February 25, 2021
 

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Moments ago I voted against H.R. 5,  Nancy Pelosi’s partisan attempt to add gender identity to the Civil Rights Act. Instead of working to reopen schools and the economy Pelosi has decided to prioritize a controversial bill that would infringe on religious beliefs and upend decades of advances for women. 
 
I voted against this bill today because of serious concerns about its legal ramifications and impact on religious institutions, parents, students, health professionals and small businesses.
 
If enacted, gender identity — defined in the bill as the “gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth” — would become a federally protected status. The bill’s single-sentence definition includes no qualifying criteria. This practice would essential eliminate sex as a distinct legal category, giving those who identify as women more legal protections than biological women. 
 
The bill would undermine religious freedom protections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law in 1993 by President Clinton.
 
Also under the bill, all federally funded entities, from educational programs to college sports teams to women’s shelters, and public accommodations (locker rooms and bathrooms), would be forced to interpret “sex” to include “gender identity.” In other words, to treat men as women if they identify as such, and vice versa.
 
Other concerns raised about the bill include:

  • Restricts parental consent and involvement in their child’s decision to undergo gender transition therapy.
  • Overrides the ability of doctors and other medical professionals to use their best medical judgment and decide when and how they should provide life-altering gender transition medical services.
  • Erodes the protections provided to women in Title IX, that ensure women and girls have equal and fair athletic opportunities.
  • Eliminates the ability to provide separate spaces, services, and protections for women and girls.
  • Nullifies conscience protections by requiring medical professionals and hospitals to provide abortion-related services regardless of their beliefs.
Please let me know if you agree with my strong objections to the bill and my vote in opposition.
 
Vern
 
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