Three members of Ohio’s congressional delegation voted in favor of the Equality Act, an expansive bill focused on civil rights for LGBT people.
The mainstream media described the legislation, a top priority of House Democrats, as one that will prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill, Democrats say, will extend federal protections to LGBT people in the areas of housing, employment, loans, and more.
But that’s not exactly the way many conservatives view the bill, including Aaron Baer, president of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values.
“This legislation represents the greatest threat to people of faith in ministry and the marketplace today,” Baer said in a press release. “Not only does HR 5 eliminate existing religious protections, it tells women, children and people of faith that they are second-class citizens.”
His organization highlighted a number of potential issues with the bill, including the fact that it would require biological males to be “allowed in women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and showers if they claim they identity as women.”
It would also require businesses to “participate in same-sex weddings, even if the wedding violates their religious beliefs,” while prohibiting faith-based ministries from using their “statements of faith in hiring practices.”
It’s highly unlikely that the bill will pass, or even receive a vote, in the Republican-controlled Senate, but Citizens for Community Values is calling on its supporters to email Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and tell them to stand against the bill.
“The truth is, HR 5 is as unnecessary as it is dangerous. This law doesn’t create equality, it creates massive inequality by making Christians, women, and children second-class citizens by restricting their religious freedom and privacy rights,” the organization said in an action alert.
In Ohio, Reps. Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11) voted in favor of the bill, while Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), a 2020 candidate, didn’t cast a vote.
The bill passed the House Friday in a vote of 236-173, and received the support of eight Republicans.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Marcy Kaptur” by Marcy Kaptur.