The Pro-Life Community and all people of good will have been justifiably shocked and saddened when proponents of the Equality Act engage in name calling and completely unjustified public ridicule of the meanest kind aimed at us during recent debates on the legislation.
The moral principle of human equality and the dignity of all persons is basic in Catholic teaching that has guided our Pro-Life Community from its very beginnings more than 50 years ago. That is one reason why the exclusion of our voices by proponents of the Equality Act is so hurtful and divisive in the current debate.
We hope and pray the proponents of the Equality Act will chart a new course and seek the common good that respects all people.
With that in mind, we would like to take this opportunity to invite you to watch this important video by about the Equality Act featuring two of our community’s most articulate and thoughtful advocates, Gabriella Girgis, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC and Gregory Baylor, Senior Counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, Washington, DC.
To emphasize and summarize just a few main points, it is very important to understand that many of the effects of the Equality Act will not help people in need, but will negate and override legitimate freedoms of association, expression and religion.
Supporters of the bill have assured the Catholic pro-life community that religious beliefs won’t be affected or need to be changed in any way by this bill. But their assurances carry no weight in actual enforcement since they ignore a fundamental fact: religious exercise is not just a matter of belief or worship within the four walls of your home or your church, it’s exercise of your religious freedom rights and rights of expression and association in the public square.
It is also important to point out that no one needs to speculate on the effects of the Equality Act because laws and regulations with similar provisions are in force right now in some states. A significant case in point is Maryland’s school choice program. Bethel Christian ministries outside Baltimore, MD participated in the Maryland school choice program and had never turned away any student or parent for reasons of transgender status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This ministry served students and their families in the spirit of compassion, respect, and love. Nevertheless, because the school had in its policies a statement that it believed in the traditional understanding of marriage as one man and one woman, and that it believed in the distinction between the sexes, as well as that God created male and female, the State of Maryland not only withdrew their funding but also demanded that the school pay back over $100,000 in funds that they had already received.
If the Equality Act becomes law for all 50 states, the religious prejudice and divisiveness exhibited by the State of Maryland will almost certainly increase, becoming more frequent and more severe.
HLA/NCHLA was founded by the US Catholic Bishops to educate and mobilize the Pro-Life Community. If you would like to learn more about what you can do to help, please email email@example.com.