February 25, 2021
Dear Mr. Boston,
Thank you for contacting my office regarding the Equality Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this piece of legislation.
The Equality Act (H.R. 5) was introduced on February 18, 2021 to the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation significantly expands the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. While I admire efforts to end discrimination in this country and believe that the government should strive to protect all Americans’ basic human rights, the Equality Act is not the way forward.
First, the legislation is an example of federal government overreach. The federal government is not the most efficient or effective driver of change, nor should it be. When it institutes broad sweeping policies for the whole country, the federal government limits the ability of schools and communities to create individualized policies. Importantly, allowing local communities to fashion individualized responses to local problems will ensure that specific needs are addressed and allow the flexibility to address the particular complications of any one situation or case.
The Equality Act also has religious liberty implications. The bill prevents religious schools, groups, and other organizations from creating policies that reflect their own sincerely held beliefs. The right to the free exercise of religion is fundamental to the idea of what it means to be an American. It is something that I will not vote to abridge as a United States Senator.
Additionally, this legislation would require that all schools, athletics, and businesses allow participation in what are typically activities restricted by biological sex to those who assume an alternate gender identity. There have already been a number of issues across the United States where policies of this sort are implemented. These problems are now isolated but would only increase in frequency should this policy become federal.
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 5 on its floor the week of February 22, 2021. Should this bill come before the Senate, I will be sure to keep your comments in mind. Given the aforementioned concerns, I do not plan to support this bill in its current form.
Thank you for contacting me. It is an honor to serve as your U.S. Senator from Indiana. Please keep in touch with me on issues of concern to you. You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook for real-time updates on my activities in the U.S. Senate. If I ever may be of service, please do not hesitate to contact me.
P.S. This message was sent by email to save taxpayer dollars.
February 25, 2021
Dear Mr. Boston,
Thank you for contacting my office regarding H.R. 5, a bill that would amend the Civil Rights Law Act of 1964 to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” along with race, sex, and religion as protected classes in federal anti-discrimination law. I strongly oppose this legislation, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
I wholeheartedly agree that this bill is a blatant violation of Americans’ safety, privacy, and civil liberties and that is why I voted no on H.R. 5. This bill takes discrimination out the realm of the objective, observable characteristics and redefines discrimination—not in terms of fact, but of perception of ideology, forcing all Americans to conform to the beliefs of liberal politicians in D.C.
As a man of faith, there is a zero percent chance I would support a bill that limits our nation’s founding principles of freedom of religion, conscience, and speech. We are a nation that allows and embraces diverse thoughts and opinions, but this bill would grant special privileges to individuals at the expense of the freedoms of others. Americans would be forced to forgo their deeply held religious beliefs. This means requiring healthcare professional to perform procedures that violate their moral convictions and taking federal funds away from thousands of houses of worship, schools, and charities—the establishments that make up the fabric of our Hoosier community—solely because of their beliefs. That is not equality.
As your representative in Congress, I am committed to preserving Hoosiers’ right to express and practice their faith and returning the federal government to the limits of the Constitution. If you would like to speak further regarding my position on H.R. 5, please call my Washington D.C. office at 202-225-3021. It is an honor to serve Hoosiers of Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District. You can visit my website at www.pence.house.gov to learn more about how I am representing you in Congress.
Member of Congress