Breaking News: House Passes Anti-Family “Equality Act” – But It’s Going Nowhere Fast

By Sharon Slater May 17, 2019

This afternoon the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.5, the misnamed “Equality Act” by a vote of 236-173. The legislation now goes to the U.S. Senate, but fortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he will not bring the measure up for a vote. Additionally, President Trump has said he would veto the legislation if it crossed his desk.


As we pointed out in our previous alert, under the legislation, among other things, Planned Parenthood’s efforts to sexualize children would be strengthened, while the position of parents would be dramatically weakened. Also, parents of children who have gender identity issues would be prohibited from accessing therapy for their children from professionals to help them embrace their own biological reality.


The House vote occurred predominantly along partisan lines, with all Democrats in the House voting for the bill, and 173 Republicans voting against the ill-advised legislation. Eight Republicans voted with the Democrats in favor of the bill, including Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-Indiana), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania), Will Hurd (R-Texas), John Katko(R-New York), Tom Reed (R-NY), Elise Stefanik (R-New York), and Greg Walden (R-Oregon).


This is the first time the legislation has been brought to the floor of the House for a vote. If Democrats retain the House and regain the Senate and White House in the 2020 elections, it’s likely the bill may become law in 2021.


The leading opponents of the legislation in addition to Family Watch International include the American College of PediatriciansAlliance Defending Freedom, the American Family AssociationAmerican Principles Project, The Center for Family and Human RightsConcerned Women for AmericaEthics and Religious Liberty CommissionFamily Research CouncilFocus On The FamilyHands Across the AisleHeritage Foundation, and Liberty Counsel, as well U.S. Catholic BishopsThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and other conservative and Christian leaders and groups.


Bravely joining in the opposition has been the Women’s Liberation Front, which describes itself as a “radical feminist organization.” A lawyer from the group recently testified before Congress that if the act becomes law, female survivors of rape would be unable to contest any male presence in women’s shelters. She further warned that women would no longer have a right to ask for female medical staff or intimate care providers, and that men would have equal access to women’s locker rooms, showers and toilets.


Over 200 businesses expressed support for the legislation, including Apple, American Airlines, AT&T, Chevron, Coca Cola, Facebook, Google, Pepsi, United Airlines and others. They joined the Business Coalition for Equality, founded by the homosexual-rights group known as the Human Rights Campaign, in supporting the legislation.


The original Equality Act was developed by U.S. Representatives Bella Abzug (D-NY) and Ed Koch (D-NY) in 1974. A modern version of the bill was introduced in 2015.


I’m proud of one of our Arizona representatives, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, who created a video outlining the major harms of the Equality Act.


We will keep you informed if this legislation ever rears its ugly head again.