the deceptively named “Equality Act,” legislation that could be used to restrict the religious freedom of churches and religious nonprofits including religious schools; set back protections for women on the playing field, at work, and in private spaces like showers and locker rooms; as well as inhibit the ability of everyday Americans to live in alignment with their beliefs:

“Our nation’s laws should respect the most fundamental freedoms of every American citizen. But the deceptively titled ‘Equality Act’ hides behind promises of toleration and empowerment, while its policies threaten real harm to women and children, radically alter our legal landscape, and discriminate against religious communities. This legislation would deny female athletes fair competition in sports, ignore women’s unique health needs, and force vulnerable girls to share intimate spaces with men who identify as female. The Equality Act also punishes and marginalizes people who hold decent and honorable beliefs about marriage or dare to believe the scientific evidence regarding the physical differences between men and women.

“The freedom to live peaceably according to our beliefs is a fundamental right, resting in our human dignity and codified by the First Amendment. Any legislation that hides behind ‘equality’ or ‘fairness’ but undermines these constitutional freedoms is misguided, at best, and hostile, at worst. The House has irresponsibly bypassed the committee process and curtailed debate over this sweeping and coercive legislation. In short, Congress has no business forcing every American to agree with a controversial government-imposed ideology on sexuality or be treated as an outlaw. We ask the Senate to reject this dangerous bill—for the good of all Americans.”

Under a similar policy ADF is challenging in Connecticut, two males identifying as girls have taken 15 women’s state championship titles, depriving numerous female athletes of medals, advancement opportunities, and fair competition. In Alaska, the city of Anchorage used a similar law to try to force a women’s shelter to allow biological men who identify as women to sleep just three feet away from women in the shelter, many of whom have survived rape, sex trafficking, and domestic violence. In New York, the state has threatened to force a faith-based adoption provider to immediately phase out its adoption program for the nonprofit’s policy prioritizing the placement of children it serves in homes with a married mother and father.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Kristen Waggoner

Kristen K. Waggoner serves as general counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Waggoner oversees the U.S. legal division, a team of 100 attorneys and staff who engage in litigation, public advocacy, and legislative support. ADF has represented the prevailing parties in multiple U.S. Supreme Court victories, including Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, which she argued at the Supreme Court. She also served as counsel in the free speech victory the Supreme Court handed down in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. She is a Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent™ attorney in Martindale-Hubbell, who clerked for Justice Richard B. Sanders of the Washington Supreme Court after law school and served in private practice in Seattle for nearly 20 years. Waggoner is admitted to practice in multiple states, the Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.