Laurence M. Vance,
The Civil Rights Act of 1964—an unconstitutional expansion of federal power that destroyed the rights of private property, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of thought, free enterprise, and freedom of contract—currently prohibits discrimination in “public accommodations” based on race, color, religion, or national origin.
After several years of failure to pass the Equality Act in the House when it was controlled by Republicans, Democrats, who regained control of the House in the 2018 election, passed the legislation (H.R.5) in the House by a vote of 236-173 on May 17, 2019. Only eight Republicans voted in favor of it. A related bill was earlier introduced in the Republican-controlled Senate (S.788), but has no chance of passing.
The Equality Act:
Prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in a wide variety of areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
Expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.
Allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.
This is a horrible bill. So why would Christian groups support the equally horrendous Republican response to the Equality Act called the Fairness for All Act?
The Fairness for All Act (H.R.5331) was introduced in the House last month by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT). It has eight Republican cosponsors. This legislation is designed to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity; and to protect the free exercise of religion.” Said Rep. Stewart at a press conference about the bill’s two purposes: “They are not mutually exclusive principles. There is enough space where both of those can be accommodated and that is what we tried to do here today. Neither side has to lose in order for the other side to win.” The legislation is based on similar legislation enacted in Stewart’s home state of Utah that bans discrimination against LGBT individuals—except when it is done by “qualified” religious organizations.
The Fairness for All Act basically amends the Civil Rights Act like the Equality Act, but exempts
any building or collection of buildings that is used primarily as a denominational headquarters, church administrative office, or church conference center;
a place of worship, such as a church, synagogue, mosque, chapel, and its appurtenant properties used primarily for religious purposes;
a religious educational institution and its appurtenant properties used primarily for religious purposes;
in connection with a religious celebration or exercise: a facility that is supervised by a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam, or minister of any faith, or religious certifying body, and that is principally engaged in providing food and beverages in compliance with religious dietary requirements; or
any online operations or activities of an organization exempt under this section.
Like the Equality Act, the Fairness for All Act is anti-Christian. It is anti-Christian because it is anti-private property, anti-freedom of assembly, anti-freedom of association, anti-freedom of thought, anti-free enterprise, and anti-freedom of contract. It is anti-Christian because it uses the force of government to make people be nice.
The Fairness for All Act is supported by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the Mormon Church.
However, many secular and religious conservative groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Heritage Foundation, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and Focus on the Family oppose the legislation. As does some liberal and LGBT organizations.
Why do Christian groups support anti-Christian legislation? The answer is that doing so is simply the logical result of accepting the legitimacy of anti-discrimination laws in the first place. The groups that oppose the Fairness for All Act are actually being inconsistent.
Supporters and opponents of the Fairness for All Act both agree on one central idea: The federal should prohibit discrimination in “public accommodations” based on race, color, religion, or national origin. They only differ regarding whether sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity should be added to race, color, religion, and national origin. Both groups consider discrimination to be morally wrong. Both groups think that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was good and necessary legislation. Both groups believe that the government should seek to prevent and punish acts of discrimination. Both groups think that “public accommodations” law trumps property rights. Both groups believe that the government should decide whether acts of discrimination are reasonable, logical, rational, necessary, or justified.
If discrimination is wrong, then it doesn’t suddenly become okay if it is based on some religious conviction.
But since discrimination in any form is not aggression, force, coercion, violence, or threat, then, as far as the law is concerned, the government should not proscribe it, seek to prevent it, or punish those who do it.
In a free society, any individual, business, or organization—religious or otherwise—would have the right to discriminate not only on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, but also because of race, color, religion, or national origin. This is because in a free society, any person, group, or entity would have the right to discriminate against any other person, group, or entity on any basis and for any reason.