Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Equality Act allows group marriage, and more

By Robert G. Marshall ( bio - articles - email ) | May 25, 2021

The long-standing challenge that “Parliament can do everything but make a woman a man and a man a woman,” affirmed by Jean-Louis de Lolme in his The Constitution of England (1771), must have rubbed Congressional Democrats and President Biden the wrong way as they now lead efforts to affirm that men can become women, and women can become men. Congressional Democrats and President Biden intend to decree and enforce the proposition that individuals can change their sex, irrespective of natural law and science. Those who value truth, might face penalties, including massive fines up to $500,000 per violation, and even jail time. This article examines yet another troubling aspect of the so-called “Equality Act.”

Vision Book Cover Prints

Sexual orientation and gender identity compliance

The contention that men can become women and vice versa has been promulgated by President Biden in his Executive Order 13988 (1/20/21), and the so-called Equality Act, H R. 5, which passed the House of Representatives (2/25/21), and awaits action in the U.S. Senate. The goal of these measures is to treat policies which recognize sexual distinctions as invidious “discrimination” based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in every aspect of public and private life, such as public accommodations, public facilities, adoption and foster care, churches, hospitals and medical care including for pregnancy or related conditions, sports and recreation, education, federal grant funding, women’s shelters, soup kitchens, employment, housing, and credit worthiness.

There are no definitions in the Biden Executive Order or the Equality Act [EA] regarding marriage, gender identity, sexual orientation, man, woman, child, etc. The chief U.S. House of Representatives’ author of the Equality Act, Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI), declared it is a “stereotype that marriage should only be between heterosexual couples.” Now it appears that current LGBTQ+ notions of “marriage” allow plural relationships of three, four or more people.

Legalizing plural marriage

Chief Justice Roberts addressed the link between same sex “marriage” and group “marriage” in his dissent from the 2015 Obergefel majority opinion upholding same sex “marriage.”

Roberts noted,

One immediate question invited by the majority’s position is whether States may retain the definition of marriage as a union of two people.… Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective “two” in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed…a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world…. It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If [t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women…why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry?
If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability”…serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships?

Representative Ciccilline wants bisexuals to experience marriage equality, and to not be “discriminated” against. America’s major LGBTQ activist organization, the Human Rights Campaign [HRC], states that “a bisexual person is someone who can be attracted to more than one gender…half of the lesbian, gay and bisexual population identify as bisexual.” The HRC also states that “gender identity” is a “concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither.” Thus, HRC’s definitions leave open the possibility that being attracted to three or four “genders” (male, female, blend, neither) is “bi-sexual,” which is odd since “bi” is a prefix for “two.”

It is impossible to predict how the language of the Equality Act, or of the Biden Executive Order will be interpreted or applied by courts, executive agencies or employers considering the lack of legal definitions contained in either measure. It appears that the ultimate goal of the Left is to legalize groups of perhaps up to five bisexuals to become a government recognized marriage arrangement.

The plural marriage goal of the Equality Act is not an outlier for LGBTQ+ advocates. “Plural marriage” surfaced in the 2021 Virginia legislature with a proposed Constitutional Amendment which passed to undo the 2006 voter approved one man, one woman Marriage Amendment to Virginia’s Constitution. The 2021 Virginia Constitutional Amendment contains the following language:

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions…shall issue marriage licenses, recognize marriages, and treat all marriages equally under the law regardless of the sex or gender of the parties to the marriage.

Missing from the measure that passed is any reference to a limit of two persons constituting a marriage as well as any definition of marriage itself. Another measure to repeal Virginia’s current Constitutional Amendment to accommodate same-sex “marriage” failed. It had stated: “regardless of the gender of the two parties to the marriage” [emphasis added]. Virginia’s progressive Democrat legislators apparently found the number “two” much too constraining! (The measure repealing the 2006 Marriage Amendment must pass the General Assembly again in 2022 before it is placed on the ballot as a voter referendum.)

Sex discrimination without “male” or “female”

H.R. 5 purports to ban sex discrimination, but nowhere are the words “male” or “female” or their definitions found in the text, which is a very curious omission given the measure’s stated purpose. Nor are any characteristics of male or female enumerated, other than a quick reference to “sex characteristics, including intersex traits,” on page 22. However, the word “intersex” is not defined either.

The word “gender” is used almost 50 times. Yet, under the so-called Equality Act, endorsed by President Biden, only a fallacious and invalid circular, non-specific definition of “gender” is provided: “‘gender identity’ means the gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual.” Using a word to define a word is nonsense.

On page 2 of the EA, we find, “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (referred to as ‘LGBTQ’) people commonly experience discrimination.” The acronym “LGBTQ” is used 12 times, but “queer” is not defined. Yet, there surely will be many discrimination controversies and litigation because of claims of “queer” status. In addition, the EA applauds SOGI-conscious employers “who take proactive steps…to ensure they are fostering positive and respectful cultures for all employees.” Will federal agents investigate business to see if there is hesitancy to implement new SOGI mandates?

Finally the words “perception” and “belief” are found nine times in H. R. 5. For example, “Even if these perceptions are incorrect, the identity imputed by others forms the basis of discrimination.” How will government SOGI enforcers know if you have “correct” or “incorrect” perceptions or beliefs, unless you somehow are compelled to provide such information?

Effective resistance

In 1996, openly homosexual Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) posed a question during floor debate on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which allowed states to not recognize out-of-state “same-sex unions” or “marriages.” He asked: “How does the fact that two men who live together in a loving relationship and commit themselves in Hawaii threaten your relationship in Florida or Georgia or wherever?” If you didn’t know the answer to Congressman Frank’s question in 1996, you know now.

I have mentioned before the observation of James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and the fourth president of the United States, regarding the control of public policy by placing limits on Congressional spending:

This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.” [Federalist, Number 58.]

Madison, of course, is correct. To preserve our religious liberty, we must contact our member of Congress and two U. S. Senators and strongly urge them to support amendments to congressional appropriations bills prohibiting the expenditure of any federal tax dollars to implement the Sexual Orientation and Gender Orientation (SOGI) policies whether implemented through the President’s Executives Orders or under the Equality Act should it become law.


CatholicCulture.org is not a political action organization but, in furtherance of its Catholic mission, authorizes free distribution of this analysis of political initiatives which violate a Catholic understanding of the human person. For those unfamiliar with how to contact their Senators and Representatives, we also provide the following public link:


Previous in series: Joe Biden: Annihilating Christian Colleges

Bob Marshall served 26 years in the Virginia House of Delegates and was the chief House sponsor of the 2006 voter-approved Virginia Marriage Amendment and a ban on late term abortion. He recently wrote Reclaiming the Republic: How Christians and Other Conservatives Can Win Back America (TAN Books). Previously, he co-authored Blessed are the Barren, a social history of Planned Parenthood (Ignatius Press). Finally, don’t miss Bob’s Civics Lesson for Catholics in the Catholic Culture Podcast Episode 17. See the full bio.

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  • Posted by: tjbenjamin - May. 25, 2021 6:26 PM ET USA

    The Leftist Democrats apparently plan to add another grievance group to their menagerie. More “divide and conquer.”