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The “Fairness for All” Act (FFA), introduced December 6 by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), claims to arrive at a settlement between the LGBTQ+ movement and religious people. It would enshrine “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected categories in federal civil rights legislation, in return for religious liberty exemptions.
In fact, FFA will not appease the most powerful elements of the LGBTQ+ movement, for whom any dissent is noxious. But FFA’s failure as truce-craft is the least of its problems. FFA misunderstands both the nature of and danger presented by the LGBTQ+ conception of sexuality. Moreover, it misunderstands the nature of religion and religious liberty. Yet it would carve these misconceptions into our cultural, social, and legal flesh.
Rainbow - Banner - Share - Rights - Protections
Those who rally under the rainbow banner already share the full legal rights and protections of everyone else in civil society. What they seek, then, are new rights, based in the LGBTQ+ vision of reality. This vision orbits around two conceptual categories: “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (referred to collectively as “SOGI”). The fundamental question, which the FFA authors have failed to think through carefully, is whether these are valid categories at all, however culturally prevalent they have become. Accepting these categories, as FFA does, profoundly conditions society’s understanding of crucial elements of human nature, such as the significance of our embodied nature and our division into men and women. The debate therefore concerns a fundamental disagreement about what a human being is.
FFA effectively declares that, while we seem unable to agree on what a human being is, we should nevertheless adopt a legal regime under which we will grant LGBTQ+ status special protections. FFA thereby requires that we treat the LGBTQ+ understanding of the world as valid for all areas of civil life, outside a narrow band of exemptions for religious...
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