In what will likely be an unpopular opinion, I encourage our community to stand against the Equality Act, currently before the US Senate. My convictions are based on the way this act will remove gender specific spaces in our society, expose vulnerable females to harm, and redefine gender legally, moving us further away from our biblical foundations as a nation.
The Equality Act is well intentioned, desiring to protect members of the gay and transgender community from discrimination in housing, employment and education. According to the scriptures, we are all created in God’s image and deserve the dignity of being treated with respect and fairness. Discrimination against those that believe or act differently, so long as those beliefs or actions don’t harm others, should never be accepted in our nation.
But the ways these protections are being proposed in the current bill will change our society in several detrimental ways. The Equality Act will legally redefine gender to be a personal choice rather than a biological reality. If a person says they are male, irrespective of their biological gender, they will be considered male before the laws of our nation. If someone says they identify as female, legally, they must be allowed in all female spaces. This has far-reaching, detrimental ramifications for women.
Women’s sports will no longer be a place of fair and competitive contests. Any male, without requiring a gender reassignment surgery, who says they identify as female, could be allowed to race, or fight against female competitors. One female MMA fighter, who was born a male, was allowed to fight in the women’s division and broke her opponent’s skull. The victim, Tamika Brents, said afterward, “I’ve never felt so overpowered in my entire life.”
Female specific places will no longer be safe for women. Men, including violent offenders, in jails and prisons that say they identity as females would now have to be held in female sections of the prison. Bathrooms, locker rooms and showers would no longer be exclusive to those that are biologically female. Battered women’s shelters, with women still dealing with the trauma of violent encounters with men, would now have to accept biological men.
In addition to leaving vulnerable women exposed, this bill also fails to make provisions for religious organizations. If a church school doesn’t want to hire a transgender individual because that person’s lifestyle goes against the church’s deeply held religious beliefs, they would be breaking the law. They would face lawsuits, fines and possible closure.
This is just a brief example of the many ways this bill would change our society. At its foundation, it is based on a misunderstanding of gender. Gender isn’t a choice a person makes, it is gift that God gives when we are conceived. The scriptures say that “God created humanity in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). Part of the beauty and strength of humanity is our maleness and femaleness. This isn’t something to be diminished, ashamed of, or manipulated. It is something to be explored, embraced and celebrated.
Those that suffer with gender dysphoria (GD), the feeling of not being at home with one’s biological gender, deserve our compassion and support. This can be a very serious psychological issue, and should never be dismissed or ignored. However, the current encouragement to resolve the tension through gender reassignment treatment and operations, is a false hope. These options often relieve tension in the short term, but the studies of individuals over the course of several years have many warnings. In the most comprehensive study, conducted in Sweden, which is generally very supportive of the transgender, fifteen years after reassignment surgery, individuals had a suicide rate 20 times that of comparable peers, as well as significantly higher rates of psychological disorders.
We would be wise to put our brakes on the Equality Act, and to think more critically and carefully about the role of gender in our society, and the far-reaching implications of redefining it. Please join me in calling our congressional representatives to voice our opposition of this bill. If you would like assistance in knowing how to call and speak to a congressional office, you can visit the "calling congress" tab on the website of StTimothysBishop.com.