Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Equality Act trashes truth and crushes conscience

By Robert G. Marshall ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 31, 2021

President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi want doctors and health care establishments to perform abortions and sex change operations, provide puberty blockers for minors, and assist at suicides even if private conscience and religious rights are violated. Presently, federal and state conscience laws protect doctors, nurses and health care establishments from having to comply with these immoral practices.

Vision Book Cover Prints

The Equality Act, HR 5, supported by Biden and Pelosi, will strip traditional protections from health care personnel and institutions resulting in legal action and loss of medical licenses.

Equality Act to End Faith-Based Conscience Rights

If an individual, business, church, private school or religious group does not agree with the sexual practices or the social policies of the LGBTQ+ agenda, they will be charged with illegally “discriminating” under the Civil Rights Act as if ordering African Americans to sit in the back of a public bus! Fines can be $500,000 per incident depending upon the size of the organization accused of “discriminating.”

HR 5 covers “any establishment that provides a good, service, or program, including a store, shopping center, online retailer or service provider, salon, bank, gas station, food bank, service or care center, shelter, travel agency, or funeral parlor, or establishment that provides health care, accounting, or legal services…”. In the Equality Act, “establishment” is defined as “…an individual whose operations affect commerce and who is a provider of a good, service, or program; and shall not be…limited to a physical facility or place.” [Equality Act, Sec. 3, Public Accommodations, (a) (4); and Sec. 208 Rule of Construction, (1) (2)]

Therefore, both individuals and institutions will be subject to the same “discrimination” fines. Frankly, it is an affront to equate the experience of living under segregation, subjected to invidious racial discrimination, with failure to use manufactured “transgender” pronouns!

Attack on the Free Exercise of Religion

Biden and Pelosi are promoting a radical rejection of the First Amendment’s Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of our U. S. Constitution.

On August 24, 1789, the U. S. House of Representatives voted for James Madison’s proposed amendment to the U. S. Constitution: “Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.”

While the final version of the First Amendment omitted the reference to “conscience,” Congressman Daniel Carroll (MD) stated: “ … [h]e would not contend … about the phraseology, his object was to secure the substance…” with the understanding that protecting religious rights meant also protecting conscience rights.

Biden and Pelosi Want Medicine Perverted

Medical ethics in Christian countries, from 400 BC to the 1970’s, followed the “First, do no harm,” guidance of the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates: “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest such counsel. I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion.”

After World War II, prosecutors at the Nuremberg Medical Trial (1946–1947) recounted with sickening detail the criminal, morally deficient experiments by Nazi doctors on human beings, including minorities and children.

As a result, the General Assembly of the World Medical Association prepared a modern version of the Hippocratic Oath in 1948 known as the “Declaration of Geneva” which noted in part: “I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of its conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.”

In direct contradiction to the Declaration of Geneva and traditional moral medical ethics, President Biden and Speaker Pelosi also want all conscience protections of the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act [RFRA] eliminated from the Equality Act. Indeed, section 1007 of the Equality Act expressly forbids any reliance on the protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a legal defense.

That abortion involves the direct killing of human beings is very clear. A 1970 editorial in California Medicine acknowledged: “…to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing…has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra or extra-uterine until death.”

Of course, radical abortion apologists Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi want all state and federal abortion restrictions eliminated via the Equality Act. The National Rights to Life Committee notes:

  • “…the Equality Act, contains language that could be construed to create a right to demand abortion from health care providers, and likely would place at risk the authority of the government to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions.”
  • “…when Congress has addressed discrimination based on sex, rules of construction have been added to prevent requiring funding of abortion or nullifying conscience laws. No such rule of construction is contained in H.R. 5.”

Conscience Protections in American History

Conscience protections were in place even before the U. S. Constitution! Massachusetts (1661), Rhode Island (1673), and Pennsylvania (1757) exempted conscientious objectors by allowing nonmilitary service as a substitute for militia service. In 1775, the Continental Congress debated the establishment of colonial militias, but recognized “there are some people who from religious principle cannot bear arms...this Congress intend no violence to their consciences, but earnestly recommend it to them…to contribute…other services…which they can consistently with their religious principles.”

During the Civil War, both the North and the South initiated military drafts for soldiers. The U. S. Congress debated allowing military combat exemption mainly for Quakers, but the exemption did not pass. However, Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton at the end of 1863, proposed a compromise allowing anti-war Quakers to instead contribute $300 to a Special Fund to benefit freed slaves. A broader conscience exemption passed Congress in February, 1864, for anyone paying $300 into a special fund for sick and wounded soldiers. If drafted, objectors could be assigned to a hospital or to care for freed slaves in lieu of military combat.

During World Wars I and II Congress enacted limited exemptions for conscience objectors with provisions for alternate service. [Louis Fischer, Religious Liberty in America: Political Safeguards, chapter 4]

Transgender Ideology in Government Schools

Conscience exemptions are also needed in more than the health care professions. Teachers, for example, are being pressured to use contrived “trans” pronouns to comply with a student’s perceived gender identity.

In 2018, Peter Vlaming, a Virginia high school teacher, was fired for not complying with a West Point, Virginia School Board order to use male pronouns for a biological female. Vlaming agreed to use the biological female student’s new name, but noted, “I am being punished for what I haven’t said.” Vlaming’s attorney said, he had a constitutional right “…to be free from being compelled to speak something that violates your conscience.” The School Board disagreed, and fired Vlaming.

When parents in Madison, Wisconsin found out their public schools had implemented a systematic policy of deceiving parents about the “gender changing” pursuits of their minor children they went to court. Wisconsin Circuit Court judge, Frank D. Remington, issued a ruling (9/28/20) which prevented the Madison Metropolitan School District from

applying or enforcing any policy, guideline, or practice …[which]…in any manner…allows or requires District staff to conceal information or to answer untruthfully in response to any question that parents ask about their child at school, including information about the name and pronouns being used to address their child at school.

However, if Biden’s and Pelosi’s contrived Equality Act becomes law, teachers will be authorized by federal law to lie to parents regarding their children’s emotional and mental health to implement the LGBTQ+ and transgender agenda.

Trust is the basis of respect between persons. Pope John Paul II explained: “In the political sphere, it must be noted that truthfulness in the relations between those governing and those governed, openness in public administration, impartiality in the service of the body politic, respect for the rights of political adversaries…are principles which are primarily rooted in, and in fact derive their singular urgency from, the transcendent value of the person and the objective moral demands of the functioning of States.” [Encyclical Veritas Splendor (1993), no. 101]

Action needed

The Equality Act has already passed the House of Representatives and is now before the U. S. Senate. It is of the utmost urgency for each of us to call, write or email our two U. S. Senators immediately and respectfully demand they oppose the Equality Act. It is important tell them we do not want them to authorize schools to lie to parents regarding transgender policies; nor to remove conscience protections from American citizens who oppose killing innocent children, or the sick or elderly; nor to force them into LGBTQ+ transgender re-education classes as a condition of employment.


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, we also provide the following public link:


Previous in series: Biden, Pelosi seek to close Christian adoption agencies
Next in series: Equality Act: Combating Christians and coercing churches

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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