The Equality Act’s passage in the United States House of Representatives was lauded as a huge win for the LGBTQ+ community — even though it has a long way to go if it wants to pass a very divided Senate. The new bill would guarantee equality and criminalize discrimination on employment or renting on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Needless to say, Republicans aren’t having it.
Conservative lawmakers have continually said that we should all “trust the science” and that there are only two genders, which, of course, God decided — not us. Of course, science says something completely different (as it so often does).
According to Ignacio T. Moore, a biological sciences professor for Virginia Tech, “Sex is a biological term, gender is a social construct. In other words, gender can vary with society and culture.”
The Native Americans, for example, were noteworthy for having many different genders and gender identities.
A clinical assistant professor at Brown University, Dr. Jason Rafferty, said, “What science really tells us is that it is more complicated.”
Rafferty added, “Human nature is diverse in many ways that goes beyond simply biological and anatomical differences between people, and we are coming to understand that gender is such a characteristic that can be both complicated and personal. A person’s gender identity may be masculine, feminine, a combination of both or neither, or it may shift over time.”
The CDC defines gender as “the cultural roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes expected of people based on their sex.”
Should the Equality Act become law in its current form (which seems unlikely), then businesses would no longer have the option of denying service to a person or persons simply because they are gay or transgender on the basis of religious freedom.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 5.6 percent of adults living in the United States identify as LGBTQ. But identity and orientation are two very different things.