A Democratic effort to codify transgenderism into federal civil rights law has drawn the criticism of yet another prominent feminist activist.
At a Thursday Capitol Hill news conference put together by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Women’s Liberation Front
board member Kara Dansky introduced herself as a “lifelong Democrat and a proud feminist” and said the socially conservative politicians alongside her at the event probably “profoundly disagree” with her on several issues.
“But we are here together to take a strong stand for the rights, privacy, and safety of women and girls,” Dansky continued, “all of which are threatened by the so-called ‘Equality Act.'”
H.R. 5, the so-called “Equality Act,” is expected to go to a floor vote in House of Representatives this week. Basically, it would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to federal civil rights law.
Dansky went on to list multiple reasons why the legislation would be bad news for women if it were enacted, because it would “reconfigure” sex based on the “ill-defined and nebulous” idea of gender identity. She explained that “there is no way both do that and also protect women’s rights” and provided three reasons why:
“One: The word woman means ‘adult human female.’ Women have been fighting for our rights as women for thousands of years,” Dansky said. “As the men who excluded us from the franchise at the dawning of the republic knew, the word ‘sex’ has meaning.
“Two: Women and girls fought hard for sex-segregated spaces, and we’re not giving them up,” she continued. “Not so long ago, there were no such things as women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, or changing rooms. … As long as the epidemic of male violence against women continues, women have the right to demand separate spaces from males, regardless of how they identify.
“Three: The notion of defining sex to include gender identity has material consequences for women and girls,” Dansky concluded. “Over the centuries, our society has created schools, scholarships, dormitories, business loans and other concrete benefits for women and girls precisely because we had been excluded from the public sphere for so long.”
But under the provisions of the “Equality Act,” those spaces and opportunities would have to be open to biological males as well.
Dansky is not the first left-leaning feminist to voice opposition to the bill’s provisions redefining sex and gender. At a hearing on the legislation in April, lesbian activist Julia Beck called the bill a ”
human rights violation.”
“If the act passes in its current form as H.R. 5, then every right that women have fought for will cease to exist,” Beck told the House Judiciary Committee. “Every person in this country will lose their right to single-sex sports, grants, shelters, and loans. The law will forbid ever distinguishing between women and men.”
At Thursday’s news conference, Republican House members also warned about the “Equality Act’s” potential effects on unborn life and conscience rights.
“It would require a universal right to abortion, up until birth,” House Freedom Caucus member Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) warned of the bill.
Lesko has introduced an
amendment that seeks to create pro-life protections within the framework of the legislation by stating that nothing in the act “may be construed to grant or secure any right relating to abortion or the provision or funding thereof.”
Another House Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), warned that the bill’s adversarial provisions against religious liberty would have far-reaching and harmful implications for traditional believers all over the country:
Faith-based adoption agencies would have to violate their convictions of finding a mother and a father for a child or shut down. Small business owners of faith would have to violate their convictions on morality and marriage, and sexuality or close the doors. Churches and faith institutions would have to abandon the teachings of their church in order to participate in federally funded programs, so that things like Catholic schools could lose the national school lunch program. Jewish synagogues could lose grants for protection from terrorist threats. Churches could lose FEMA disaster aid. And faith-based colleges and universities could lose federal student aid.
“This is a horrifying bill,” Hice continued. “The Democrats are exposing themselves as the party willing to use the strong arm of government to oppress Americans, to demonize religion and religious liberties, and to circumvent our constitution.”