Critics of the so-called Equality Act say it would undermine women's rights, enshrine abortion funding, and violate parental rights, forcing doctors to ignore parents and give kids transgender operations.
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act Friday, a bill opponents say doesn't live up to the name, warning there is far more to it than meets the eye.
Parental Rights Would Be Lost Under the Equality Act
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) calls the legislation "the most invasive threat to a parent's involvement in children's medical decisions he's seen" during his entire time in Congress.
"The son can actually go to a doctor without the parents' involvement at all, even if the parents object vocally," Scalise told CBN News. "Under this bill, the doctor has to treat the boy to ultimately transfer over to be a female."
Scalise adds these are kids of all ages – not just teenagers. "I'm not talking about 18, 19, 20-year-olds – I'm talking about 11 and 12-year-olds," he continued.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) tells CBN News this is already happening in some states where laws similar to the federal Equality Act already exist.
"In Ohio, there were parents who had their parental rights taken away from them because they refused to go along with giving hormone treatments to their teenage child," cautioned Hartzler.
The Conscience Rights of Medical Professionals Would Be Lost Too
And she says in cases where doctors refused to perform these surgeries, they faced legal repercussions.
"We have other states who have sued hospitals, faith-based hospitals who have not gone along with doing a sex change operation on a child, and they're being sued for discrimination," explained Hartzler.
If passed in the full Congress, the bill would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
"We cannot allow claims of religious freedom to be used to discriminate against an LGBT individual," says Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), who introduced the bill in the House.
But Congressman Scalise argues it's strayed far from its advertised purpose.
"If that's what they were concerned about, that's what the bill would have focused on, but it's not," argues Scalise. "What Speaker Pelosi and a lot of the Left socialists have done is given it a nice sounding name - "Equality Act" - but they embedded in it so many things that are inequality."
Scalise warns the bill even adds taxpayer funding for abortion. "They take away the protection that taxpayer money won't be used for abortion," Scalise told CBN News.
Democrat Feminist Says the Equality Act Hurts Women
Democrat and feminist Kara Dansky joined conservatives at a rally speaking out against the bill.
"I am certain that the people here with me profoundly disagree about many issues, but we are here together to take a strong stand for the rights, privacy, and safety of women and girls," Dansky told the crowd.
"If the bill is permitted to go through it would redefine the word sex to mean gender identity and that has grave consequences for women and girls," Dansky told CBN News after the rally. "We're gravely concerned about spaces – locker rooms, changing rooms, dormitories; we're concerned about the material consequences of eradicating the category female from the law."
Congresswoman Hartzler, a former track coach, argues it would prove detrimental to women's sports.
"It tramples on the rights of women and others by forcing a top-down government discrimination against those who hold differing views on marriage and human sexuality," said Hartzler.
Equality Act Wipes Out Certain Religious Rights
She believes if this becomes federal law, it'll be the end of religious liberty cases winning in court.
"There would be no more Little Sisters of the Poor being able to go to court and argue for their rights, there would be no more Hobby Lobby, there would be no more Jack Phillips being able to say you cannot force me to use my gifts and talents to make a cake that goes against my deeply held religious beliefs," continued Hartzler.
While this bill did pass the Democrat-controlled House, it is unlikely Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will allow a vote this session.
And the White House says, "the Trump Administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights."
BELOW: Why the Equality Act Would Be 'A Travesty for American Women'