BLOGThe “Equality Act” Hits Rewind on Women’s Rights

By Sarah Kramer Posted on: | May 09, 2019

Women have made a lot of progress over the past 100 years. We can vote, go to college, and compete in women’s athletics. I’ve been blessed to do all three without giving it much reflection.

But now, proposed federal legislation threatens this progress.

In March, members of Congress introduced the badly misnamed “Equality Act.” This proposed law would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes to federal nondiscrimination laws. While this might sound nice in the abstract, the practical effects are anything but.

At its core, the “Equality Act” would eliminate the equal opportunities and fair playing fields women have worked so hard to achieve. Let’s take a look at how this legislation would threaten women’s rights if passed.

Women’s Privacy and Safety

If passed, the “Equality Act” would violate women’s and girls’ privacy, safety, and dignity by opening sex-specific facilities to members of the opposite sex. Unfortunately, with the passage of similar legislation at local and state levels, we’ve already seen the effects of such a policy across the nation.

Take, for example, the Downtown Hope Center. Their women’s homeless shelter provides a safe place for women who’ve survived sex trafficking, rape, and domestic violence. But the city of Anchorage is attempting to use a law similar to the “Equality Act” to force the Downtown Hope Center to allow men who identify as female to sleep just three feet away from the women it serves.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a lawsuit against the city.

In Pennsylvania, Alexis Lightcap, then a junior at Boyertown Area Senior High School, unexpectedly encountered a boy in the girls’ restroom. Shocked and embarrassed, Alexis fled from the bathroom and went to her teacher, who directed her to the class principal. Alexis was dismayed to learn that her school had quietly made policy changes permitting boys who claim to be female to use the girls’ locker rooms and restrooms.

Instead of listening to her concerns, the school administration made Alexis feel as if she were the problem for feeling uncomfortable, unsafe, and vulnerable with a boy in her bathroom. ADF represents Alexis and several of her classmates in a lawsuit against the school and has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case.

Or consider the nightmare lived out by Pascha Thomas, whose five-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted in her school restroom by a male classmate who was allowed into the girls’ restroom under school “gender” policies.

Without notifying students or parents, the school district in Decatur, Georgia, began permitting students who identify as the opposite sex to use the restrooms and locker rooms that align with their claimed gender identity.  More than six months later, the superintendent simply announced this policy on Facebook.

When Pascha went to school officials about the sexual assault on her daughter, she was told nothing was going to be done about it. That’s why ADF asked the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to launch an investigation into this incident. Thankfully, it has agreed to do so.

Women’s Athletics

Title IX was passed to ensure that women would receive equal opportunities in education. But the “Equality Act” would allow biological males who identify as female to compete with women for scholarship opportunities.

The most recent and striking examples of this have come from the athletic arena. At Connecticut’s indoor track and field championships, for example, competitor Selina Soule and her female fellow athletes were cheated out of a fair opportunity to compete because the school allowed two boys who identify as female to compete against the girls. Not surprisingly, the two male athletes placed first and second in the 55-meter dash, their times significantly better than any of the female athletes.

As one girl said, “Why even try?”

In that same event, Selina placed eighth – just two spots outside of being able to compete at New England regionals in front of college scouts. Two spots that were taken by biological males.

Are these really the results we would like to see replicated across the country? I know I don’t.

Yet, these are just a few examples of what would happen if the “Equality Act” becomes the law of the land. And the results spell trouble for the progress women have made toward true equal treatment.

To learn more about the “Equality Act” visit

Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

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