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Dems: Religious rights no defense in LGBT battles

Vice President Joe Biden officiates a same-sex wedding

Should a church be forced to allow a man into a women’s restroom if he says he’s a woman?

How about forcing a church to support same-sex weddings in their building?

What about forcing a Christian adoption agency to send home a baby with two men?

Or banning a counselor from speaking of his or her experience of freedom from homosexual sin through faith in Christ?

A Democrat-sponsored bill in the U.S. House called the Equality Act would strip Christians of their rights in every one of those instances.

Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, warns the Equality Act is not about equality.

“This bill eviscerate[s] religious freedom and targets churches with an LGBT wrecking ball,” he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Christian baker Jack Phillips when he refused to endorse same-sex marriage through his business. And religious rights specifically were protected in the Supreme Court ruling that created same-sex marriage.

But the House bill, Liberty Counsel said, “specifically forbids raising religious free exercise as a claim or defense to the LGBT agenda.”

“This bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by striking the word ‘sex,’ and inserting ‘sex, sexual orientation, gender identity’ as protected classes throughout the federal code. This amendment applies to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and more.

“Therefore, church leadership and nonprofit faith-based organizations and schools would be forced to hire gender-confused individuals and allow men access to female (or vice versa) restrooms, showers, locker rooms, dressing rooms, shelters, dormitories and sports. This legislation would also create many more victims – like women in shelters who have been sexually assaulted by a man posing as a ‘transgender’ to gain access to the facility,” the group warned.

Churches that allow weddings would have to provide their facilities to homosexuals. There would be impacts on churches’ tax exemption as well as college accreditation. Christian schools would be targets.

So would faith-oriented adoption agencies, foster parents and even parents’ custody of their own children if they oppose a child’s “right to transition to a person of the other sex.”

Christian photographers, artists, bakers, wedding planners and printers would have no right to exercise their religious faith in the public square.

“This bill literally sets the stage for setting up the Bible as prohibited material where it addresses homosexuality,” Liberty Counsel said.

The Heritage Foundation said employers, workers, medical professionals, parents, children, women and nonprofit organizations all would be harmed by the plan from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“Where the original Civil Rights Act of 1964 furthered equality by ensuring that African-Americans had equal access to public accommodations and material goods, the Equality Act would further inequality by penalizing everyday Americans for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex. Similar sexual orientation and gender identity laws at the state and local level have already been used in this way,” the group warned.

Gregory Angelo, a homosexual who is former president of Log Cabin Republicans, wrote in the Washington Examiner that the bill would “compromise American civil rights and religious liberty as we know it.”

The law “would make liars out of the lot of us,” he said.

“It would put the nonprofit status of religious charities at risk; it would force mom-and-pop businesses to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies; and it would flout bedrock principles that have served as the foundation of the American experience for centuries.”

Greg Baylor, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the nation’s laws “must respect the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms that we have, and this Equality Act is a coercive sexual orientation and gender identity law.”

“It really undermines fairness and freedom,” he said.