"I urge Congress to swiftly pass this historic legislation," Biden said. "This bill represents a critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality and freedom for all."
The bill, authored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), intends to "prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation." If passed into law, one of the effects would be the insertion of the parenthetical phrase "(including sexual orientation and gender identity)," after "sex" in federal anti-discrimination law.
"The Equality Act provides long-overdue federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, locking in critical safeguards in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems — and codifying the courage and resilience of the LGBTQ+ movement into enduring law," Biden said.
Conservative organizations like the Ethics & Public Policy Center (EPPC) object to the act as "legislative malpractice."
Besides representing grave dangers to the equality, safety, and privacy of women, Anderson points out the crippling blow the legislation would provide to religious institutions.
"Religious schools, adoption agencies, and other charities would face federal sanction for operating according to basic biology and mainstream Biblical teaching on sex and marriage," he wrote. "Outrageously, this act exempts itself from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Pope Francis would be treated as the legal equivalent of a Jim Crow segregationist."
In addition to conservative groups, feminist groups like the Women's Liberation Front consider the Equality Act a "war on women."
"While the Equality Act is being sold on promising good things for women, and on ending unfair treatment of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people—which almost everyone agrees are worthy and important goals—it's poisoned with the destruction of the law's ability to allow any accommodations for women on the basis of sex," the group wrote on their website.
Jon Schweppe, director of policy and government affairs for American Principles Project, highlighted what the real impact of the legislation would be.
"The intent of the Equality Act may be to promote equality and tolerance — love is love! — but the practical application of it would be to grant biological men the right to impose their will on women, whenever and wherever they want," he explained.