The Equality Act Could Prove a Threat to Religious Jews

June 12, 2019 | Yaakov Menken and Monica Burke
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Recently passed by the House of Representatives, the bill known as the Equality Act seeks to protect homosexuals and transsexuals from bigotry and discrimination. But, argue Yaakov Menken and Monica Burke, if passed it would inevitably intrude on the freedoms of religious traditionalists, and perhaps of Orthodox Jews in particular:

Should it ever become law, it will impact businesses, non-profits, houses of worship, and individuals. For example, it could put Jewish wedding halls, bands, caterers, and photographers out of business if they refuse service to a gay wedding. Even a synagogue that rents out a hall for weddings and other celebrations could be at risk. Furthermore, the bill would obligate businesses seeking to hire individuals of a particular sex to evaluate candidates based upon their expressed “gender preference,” rather than their biological sex. . . .

[Such] policies could also be the undoing of many religious charities. The Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage, Alaska was recently sued after it declined to allow a biological male who identifies as a woman to stay overnight in its shelter for battered women. That biological women—especially women seeking refuge from abuse—often feel unsafe sleeping near unfamiliar men was of no interest to government investigators. . . .

The Equality Act would [also] require doctors and nurses to perform and prescribe “transition-affirming” therapies, even if they deem them to be detrimental to their patients. Hospitals, even those with religious missions, would be forced to provide these procedures, and insurers would be required to pay for them.

And if the medical community is expected to provide hormonal and surgical interventions for adults, it will soon be expected to do the same for children. Activists suggest social transition for children as young as four, puberty-blocking drugs for children as young as nine, cross-sex hormones for children as young as fourteen, and surgery a few years later. These drastic therapies come with harmful and potentially fatal side effects: increased risk for cancer, heart disease, liver disease, and, of course, sterility.

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