The Equality Act

Sen. Mike Lee

Recently, a transgender collegiate swimmer named Lia Thomas demolished the competition, logged the fastest times in the nation, and paved the way to a national championship. In 2020 and for years before that, this same individual swam as a man, Will Thomas, a competitive athlete but nowhere near a national-championship qualifier.

Some of Thomas’s teammates and competitors are understandably upset.  One told Fox News that despite the team’s outward celebration, “I think secretly everyone just knows it’s the wrong thing to do.”  In the legal profession, the judicial standard of “shocks the conscience” is occasionally used. The dangerous ‘Equality’ Act would make similar shocking situations legally protected and far more frequent.  Unfortunately, many in Congress do not seem to be shocked by much anymore.

Should the so-called Equality Act become law, people of conscience would be steamrolled and blocked out of professions, philanthropy, and increasingly society altogether. The bill would endanger religious hospitals that refuse to perform sex reassignment surgeries and insurers who object to hormone replacement for children. Parents could lose custody for denying teenagers irreversible procedures, placing countless children struggling with self-identity and mental health concerns in overburdened state systems. Students attending universities with sex-specific dorms would be forced out of Pell and federal research grants and would be ineligible for federal student loans. Many summer camps would be required to place campers and counsellors by their proclaimed gender identity rather than sex, allowing biological males on only their own request to join or even oversee cabins of female minors.  Women’s shelters would be required to admit for residential care biological men claiming to identify as women.  Artists such as cake decorators would risk closure for following their religious tenets and declining to support LGBTQIA+ messaging through their craft.

The list goes on and on. We have always been a pluralistic and diverse nation. Our republic has always functioned because decent people have treated those around them with respect and compassion even when their beliefs conflict. That is how Catholics and Quakers, Puritans and Pietists, Amish and Atheists formed and preserved our republic. The scorched-earth social dogmatism of the modern left is a threat to the American way of life, and the left’s attempt to paint Americans of conscience as bigots is itself a form of invidious discrimination.  Our country would cease to be free if those holding traditional definitions of marriage and gender — understandings on which even Democratic politicians ran for office less than a decade ago — were blacklisted from society. The thought shocks the conscience.

Not only would the ‘Equality’ Act kill women’s sports, it would end American social liberty.  I will oppose it in every way I can.

  • Sen. Mike Lee

    Elected in 2010 as Utah’s 16th Senator, Mike Lee has spent his career defending the fundamental liberties of all Americans and advocating for America’s founding constitutional principles. Senator Lee serves as the Ranking Republican on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, and on the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining

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