CV NEWS FEED // As progressives begin to push the Equality Act in the House of Representatives, a chorus of American women are decrying the controversial legislation as a threat to women’s rights.
The Equality Act would indeed drastically alter existing antidiscrimination law as it pertains to women.
The new law would eclipse the Civil Rights Act’s current amended language prohibiting discrimination on the basis of biological sex with new language prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
Author Abigail Shrier calls the Equality Act “the greatest threat to women’s rights in generations.”
Shrier points out that the legislation would altogether “eliminate women as a protected category in the law,” and make it “impossible to exclude biological males from women’s safe spaces – women’s shelters, locker rooms, prisons, and women’s & girls’ sports.”
Feminists, Conservatives Find Common Cause
As CatholicVote has reported, conservative leaders have always outspokenly opposed the Equality Act. A decade ago it would have been almost unthinkable for feminist organizations to find common cause with conservatives on such a high-profile issue. But not today.
Until recently the Equality Act represented the position of a small but vocal minority in the far-left wing of the Democratic Party, and its rise to prominence under certain Democrat leaders has arguably alienated most Americans — including Democrats.
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a version of the Equality Act in 2019, the effort unified a wide range of liberals and conservatives in opposition.
Natasha Chart, Board Chair of the feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front, and Penny Nance, President of the conservative Concerned Women for America, coauthored a piece against the legislation.
“In an era of increasing political divisiveness, what threat could possibly unite radical feminists and Christian women conservatives?” they asked at Real Clear Politics:
Clearly this is a historic and momentous occasion when women on the left and right have put aside differences to come together on behalf of all women. The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) and Concerned Women for America (CWA) recently joined hands to oppose the misnamed and insidious Equality Act.
More recently, in a letter to Congress, a coalition of feminist organizations is protesting that the 2021 Equality Act would “[eliminate] sex as a protected class” and therefore undermine “targeted remedies for the exclusion or under-representation of women and girls in education, and in jobs and professions traditionally held by men.”
The bill would also “eradicate competitive women’s sports by undermining Title IX protections,” the letter continues, and make it “impossible to measure (and remedy) disparity between the sexes, such as the pay gap and domestic violence.”