The House of Representatives, dominated by the Democratic Party on the afternoon of February 25 (US time), voted to pass the Equality Act 2021. The Republican Party asserted that this controversial bill would narrow the scope if it becomes a law. American people’s right to freedom of religion.
The Equality Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex determination or sexual orientation. Three Republicans, John Katko and Tom Reed of New York state, and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, joined all 221 Democrats in support of the bill. Meanwhile, the remaining 208 Republican congressmen voted in opposition.
In 2019, a similar version of the aforementioned bill was also passed by the Democratic House of Representatives with the support of eight Republican congressmen, but it failed to pass the Senate occupied by the then Republican Party. majority.
The bill this year is also considered to be difficult to pass through the Senate door when the number of Senators of the two parties is divided equally 50-50 and Democrats only take control of the house thanks to the vote of the Vice President. Kamala Harris. As long as one Democratic Senator joins the entire Republican Senator to oppose the bill, it will be blocked in the Senate.
Democrats did not follow the law-making process, cutting discussions short
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives moved to pass the Equality Act without discussion at the Commission and also shortened the session at the House of Representatives.
House members also heated up the session in parliament, criticizing the Republican protests as “ludicrous”.
Just minutes after the session began, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (New York state) labeled the Republican statements “ludicrous” when they saw the bill proposed by the Democratic Party as a clue. Threats to the religious freedom of the American people.
Rep. Maloney also argued that the Republican Party “believes the PRC is inferior” and mocked those who opposed the law for “their argument, that is, they support discrimination against homosexuals.” “.
Representative Maloney’s angry statement made Republican Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) strongly objected. He held up a pamphlet with the contents of the bill and made it clear that “page 25 specifically states that the ‘1993 Restoration of Religious Freedom Act (RFRA) will not guarantee a legal basis for a’ statement” against charges. list of discrimination.
Congressman Jordan emphasized: “The founders spoke in the first right of the First Amendment to the Constitution [Hoa Kỳ], that you can practice your religion when it makes sense. But that right in their bill today, the Democrats say ‘no, you can’t.’ “
Despite Mr Jordan’s evidence, the Democrats continue to defend their positions and attack the Republican Party.
Rep. Al Green (Texas) addressed the Republican congressmen and said aloud, “You used God to enslave my poor parents. You used God to isolate me at school. You used God to push me to the end of the bus. Aren’t you embarrassed? ”
Similarly, Rep. Mike Quigley (Illinois) near the end of the session stated that the arguments about religious freedom raised by the Republican opposition were “transgender discrimination, homosexuality, that is enmity”.
What is the Equality Act?
500 pages of the “Equality Act” initiated by the Democratic Party redefining the “public places” provided in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend to “any premises” that provide services like home. Churches, altar camps run by religious groups, educational institutions partnering with denominations and faith-related organizations.
LGTBQ community advocates argue that the Equality Act will help protect people in states where discrimination is protected by law.
But in the opinion of Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, the bill proposed by the Democratic Party clearly rejects a provision of the RFRA, which specifically protects the right of religious groups to conduct activities. motivate and manage their work according to their beliefs.
How did the parties react to the Equality Act?
House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler (New York state) said that the Equality Act “does not go against religious freedom, it really sets out equality”.
President Joe Biden has also voiced his support for the Equality Act. He recently said that Congress should work to quickly pass the law.
“Everyone should have dignity, and this bill is an important step towards ensuring that America adheres to its founding values of equality and freedom for all”, The Hill to quote Mr. Biden.
Democratic Rep. David Cicilline (Rhode Island), co-sponsor of the bill, said: “We are truly delighted to have the enthusiastic support of President Biden and his commitment to employment. The Equality Act becomes law. Every American deserves respect for dignity and the Equality Act becomes important because it ensures forever that Americans in the LGBTQ community can live a life free from discrimination. “.
Meanwhile, after the House of Representatives voted to pass the bill, Republican Rep. Mike Kelly (Pennsylvania) issued a statement saying: “Everyone should be treated with respect and no one deserves to be discrimination in everyday life, but this extreme bill will erase our country’s progress towards women’s equality and threaten the right to freedom of religion as provided in the First Amendment. “.
“If enacted, this law will have real consequences, such as men who claim to be women participating in sports and sports alongside women. It’s really shocking that Democrats think this is good for society and a political priority, ”added Rep. Kelly.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has said the Equality Act is only part of a “fierce attack on freedom” from the Biden administration.
Republican Representative Chip Roy (Texas) declared the Equality Act harms religious freedom and he will continue to fight against this law in court.
Nhu Ngoc (T / h)