Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, agreed this week to support presumptive president-elect Joe Biden on his plan to give transgender students access to “sports, bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity,” according to The Christian Post.
“I know he’ll check things out thoroughly legally,” Schumer said to reporters.
In his first 100 days as President, Biden has promised to pass the Equality Act, a Democratic endorsed bill that would remove federal laws prohibiting access to public facilities for transgender people, as previously reported by Christian Headlines.
“[The Equality Act] is essential to reducing economic barriers and ensuring consistent protection from discrimination for LGBTQ+ individuals. Too many states do not have laws that explicitly protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination. It’s wrong to deny people access to services or housing because of who they are or who they love,” he said.
Schumer’s support comes as no surprise since the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives approved the act in 2019. The laws failed to gain traction in the Republican-majority Senate.
The Senate’s leadership remains in question after the 2020 election, however. A runoff election in Georgia will determine which party remains on top while the Biden administration transitions into power.
The Equality Act has raised concerns from conservative and religious leaders.
In 2019, Franklin Graham warned Christians that the act would have “catastrophic consequences” for women and religious groups.
“Christians will be persecuted for their sincerely held beliefs as never before,” he said. “The clear teachings of the Bible on the sins of homosexuality and abortion will no doubt be considered ‘hate speech.’ It will be a nightmare from which this nation may never recover.”
And, the Conference of Catholic Bishops voiced the opinion that the act “would impose sweeping new norms that [would] negatively impact the unborn, health care, charitable services, schools, personal privacy, athletics, free speech, religious liberties, and parental rights.”
Some parents have also reported boys using the transgender bathroom policy to sexually assault girls in their schools.
Female athletes believe the Equality Act would hurt their chances to advance when biological males are also allowed to compete. Three female athletes in Connecticut recently sued the state when two transgender, biologically male athletes won in a female indoor track championship and advanced to a regional championship. The Trump Administration’s Department of Education believed the state violated Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which is intended to protect equal rights for women.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.