US: Bishops say ‘sweeping regulations’ of Equality Act will harm society

In a joint letter to Congress March 20, the chairmen of three committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said they oppose the Equality Act because while it is meant to provide protections to those who identify as LGBT, it would impose “sweeping regulations to the detriment of society as a whole.”

The measure would add the new terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the definition of “sex” in federal civil rights laws, they said. Such a move would have “wide-reaching impacts” on health care, women and girls’ legal protections, charitable services to needful populations, schools, personal privacy, athletics, free speech, religious liberties and potentially parental rights, the prelates said.

The Equality Act was introduced in the House and Senate March 13. It also is known as H.R. 5 and S. 788.

The letter was signed by Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. Read more via Crux