In response to concerned Pennsylvanians’ thoughts on the so-called Equality Act, Senator Casey has shared a response detailing his support for the bill.
Spread the word to friends and family and tell them to take action here: pafamily.org/equality
While the Equality Act certainly sounds good in Casey’s terms, he’s failed to address the real and severe implications it would have on millions of Americans. You can read our responses to some of his key claims:
Casey: As your United States Senator, I strongly support the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. This Nation was founded on the principles of freedom and equality, not for some, but for all. As a society and a government, we must continue to move toward the ideal of inclusion. I am committed to ensuring that our government provides equal protection under the law for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
PA Family: In reality the Equality Act would not provide equal protection; instead, it would be used as a weapon against religious people and institutions. It would remove conscience and religious freedom protections, remove Title IX protections for fair women’s sports, jeopardize bodily privacy in bathrooms, changing areas, and showers, force doctors to assist with gender reassignment procedures, stifle biblical opinions on marriage, and more.
Casey: On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, finding that marriage is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. As a result, all states are required to issue marriage licenses and recognize marriages performed in other states of same-sex couples. I believe the Supreme Court made the right decision that will ensure all couples are treated with dignity and are able to enter into marriage with the person they love.
PA Family: Justice Alito observed that the Obergefell decision would “be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.” Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584, 2642 (2015). He went on to predict what we see today with the Equality Act: “I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.” Id. at 2642-43. That, at core, is the danger of this bill. The Equality Act seeks to equate people with biblical beliefs about marriage and biological sex exactly like the law treats racial bigots.
Casey: I have heard from many Pennsylvanians about the importance of these protections. One letter I received from a seventh grader in Southeastern Pennsylvania stands out to me. In the letter, the boy told me he “recently heard that LGBTQ+ individuals have no protections against being fired in Pennsylvania. I have two moms, one is a nurse and the other has been a teacher for 17 years. They are hardworking individuals who provide for my sister and me. I do not think it is fair to be fired for who you love.” As a Senator, I cannot, in good conscience, take a position that denies these parents or children the full measure of equality and respect.
PA Family: Based on the Bostock decision that Sen. Casey referenced in the preceding paragraph, these two women cannot be fired. Nor would they be. People aren’t being fired or denied housing, medical care, or a sandwich because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Instead, what the advocates want and what the bill would do is:
- Punish religious employers, like Christian schools, if they do not hire LGBT staff;
- Open up dorms so that your daughter’s roommate would be determined by gender identity, not by sex;
- Open up women’s shelters to men;
- Open bathrooms, changing areas, and showers to the opposite sex;
- Allow men who identify as women to compete in women’s sports;
- Shut down religious foster care if such agencies seek to exclusively place children in homes with a mother and father;
- Force doctors to remove healthy body parts from those who want gender-reassignment surgery;
- Force doctors to stop the puberty of children and inject opposite sex hormones into kids, and;
- Require wedding service providers to support same-sex weddings that they oppose for conscience reasons. And the list goes on.
Thank you for taking action on the Equality Act and making your voice heard; it’s not too late to stop this legislation from passing.