WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Last month Apple clambered aboard the newest corporate bandwagon, joining other Internet Age corporate giants such as Google and Facebook, older companies such as General Mills, American Airlines, Dow Chemicals and Levi Strauss and hundreds of lesser enterprises in throwing their support behind the 2015 Equality Act.
The radical legislation would add the terms “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which already bans discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin. It would also specifically prevent the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act from being used to defend Christian organizations from discrimination charges.
According to leading traditional marriage defender Ryan Anderson, from The Heritage Foundation, the bill goes significantly beyond the controversial and widely opposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), by embedding “sexual orientation and gender identity” throughout federal law, rather than merely employment law.
Among its effects, the bill would force religious organizations to hire, house, serve and employ active homosexuals and transgenders—and entrust foster and adopted children to their care.
“It’s really the In-Equality Act,” Mandi Ancalle, general counsel with the Family Research Council told LifeSiteNews. “It provides special privileges for a small minority. We certainly hope that enough members of Congress believe in freedom of conscience to defeat it.”
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While the companies pushing the bill uniformly applauded themselves for standing up to sexual discrimination, critics charge that the bill is intended to force Christians and other moral conservatives to violate their deeply held beliefs.
“At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love,” the company said in a statement. “We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.”
Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO, often dubbed “the first openly gay CEO on the Fortune 500 list,” has long been an outspoken advocate of the LGBT agenda. He wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post following Indiana’s passage of a religious freedom law. In it he called the law “dangerous” and condemned all such measures. “These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many hold dear,” but, “They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.”
Ryan Anderson rebutted him. “The reality is that the only person in favor of discrimination in this debate is Tim Cook. It is Tim Cook who favors laws that discriminate against people of faith who simply ask to be left alone by government to run their businesses and their schools and their charities in accordance with their reasonable belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman,” he said.
In a piece in the Daily Signal coinciding with the bill’s July 23 introduction in Congress, Anderson took a second shot at the Equality Act and all such sexual orientation and gender identity laws. “They threaten small-business owners with liability for alleged ‘discrimination’ based not on objective traits, but on subjective and unverifiable identities. They expand state interference in labor markets, potentially discouraging job creation. They endanger religious liberty and freedom of speech. And they mandate employment policies that, with regard to many workplace conditions, violate common sense.”
The Family Research Council’s Ancalle added that the bill forces Christians and other Americans who believe homosexual behavior is wrong, “to affirm and endorse beliefs with which they disagree,” something not required with respect to any other behavior.
Nonetheless, the Equality Act has a growing list of corporate supporters that now includes Google, Amazon, GE, HP and Twitter.