By Emily Jashinsky featuring IWV Senior Policy Analyst Inez Stepman

Democrats have every intention of passing the Equality Act immediately should they retake the Senate. Joe Biden would eagerly sign the bill into law, per his own insistence. That means the lives of vulnerable children are on the line in the Georgia Senate races, alongside our legal and cultural understandings of sex.

I asked Inez Stepman, a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum and a senior contributor to The Federalist, to break down the bill’s potential consequences. “The Equality Act represents the legally-enforced denial that sex differences are real and that, in some circumstances, recognizing them makes all the difference for keeping women and girls from harm,” she told me.

Here’s where it gets especially serious. “Using the cloak of ‘anti-discrimination’ language, the Equality Act will mean fewer safe places for women where they really matter, such as battered women’s shelters and prisons, as well as fewer opportunities for girls, as we’re already seeing in many states on women’s sports teams,” Stepman explained. “Those who support the Equality Act are in effect telling women that their rights to privacy, safety, and opportunity are less important than virtue signaling about supposed ‘equality.’”

Kearns raised an essential question about the bill’s likely medical effect on children. “[W]hat doctor is going to deny hormone treatments or surgeries to an adolescent seeking to have their self-professed gender identity ‘affirmed’ at a medical center — regardless of the patient’s psychological or medical history and whether or not the doctor believes it is in their best interests — when federal law requires that they not be ‘denied care because of their gender identity’?” she wrote.

It would also lead to First Amendment challenges. Alliance Defending Freedom explained this on their website. “Specifically, those who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman or that there is a distinction between the sexes would, in too many circumstances, no longer be permitted to speak or act consistently with those beliefs,” wrote Sarah Kramer. “Even worse, the ‘Equality Act’ would force individuals to speak messages that contradict their beliefs.”

In a conversation about the bill, Terry Schilling, president of the American Principles Project, argued on a recent episode of Federalist Radio Hour that while politics is downstream of culture, as Andrew Breitbart famously observed, politics also shapes culture, especially as the legal system normalizes and enforces standards.

As Stepman emphasized, some of the very spaces 20th-century feminists fought to establish will be at risk if the bill is signed into law, putting the vulnerable women protected by those establishments at risk as well. In an interview with CBN News, feminist Kara Dansky echoed that sentiment. “We’re gravely concerned about spaces – locker rooms, changing rooms, dormitories; we’re concerned about the material consequences of eradicating the category female from the law,” she said.

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