The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the controversial Equality Act, which aims to expand anti-discrimination laws and will impact abortion, marriage, family, gender, and sports, among others.
The bill passed 224-206. All Democrats and three Republicans voted for it.
The Equality Act now moves to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where 60 supporters are needed for it to move forward. President Joe Biden during his presidential campaign promised to pass the Equality Act during his first 100 days in office.
Detractors of the Equality Act
The controversial law sparked widespread debate between Democrats and Republicans. Conservatives claimed it could allow taxpayer funding for abortion and infringe on religious liberties by eliminating gender-segregated homeless shelters.
Texas lawmaker Chip Roy vowed to fight this initiative in court if it ends up becoming law, claiming it is unconstitutional. In his statement picked up by EFE, the definition of sex in this proposal “inserts the right to abortion into this civil rights law.”
“The Equality Act could be used to force a universal right to have an abortion before birth. It forces medical professionals to perform or assist in abortions and certain surgeries,” he warned.
Meanwhile, Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) while in favor of inclusion, disagreed with the details. He warned that expanding the “definition of public accommodation to include any place of public assembly, any establishment that provides a service, such as food banks or homeless shelters,” could mean that Catholic shelters cannot legally have facilities for women separated to prevent sexual violence and that Orthodox Jewish congregations could be forced to hold mixed-faith weddings.