WASHINGTON, D.C.—Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) and Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) oppose efforts to replace laws that protect women and girls from discrimination with laws that outlaw differential treatment on the basis of gender identity.

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.5, known as the Equality Act, which would amend federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, the law would amend all federal civil rights laws across the board, affecting hundreds, if not thousands of laws and many facets of American life.

“H.R.5 is not about semantics,” said Inez Stepman, senior policy analyst at IWV. “Nor is it merely an attempt to prohibit employment discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. A 2020 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court already does that. H.R.5 would go much further, opening up female-only spaces and opportunities designed to increase representation for girls to biological men.”

“H.R.5 purports to protect gay and transgender Americans from discrimination, but it uses a meat cleaver to accomplish work better left to a scalpel,” said Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center. “When it comes to the issue of gender identity, context matters. Laws that prohibit discrimination against transgender individuals might make perfect sense, for example, when it comes to access to public education or financial credit. But requiring biological girls to compete with and against athletes who were born male does not. In fact, it undermines the very purpose of another anti-discrimination law: Title IX.”

“It is disappointing to see so many defenders of women’s rights vote for a bill that redefines ‘sex’ to mean ‘gender identity,’ thereby legally erasing women from our Civil Rights laws,” said Hadley Heath Manning, director of policy at IWV.



Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.

Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.