Former director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought is urging Republicans in Congress to jump ship from legislation that bills itself as the conservative answer to the Equality Act, according to a letter obtained by The Spectator.
”It purports to be a compromise amidst the culture wars, but it concedes far too much,’ Vought, now the president of the Center for American Restoration and its advocacy arm, American Restoration Action, writes.
The Fairness for All Act, introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity but carves out exemptions for religious institutions. It is meant to find a middle ground between the Democrat-led Equality Act and the conservatives who oppose that bill. The Fairness for All Act would allow Christian adoption agencies to deny placing children in homes with LGBTQ couples. However, as Vought points out in his letter, it would not address the fundamental issue raised by the Equality Act, which is the undermining of biological sex in favor of gender identity:
‘The bill is based on a sexually progressive ideology that rejects human beings as created as male and female with distinctions that run so deep that no physical or pharmacological interventions can erase them. To affirm this is to embed in our nation’s laws, which themselves serve to teach our nation, a lie about who we are as Americans at a most fundamental level.’
Read the letter here:
The Fairness for All Act also wouldn’t protect non-religious institutions or individuals who have reasonable, scientifically-rooted objections to treating men who identify as women the same as women, such as gyms or sports leagues. A Politico poll released Wednesday found that the majority of registered voters support a ban on allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports.
‘The legislation assumes that the only citizens in need of protection are religious,’ Vought explains. ‘No citizen should have to live in a society that denies the biological differences of men and women in both its public accommodations and what its government attempts to coerce. Female-only spaces should be off limits to men who identify as women. Female sports should not be destroyed by male competitors.’
Vought’s letter goes on to say that even the religious exemptions included in the Fairness for All Act are insufficient, as they only protect people who are practicing their faith in a house of worship. If those individuals exercise religious objections to gender identity-based ideology in their communities, they will not be protected under Stewart’s bill.
The letter is addressed to over a dozen Republicans who have endorsed the Fairness for All Act, including Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Elise Stefanik.