Change that would achieve actual, you know, equality
As written, the Equality Act (HR 5) would effectively erase sex-based rights for women and girls by making “gender identity” a protected characteristic. However, it would leave lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans unprotected against discrimination according to their sexual orientation.
Thus the Women’s Human Rights Campaign-USA has proposed the Equality for All Act (EFAA), an alternative that “would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and nonconformity to sex-based stereotypes, while maintaining the existing sex-based protections for women and girls.”
In place of the nebulous term “gender identity,” which has no firm meaning in law or public discourse because it refers to the changeable performance of ephemeral, culturally-defined sexist stereotypes, WHRC-USA would substitute the phrase “nonconformity to sex-based stereotypes.”
Even though their legislation does not mention “gender identity,” the clear language of the Equality for All Act would protect everyone’s rights to housing, jobs, education, and so on, no matter how they “identify.”
Sex-based protections, such as the right to fair and safe sports under Title IX, would be unaffected by the EFAA. Such legislation would be in accordance with the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
As currently written, the Equality Act would overturn the objective, sex-based rights of women and girls, replacing them with subjective, self-defined “gender-based” rights that would inevitably advantage males over females.
While the Equality Act would protect sexual orientation, that change would be rendered meaningless by the elimination of sex-based rights.
That oversight in new human rights laws has already led to bizarre outcomes, such as a Michigan court’s ruling that state laws protect “gender identity” from discrimination while allowing anti-gay discrimination.
According to Kara Dansky, chair of the global law and legislation committee for the WHRC, the challenge now is to find members of Congress to introduce the bill as an alternative to the Equality Act.
“Essential to this effort will be the willingness of legislators, particularly Democrats, to introduce the bill in Congress and usher in a national conversation about the importance of protecting the rights, privacy, and safety of women and girls, including lesbians, in the law,” Dansky says.