While faithful Catholics are grateful for the statement last week from five of our bishops on the threats posed by the Equality Act, it is a bit too little and much too late. For more than two years, Crisis Magazine has been sounding the alarm about the threats posed by the Equality Act that was just passed last week by the House of Representatives with a 224-206 vote. Warned that the Act threatened the civil rights of women and all people of faith, Crisis readers understood that the Equality Act would not only destroy equality for women who are not biological males (a contradictory phrase made necessary by today’s ridiculous vocabulary), but it would also remove all protections that the Religious Freedom Act had provided to us in the past.
Crisis authors warned that the provisions of the Equality Act would trump the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—removing all protections from people of faith and all rights from faith-based institutions to hire and fire employees based on their religious mission. Worse, the Equality Act will mandate what can be taught at faith-based schools—denying students the opportunity to hear the truth on the sacredness of marriage and the dangers posed by postmodern conceptions of gender.
Crisis authors warned that Catholic schools will be heavily regulated by the Biden administration’s use of the Equality Act with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity. All religious schools will be forced to hire those who do not share the teachings and beliefs of the sponsoring religious school if a lawsuit is brought by the protected LGBTQ community. These same schools will be unable to fire any employee, even those who openly denigrate the faith-based mission of these schools, if they claim protection under the Equality Act. Those of us who try to teach the truth of creation and the sanctity of life in our classrooms on faithful Catholic campuses, like my own Franciscan University of Steubenville, will no longer have the protection that had been provided to us in the past. We will be on our own, subject to fines and lawsuits if someone is offended by learning about Catholic teachings on the dignity of the individual—including the pre-born—and the sacredness of God’s creation of a man and a woman.