by Olivia Cavallaro, Christianity Daily
Rabbi Yaakov Menken argues that the Equality Act will set in motion acts of “religious bigotry” across a vulnerable nation.
The controversial Equality Act that the House of Representatives passed under the Biden administration marks a major change for the LGBT community, which will be guaranteed protections against discrimination unlike before. The Biden Equality Act or H.R. 5, which amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act, will now add protections against discrimination based on “sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”
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If passed, H.R. 5 will usher in a “new era of government-sanctioned anti-religious bigotry,” one rabbi believes.
In an op-ed for The Federalist, Coalition for Jewish Values Director and Rabbi Yaakov Menken explained how the Equality Act can seriously damage society as a whole. He argues that the bill is “motivated by anti-Jewish bias” and thrives on the “disproportionate repression of Jewish religious practice by law.” He clarified his point by using an example.
In Orthodox Judaism, celebrations are held exclusively by gender. Bar and bat mitzvahs are held as a coming of age ritual for boys and girls respectively and as with other major hallmark events such as the Siyum, which marks the graduation or completion of Torah studies. Such events are and have always been divided by biological sex.
According to Rabbi Menken, the next Siyum, which will be held in 2027, may not be held at all if the Biden Equality Act would be signed into law because “observant Jews will no longer be legally permitted to gather to celebrate religious education, or any other occasion, in accordance with their beliefs.” The law will directly ban the traditional Jewish gatherings, which strictly implement the separation of sexes.
Even more concerning is that, under the Biden Equality Act, the religious will now be forced to marry two people of the same sex regardless if it is against their beliefs for fear of violating the new law. H.R. 5 hinges on the notion that marriage between a male and female individual is merely a “sex stereotype” and opposing the marriage of the two people of the same sex is discriminatory and can and will be punishable under this new law.
Not only does the Biden Equality Act move to legalize “religious bigotry,” but it also increases the vulnerability of biologically born women. Grand Opportunity USA founder John Paul Moral, who was also a recent Congress candidate in Massachusetts, argued that the Biden Equality Act is “dangerous to women, children and gay people like me.” The Center Square reported that by dismantling sex-specific facilities, the new bill will force the “mixing the biological sexes in such a way will enable and facilitate sexual harassment and assault.”
Mat Staver, founder and CEO of religious freedom organization Liberty Counsel, argued that the Biden Equality Act also increases vulnerability of children. He argued that the “Q” in the term “LGBTQ” as seen in the bill’s language “could include roughly 550 paraphilias outside of LGBT, including pedophilia, now referred to by some as ‘minor attracted persons.'”
While the Biden Equality Act is being celebrated by the liberal left, many conservatives and religious organizations are concerned about the repercussions of what may be the legalization of religious bigotry.