The bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes and broadens the definition of “public accommodation” to almost every private business or nonprofit in the country, raising serious questions about the First Amendment rights to exercise religion free from government interference and freely associate.
Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH) voted against the bill, saying:
“This bill would legislate a heresy code, not tolerance. It straight-jackets Americans’ religious freedom, compels medical professionals to participate in abortion, and tramples on girls and women’s participation in sports. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act would be gutted by this misguided, so-called “Equality Act,” which would force Americans to adopt progressive identity politics or risk breaking the law.
“Far from protecting Americans’ rights, this bill relegates faithful Americans to second-class citizens in favor of privileging today’s trending identity politics. Democrats want to mandate changes to religious doctrine under the guise of equality. I oppose this bill, and similar policies which subvert Americans’ religious freedom.”