The Equality Act being considered by the U.S. government tickles the ear. But like so many policies being introduced right now, both locally and nationally, it contains hidden harm.

The aim of extending the 1964 Civil Rights prohibition against discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity might sound reasonable. But looking at it more realistically, several serious issues arise; one of which Mary Rice Hasson points out in her recent Newsweek piece, “The Equality Act and the End of ‘Females.’’”

She notes that in all 31 pages of the Equality Act, the word “female” never appears, spelling certain disaster, “not only for females, but for all of us who believe that our laws and language must be grounded in reality.”

“Human beings are created male or female,” she continues. “Our biological sex matters, not only in law but also in practice.” Borrowing words from the Institute of Medicine, Hasson notes, “Every cell has a sex,” and “from conception, each individual’s body is organized to produce either large gametes (ova) or small gametes (sperm).”


WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

The Equality Act omits defining sex, “the unchangeable reality that a person is either ‘male’ or ‘female,’” she says. “Only females go through female puberty, get pregnant, give birth and go through menopause. That’s biology, and no one can self-define into or out of a biological reality.”

Should the Equality Act become law, Hasson says, decades-long work to ensure equal treatment of men and women by prohibiting sex discrimination would be dismantled, leaving females and others vulnerable and unprotected. “We will no longer be able to say out loud that a person is male or female,” she says, nor teach our children, at least publicly, “that biological sex has meaning, and that truth is impervious to our feelings.”

In “The Equality Act Marks the Newest Phase of Ideological Conformity,” Andrea Picciotti-Bayer additionally argues that faith-inspired service groups would be threatened, and low-income communities of color would be negatively impacted. In a separate interview on Register Radio, Picciotti-Bayer said that under the Equality Act, religiously run medical institutions also would be forced to perform gender-reassignment surgery.

In the article, Picciotti-Bayer warned that the act also would force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions. As a cautionary aside, she noted that several of President Biden’s hoped-for administration additions have been “antagonists of religious freedom:” Xavier Becerra, who “waged a relentless battle…against religious and moral objectors like the Little Sisters of the Poor to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate,” and Vanita Gupta, who has demonstrated a “zeal for universal acceptance of abortion.”

In “Christian Agitation and the Equality Act,” Dr. Susan Selner-Wright says that physicians and nurses also would be forced to participate in abortions, obliterating longstanding legal protections for conscientious objection, which would be considered “pregnancy discrimination.” In subduing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Picciotti-Bayer said, we’d be pitting one civil right against another, which doesn’t make any good sense.

Plainly, the flaws in the Equality Act prompt an urgent pause, and perhaps, too, a thoughtful review of Genesis 5:2.

Salonen, a wife and mother of five, works as a freelance writer and speaker in Fargo. Email her at, and find more of her work at Peace Garden Passage,

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.