By Carolyn Martin (CHEC Director of Government Relations)
Male & Female He Created Them
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines gender as: “A sex, male or female.” The terms gender and sex were often intertwined in the past. The most frequently used aspect of the word gender emphasized grammatical forms of words. But, in this day, where intersectionality has been elevated to a first-order principle, gender has taken on a vastly different meaning.
While all attention is on the US Senate and how they will vote on the Equality Act (H.R. 5), Colorado will soon push forward a bill that eclipses that act. Since 2008, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) has included “sexual orientation” as a protected class along with disability, race, creed, color, sex, marital status, national origin, or ancestry. This year, HB21-1108 Gender Identity Expression Anti-discrimination adds “gender identity” and “gender expression.” The bill defines “gender identity” as “an individual’s innate sense of the individual’s own gender, which may or may not correspond with the individual’s sex assigned at birth.”
Of course, the question is — what impact will this bill have on those who believe, as God declared in Genesis, He created us male and female? The bill amends a vast swath of law that deals with discrimination in areas including employment, housing, financial services, healthcare, funeral arrangements, access to and participation in public services, education, youth services, criminal justice, and transportation. Christians who hold to the biblical view of sexuality and gender will see this law used in an attempt to force acceptance of transgenderism as morally good.
Under the public accommodation law, churches or other places that are principally used for religious purposes are exempt. But I suspect this will be tested in the near future. Left totally unprotected are Christian business owners who live and act according to their conscience, like Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop who was prosecuted and punished by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) in 2012.
Just last summer, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) redefined sex in the Civil Rights Act of federal law to include gender identity and sexual orientation. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Alito stated, “the position the Court now adopts will threaten freedom of religion.” Colorado, once again, will be at the forefront of this battle to uphold the free exercise of religion. Christian businesses and employers will be the easy target. All parents need to pay attention to the implications in education including locker room access, competitive sports, and especially the curriculum being used in the classroom.
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Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Director of Government Relations