Update May 23, 2019 at 12:42 p.m. EST: Rep. Lipinski's Communications Director, Phil Davidson, sent LifeSiteNews the following statement on the night of May 22, 2019:
Making sure you’re aware that Congressman Lipinski co-sponsored an amendment to the Equality Act that states that nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act may be construed to grant or secure any right relating to abortion or the provision or funding thereof
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As for a statement, I’d refer you to the statement Congressman Lipinski made on the House Floor.
It is critical that religious freedom stands a change of being fully lived out and fairly treated in court. This week, I will vote for the Equality Act for its broader goals, but before it becomes law, we must do more to ensure religious liberty.
The amendment was defeated.
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Two weeks after delivering the commencement speech at Ave Maria University, Rep. Dan Lipinski, the last of a dying breed of pro-life Democrats on Capitol Hill, voted for the Equality Act, which guts every pro-life protection ever passed into law.
“We are blessed to live in a country with a constitutional guarantee of religious freedom,” Lipinski told the 2019 graduating class during his commencement remarks. “However, attempts to limit our religious freedom are growing. We must continue to work in government and the courts to protect this right so we can live our Catholic faith in the public square.”
“To be Catholic is to be completely comfortable in neither party,” said the Illinois congressman. “I know. I live this every day.”
“You should never abandon your Catholic beliefs for the beliefs of a political party.”
Yet that appears to be precisely what Lipinski did not long after offering those remarks.
On May 17, just 13 days later, Lipinski joined every other Democrat in the House of Representatives in voting in favor of the so-called “Equality Act.”
A complete tally of the House vote on the H.R. 5, the “Equality Act,” can be found at Govtrack.us.The Equality Act: The worst the far-left agenda has to offer
The Equality Act isn’t solely about expanding the 1964 Civil Rights Act to encompass “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Buried in the legislation’s wording are provisions that would wipe out religious liberty and conscience protections for pro-life health care providers.
“This isn’t just the most extreme LGBT bill ever written,” wrote Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC). “This is one-stop shopping for the worst the far-left agenda has to offer — including, we’ve discovered, the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion this country has ever seen.”
“Under this big new umbrella of ‘discrimination,’” continued Perkins, “any American who doesn’t want to fund, offer, perform, or participate in abortion on demand will have no real choice. They can conform — or they can be punished.”
“Taxpayers will be openly funding the culture of death all across America,” added Perkins. “Every wall that’s been built between abortion and the government would come crashing down, including the Hyde Amendment, the pro-conscience Weldon Amendment, and several international barriers that keep our country from exporting abortion.”
“Make no mistake: H.R. 5 isn’t just a threat to freedom, business, privacy, education, sports, and faith,” concluded the FRC head. “This is a threat to innocent human life.”Confounding pro-abortion, pro-LGBT vote
In light of his past voting record on pro-life issues, Representative Lipinski’s vote is confounding.
At the recent Ave Maria University commencement ceremony, the congressman was introduced to graduates by the school’s president, H. James Towey, who described Lipinski saying, “There may be no more principled member serving in Congress today.”
“He was the only House Democrat to vote against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” recounted Towey. “He supported the Defense of Marriage Act; voted against the so-called ‘Equality Act,’ legislation that threatens religious liberty.”
Lipinski, who currently serves as co-chair of the congressional pro-life caucus,
delivered a powerful speech during the rally on the National Mall ahead of the 2019 March for Life in January.
LifeSiteNews reached out to Rep. Lipinski’s office for comment on Monday. A statement from the congressman is pending.