The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the so-called Equality Act, which elevates sexual orientation and gender identity to the level of race as determined by federal civil rights law. As this legislation heads to the Senate, followers of Christ should be concerned. Surely the Lord would have us remain watchful and prayerful, and to do our best to understand the confusing times in which we live, that we might wisely exercise the liberties of our citizenship for God’s glory.
There are multiple ways in which I could attempt to describe why I believe that the Equality Act is ill-advised and potentially dangerous, but I will tell you my primary cause for alarm: the law would treat individuals and groups that believe that people are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other, as the legal equivalent of racists.
In speaking out against the Equality Act, I have expressed on social media my concerns about faith-based adoption and foster care agencies, medical professionals, and female athletes. I’ve also articulated my concerns about religious freedoms in general, which are threatened by the Equality Act, so I won’t spend more time exploring my thoughts on those thorny issues. None of my concerns along those lines has waned, but my hope is to approach this from a different angle today.
Fundamentally, I believe that the Equality Act attempts to enshrine into American law a deeply flawed understanding of human nature. I would go as far as calling the Equality Act inhumane. I know that I’ve just made a very strong statement, but I will try to explain what I mean.
There is a profound sense in which God, universally, has implanted into the soul of every person a basic understanding of right and wrong. Some refer to this innate sense of morality as natural law, and it is known by us simply by virtue of our being created in God’s image. Natural law cannot save a person, and it is marred by sin, but it nevertheless underlies and informs human reason and conscience. It is my contention that the Equality Act is a direct attack on human nature because it blatantly ignores scientific evidence, history, philosophy, and theology as they illumine our understanding of personhood. In short, the Equality Act, by seeking to obscure any notion of biological gender, seeks to invalidate an absolutely essential dimension of what it means to be a human being.
Then there is the revealed law of God, which we find in the Bible. As Christians, we embrace the good news of the gospel because the “bad news” of God’s law has declared us guilty before a holy Creator. The law has exposed us for who we are, lawbreakers, and so we find refuge in the grace of Jesus Christ, whose sacrificial and substitutionary death on the cross rescues us from the just penalty of our sin. The first chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans indicts unbelievers who “by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” In light of all that the apostle describes there, I can’t imagine a better example of deliberate truth suppression than enacting a law which seeks to erase maleness and femaleness, which God has designed to be complimentary reflections of His own nature. Anti-God is anti-human.
We want all people to be treated with dignity and respect. We want all people who are struggling with gender dysphoria to receive excellent and compassionate care. We want all people to be protected by equal justice under the law. But, though it purports to afford such protection for some, the Equality Act is a frontal assault against all who believe that “in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).