By Chris Edwards
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Brian Babin (R-Woodville) took the Equality Act to task in Congress last week, referring to the bill as “an outright lie.”
Babin, who voted no on the bill, said before the House of Representatives, that the Equality Act is more about the political left prioritizing a “radical agenda over religious freedom, the well-being of children and the safety of women and girls.”
The Equality Act, if passed, would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity with regard to employment, housing, education opportunities, federal funding and the jury system.
Since it was introduced on Feb. 18, the bill picked up 223 co-sponsors and subsequently passed the House in a 224-206 vote on Thursday, Feb. 25. The bill was introduced by Rhode Island congressman David Cicilline, a Democrat from the state’s 1st congressional district. All of the House Democrats voted in favor of the bill, and eight Republicans, including San Antonio-area congressman Will Hurd, voted for it.
Cicilline, who served as mayor of Providence, RI prior to being elected to Congress, is, according to his biography, the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. state capital. The bill’s passage also comes in the wake of President Joe Biden’s ending of former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military.
Babin’s opposition to the bill is shared by many feminists, women’s rights organizations and some religious organizations, which have opposed part of the bill due to verbiage that defines biological sex to include gender identity. Critics claim that factor will harm single-sex spaces, such as prisons, locker rooms and shelter.
“As the father of three daughters and the grandfather of nine granddaughters, I am outraged at the assault this bill launches on women in sports,” Babin said.
Babin also expressed concerns from the perspective of a healthcare provider. Babin, who is a dentist, said the bill, if passed, would prohibit physicians from counseling children with gender dysphoria. Instead, physicians would have to administer “dangerous medical treatment,” which includes puberty blockers and even surgeries, and contradicts science, he said.
“These treatments compound these children’s confusions, rather than solving it,” he said.
The bill is now in the hands of the Senate for consideration and a vote as to adopt it as law or not.