Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Open Letter to Congressional Leaders: No (IN)Equality Act!

May 8, 2019
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
H-232, The Capitol
Washington DC, 20515

The Honorable Steny Hoyer
Majority Leader
H-107, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
H-204, The Capitol
Washington DC, 20515

The Honorable Jim Clyburn
Majority Whip
H-329, The Capitol
Washington DC, 20515

The Honorable Steve Scalise
Minority Whip
H-307, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Michael Pence
President of the Senate
S-212, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
S-230, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Schumer
Minority Leader
S-221, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable John Thune
Majority Whip
S-208, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Richard Durbin
Minority Whip
711 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

An Open Letter from Evangelical and Christian leaders on H.R. 5, the Equality Act

Dear Congressional Leaders:

As those tasked with the leadership of the church, and as those seeking to humbly convey
Biblical truth for the benefit of every man, woman, and child in society, we the undersigned
cannot remain silent concerning a dangerous bill pending in Congress known as the Equality Act
(H.R. 5). Not only is it incompatible with God’s Word (the Bible) and the historic teaching of the
church, but the Equality Act is also riddled with threats to religious liberty and the sanctity of
human life. For these reasons, we must state that we adamantly oppose this proposed legislation.
First, the ideology enshrined in the Equality Act—which falsely equates one’s sexual conduct
with immutable characteristics like skin color and ethnicity—is a falsehood that openly
contradicts the scriptural mandates we were given for our good (1 Thess. 4:3-8). We cannot
remain silent and allow this lie to harm countless men, women, and children—whether in this or
any other legislation. Passage of this coercive measure would lay the groundwork for this lie to
enter classrooms across the nation, as public educators could be compelled to teach it to their
students. No family would be safe from the long reach of the Equality Act.

Second, the Equality Act would gut religious freedom protections—even the freedom currently
enjoyed by houses of worship. Under its changes to the employment nondiscrimination
provisions in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, some houses of worship would be barred from
ensuring their leaders and other employees abide by their beliefs about marriage, sexual
behavior, and the distinction between the sexes. Women who identify as men would have to be
accepted as men and therefore potentially eligible to serve in positions reserved for men (such as
a Catholic Priest or Jewish Rabbi). Religious employers that fall under Title VII may be forced
to offer insurance coverage for medical procedures (such as hormone therapy or surgery related
to “gender transition”) that violate biblical teaching. Finally, the Equality Act would expressly do
away with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s application to its provisions, thereby
precluding any religious freedom claims which clergy or others might bring. Under such
restrictions, the pathway for the gospel would slowly be closed off.

The Equality Act would also harm faith-based adoption providers and other charities. Faith-based
organizations and others play a vital role in the adoption and foster care system and generally
receive funding under Title IV of the Social Security Act to perform their essential work. There
are over 440,000 children in foster care, and more than 100,000 of them are available for
adoption. The numbers are only getting higher; nearly 90,000 children a year enter the foster care
system due to the opioid crisis alone. The Equality Act would force faith-based organizations to
choose between continuing their life-affirming work or violating the tenets of their faith, the very
faith that drives them to care for society’s most vulnerable.

Third, the Equality Act is unacceptable because it is anti-life and creates a right to demand
abortion from health care providers. The termination of human life in the womb is unacceptable
to any biblically and historically faithful Christian. The responsibility to care for the “least of
these” (Matt. 25:40) is a fundamental responsibility of Christ’s church, and any proposal that undermines a culture of life must be rejected.

As Evangelical and Christian leaders humbly attempting to be faithful to God’s Word and historic biblical doctrine, we must clearly state our opposition to the Equality Act and any similar measures. Simply put, this bill will harm men, women, and children, and stifle freedom. It must
be stopped.


Arthur Schaper


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