Equality Act

Floor Speech

Date: May 23, 2019
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, let me be clear: I oppose discrimination in all forms, and agree that individuals should have protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender. Unfortunately, H.R. 5, the Equality Act, is a radical overreach that goes beyond the scope of discrimination and would harm doctors, families, women, religious groups, and many others.

The Equality Act fails to include conscience protections for doctors who have a moral or religious objection to the services they will be required to provide under the legislation. This bill would force doctors to forego their expertise and provide gender-affirming therapies, even if it goes against their best medical judgement. It could also force doctors and nurses to perform abortion-related services, regardless of their religious or moral objections.

This legislation also harms protections for women's sports provided by Title IX. Women are already beginning to lose sporting competitions and scholarships to their biologically male competitors who identify as females. These women have worked hard for their achievements and deserve the chance to compete on a level playing field.

Most importantly, the Equality Act would prevent parents from making health care choices that impact their own children and could even lead to parents losing custody of their children. In some states, like Ohio, this is already happening. A judge recently removed a biological girl from her parents custody after they did not allow her to take testosterone supplements to help her transition to a male. The federal government should not play a role in these important decisions.

This legislation does not serve as a constructive path forward to addressing the issue of discrimination in our country. That is why I voted against the Equality Act. It is yet another example of a messaging bill that will not be taken up in the Senate and therefore, will never be signed into law. Isn't it time that Congress finally put American families ahead of divisive, partisan politics?