Dems Push 'Gender Equality' Bill – Effecting Speech, Hiring, Service, Bathrooms and More

P. Gardner Goldsmith | May 17, 2019
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It's a totalitarian proposal.

Today is the day Congressional Democrats see their wolf in sheep’s clothing come up for a vote. Limbed in rhetorical armor, the “Gender Equality” bill is ready to ride. It’s likely to pass the House, and unlikely to pass the Senate, but it’s eventual demise is not a reason to dismiss its provisions and the poisonous thinking behind it.

Writing for Reason, Elizabeth Nolan Brown is one of the few observers offering close scrutiny of the bill, and she explains:

Its reach includes public accommodations, public education, lending, housing, federal assistance programs, Medicare and Medicaid, employment, housing, public facilities, and more. It would insert into all of these laws and existing programs a prohibition on discrimination or segregation based on "sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity)…" The bill defines sex to include not just biological "sex characteristics, including intersex traits," but also "a sex stereotype; pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition;" and "sexual orientation or gender identity."

Many conservatives might find this incredibly problematic to put into public policy practice, and some might disagree with this kind of public policy because they have strong beliefs about upholding what they view as normative.

Which is one of the reasons to steer clear of putting things under government control or funding things through the state.  

But the “Gender Equality Bill” does more than set “standards” for government agencies and programs. Like Canada’s pernicious “C-16” law, passed in 2016, it applies gender-language policing, genderless bathroom mandates and sundry other edicts to private businesses that are regulated by the feds.

That means pretty much anything, despite the fact that the US Constitution never “gave” that kind of power to the central government.

Nolan Brown explains that this means the bill will apply to 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; any train service, bus service, car service, taxi service, airline service, station, depot, or other place of or establishment that provides transportation service, and any establishment that provides exhibition, entertainment, recreation, exercise, amusement, public gathering, or public display.

So, ladies, if you drive Uber or Lyft, you cannot choose not to pick up a man in the dead of night.

If you own a bookstore? Well, that’s a place offering books for entertainment, so if a terrible male writer identifies as a great female author, you’ll have to make shelf space for his drivel. And, by the way, Nolan Brown also notes that the law would not allow a religious exemption.

The bill specifically states that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act "shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under" the Equality Act, nor "provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement" of it.

That means the law could not be challenged in the federal courts that lead up to the US Supreme Court. Congress has the power to create the courts inferior to the Supreme and superior to the state courts. This means that the members of Congress can block certain kinds of laws from passing into those federal courts to make it to the Supreme.

Additionally, Nolan Brown is spot-on noting that this Democrat creation would act as a backdoor move to regulate speech and content in private schools and regulate speech online, on social media websites, on video sharing platforms, and even personal websites.

And there are legitimate uncertainties about what legislation like this would mean for the sorts of sex/gender-segregated spaces, services, programs, opportunities, and the like that people of all political persuasions support—the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, women-only co-working spaces, scholarship opportunities that exclude men, and so much more…. Perhaps most worrying is that with the provisions extending to the internet, the bill could potentially serve as a backdoor to regulating social media.

The takeaway of this totalitarian proposal, regardless of what the GOP-led Senate or President Trump would do (he opposes it, so it’s likely that, even if it passed both Houses, he would veto it), is what it shows us about the lack of respect collectivists have for freedom of association and for private property.

Freedom of association requires the freedom to choose not to associate, and to suffer the consequences should that be a mistake. But the 1964 Civil Rights Act included in it a provision that terms any private business a “public” place, despite the fact that it isn’t public, it remains private because no tax money is showered on it. Public property is that on which tax cash is spent, which ought to be something the Dems understand.

Whether they do or do not appears to be irrelevant. They have the “Public Accommodations” portion and have been using it to control private business for a long time.

In economics, a system of nominal (in name only) control of a business that must comply to political mandates is called “fascism”.

One wonders how many US politicians identify as that but don’t tell anyone.