A One-Sided Compromise: “Fairness for All” Fails to Protect Religious Freedom
On Friday, a GOP congressman from Utah introduced a bill that is fashioned as a grand compromise between the LGBT movement and proponents of religious freedom.
The backers of the bill, who have titled it “Fairness for All,” may be well intentioned. But as famed economist Milton Friedman once stated: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
And the results of “Fairness for All” would be very similar to its close cousin, the so-called “Equality Act” that is being pushed by LGBT activists. Just like the Equality Act and similar SOGI laws in 21 states, “Fairness for All” enshrines “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into civil rights laws, alongside race.
One would expect a meaningful compromise to include, at the very least, a religious exemption for wedding vendors who have been targeted by LGBT activists. But no, the only religious exemptions are for churches and other religious non-profits – the very groups that least need them, as they are already protected under longstanding legal precedents.
Though this bill is put forward by a Republican, it’s reminiscent of the Obama doctrine of “freedom of worship”: What you believe inside the four walls of your church is just fine, but don’t expect “freedom of religion” to live out your beliefs in everyday life.
“Fairness for All” also punishes parents who believe in biblical marriage and sexuality – in some cases requiring that children be placed in homes that affirm liberal views on sexual orientation and gender identity. And if a child is a ward of the state, only counseling that affirms the child’s transgender identity is allowed.
What are the roots of this mostly one-sided compromise?
Some believe that the LGBT movement’s SOGI laws are inevitable, so we just need to get whatever protections we can now. But there are big problems with this view:
- Other than Utah, no state has passed a SOGI law in nearly a decade. And Utah was a unique situation in which a compromise was pushed through by the LDS (Mormon) church, whose leadership has been increasingly accommodating of the LGBT agenda.
- Even at the local level, the LGBT lobby’s progress in passing SOGIs has slowed, as they have already achieved most of their “low-hanging fruit” – big cities, university towns, etc.
- Plus, we are beginning to win in the courts, with more wins likely. This is no time to raise the white flag in order to “get what we can.”
Encouragingly, only a handful of Republican members of Congress have co-sponsored this legislation. In addition to the primary sponsor, Chris Stewart (UT-02), the following Republicans are co-sponsors: Mark Amodei (NV-02), Rob Bishop (UT-01), John Curtis (UT-03), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), David Joyce (OH-14), Mike Simpson (ID-02), Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Fred Upton (MI-06).
Still, it is very important that other Republicans (and Democrats as well) hear from their constituents who are opposed to this one-sided compromise.
Thanks for making your voice heard and spreading the word.
For religious freedom,