The Biden administration is urging the United States Congress to pass the Equality Act in a move designed to bolster civil rights protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, Axios reports.
The bill, if passed, would code the social constructionist view of gender into law according to some critics, which would have a myriad of effects.
One concern is over the role of transgender women in women's sports. Many people have expressed concern over the participation of transgender women in women's sports, arguing that they have an inherent physical advantage based on bone density, height, and various other factors.
Opponents of the bill are concerned that it would federally mandate that women's sports allow transgender athletes to compete, diminishing the athletic achievements of cisgender women.
Other concerns regarding the bill's treatment of gender identity are that it would require families and doctors to take on an unquestionably affirmative stance towards transgender children. Opponents of the bill have argued that this could ultimately hurt children who are confused about their gender identity, as they may be pushed down an affirmative path when it may not be appropriate due to ideological demands.
"Full equality has been denied to LGBTQ+ Americans and their families for far too long. Despite the extraordinary progress the LGBTQ+ community has made to secure their basic civil rights, discrimination is still rampant in many areas of our society," Biden wrote in a statement regarding the bill.
The bill would prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment, healthcare, education, and other aspects of society which are covered under the Civil Rights Act. Supporters of the bill say that it is necessary in order to combat discrimination against such individuals.
Free speech proponents have criticized the bill, arguing that it may force employers, medical professionals, parents, and other people to use pronouns which violate their conscience, which they argue would violate the first amendment.
While the bill is expected to pass the House of Representatives, it faces much more grim prospects in the Senate, which is split evenly between Democrats and Republicans and requires a three fifths majority.
The bill had previously passed in the House of Representatives in 2019, but faced opposition from the Trump administration and the GOP.
"The Trump Administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights," White House spokesman Judd Deere said at the time.
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