Opinion | Morgan Liddick: When is LGBTQ equality tyranny?
On Your Right
What are House Democrats up to when they’re not stockpiling torches and pitchforks to use in the upcoming Bill Barr/Donald Trump impeachment doubleheader? Today’s lesson in duplicitous lawmaking and special interest pandering is a bill with the wildly misleading title of the Equality Act, drawn up to make federal criminals of anyone who doesn’t share the enthusiasms of America’s LGBTQ community.
More appropriately titled the Social Conservative Punishment Act, it clearly means to use the power of the state to crush anyone who embraces LGBTQ ideas about biology, tradition, sex and gender with insufficient zeal. Remember: Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips was not sued for refusing to bake a cake. He was sued for refusing to make special efforts for a couple who putatively wished to employ him but actually itched to punish him for his conservative Christian beliefs, using the courts as their scourge. And when their first attempt failed in the Supreme Court, another was made. This community holds grudges and is wildly litigious.
Definitions are vital in law, so it is important to note a number of them that the Equality Act uses to change the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into something Orwell’s Thought Police would love. First are changes to the definitions of “public accommodation,” traditionally understood as places where people are housed, fed, entertained, provided services or through which they are transported. Not anymore. According to Section 3, subsection (a)1, paragraph A, the term is redefined to include places of “public gathering or public display” or anywhere people congregate for almost any purpose one might imagine. Paragraph 4 specifically includes “establishments that provide health care.”
It’s worse. Section 208, a “Rule of Construction,” or guideline about interpretation, specifies that “an establishment … shall not be construed to be limited to a physical facility or place.” Read that again and understand: What is regulated is not only a place of business but everything, everywhere. You can be defined by this language as an “establishment” subject to punishment for your discriminatory attitudes, as defined by the state and the courts. A more direct path to tyranny is difficult to imagine.
Hidden deep in the act is another clue as to its real purposes. Section 1107, under “Claims,” says: “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 … shall not provide a defense for, or a claim for challenging the application or enforcement” of the act. In other words, the RFRA is repealed — except it’s not, since those pushing this codswallop don’t have the votes to come close to doing that. Instead, it becomes another law that won’t be enforced so that those acting according to the dictates of their conscience can be punished to the full extent of this malicious law. Not only bakers, but lawyers, accountants, counselors, psychiatrists, doctors and a legion of others will be compelled to bow before the dictates of the politically correct, or they will be fined, jailed and banished from their professions.
In the painful introduction to this legislative lunacy, we are treated to a litany of wrongdoing by people who not only refuse to be joyful participants at LGBTQ events, but also people who decline to administer powerful drugs to prepubescent children, who have doubts about currently fashionable theories of gender identity and who simply disagree with the radical theories of the left, for a variety of reasons, many of which have greater validity than the constructs currently in vogue. We are told the Equality Act will — as with most things left — usher in a gold age of abundant foster care and adoption, medical care, housing and much else.
It’s all logic-defying tripe. For example, Section 2, Paragraph 19 of the act complains about “the shortage of qualified and available homes for the 437,000 youth in the child welfare system” and proposes driving faith-based organizations from the field as an improvement. In 2016 alone, Catholic charities served more than 10,000 children by adoption or foster placement; about 45% of these had special needs. But they must be abolished in the name of ideology, and their Baptist, Lutheran, Latter-Day Saint, Pentecostal and other believing brethren with them. How removing providers will improve the rate of child placement remains unclear.
Faith-based organizations also play a major role in hospital and other health care services. If adopted, the Equality Act would make it impossible for these providers, whose clientele often is disproportionately poor and underserved — to continue. That will certainly improve access to medical services, as promised.
It’s all a lie or, at best, a fantastic misrepresentation of reality in service to the desires of a minor constituency of the left. No matter. Their needs must publicly be served, so credit may be claimed. And when things fall apart, conservatives and Republicans will be blamed for “wrecking.”
Show trials to follow.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily.
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