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Sen. Cruz on the Equality Act: This Bill is Not About Stopping Discrimination, It’s About Power

Questions witnesses on Democrats’ radical Equality Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today participated in a hearing on the Equality Act, legislation that would effectively repeal Title IX and destroy girls sports. In the hearing, Sen. Cruz questioned Abigail Shrier, an independent journalist, and Mary Rice Hasson, the Kate O'Beirne Fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, on the possible negative consequences of the Equality Act. Highlights of his line of questioning are below.

WATCH: Sen. Cruz Slams Democrats' Legislation That Would Repeal Title IX, Destroy Girls & Women's Sports

On the consequences of Democrats' Equality Act for women, Sen. Cruz said:

"Today's Democratic Party has gotten steadily more and more radical. They ask Americans to see ourselves as victims. But in today's Democratic Party, there is a hierarchy of victims and some victims trump other victims. This bill reflects the radical Democrats' war on women. The Democrats have made the decision that women are not high enough on the hierarchy of victims, and so this bill would, in effect, repeal Title IX, which created an incredible revolution of girls' sports and women's sports in colleges and universities, and in high schools and junior highs throughout this country, and it would repeal much of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"This bill is not a discrimination bill. The Democrats, when they're talking about this bill, want to frame is a discrimination bill, they don't want to own the radical aspects of this bill. It is none of government's business. What consenting adults do in their own bedrooms, is none of government's business, the sexual orientation or gender identity of adults in their own lives - this bill is not about that. This bill is about mandating that biological males should be allowed to compete in girl sports and women's sports, effectively repealing Title Nine, this bill is about suing pastors and churches. If they teach biblical teachings on sexuality and morality. This bill is about suing you, an individual citizen, if you dare speak and disagree with their mandated orthodoxy. This bill is about power, and this bill is dangerous. [...] Ms. Shrier, in your judgment? What are the risks to young girls and young women if this bill is passed?"

Ms. Shrier responded, in part:

"It will end women's sports and all those girls who dreamed of going out of the team will take a look at the risks to their health, to their body, to their safety and the incredibly long shot of ever succeeding. And they won't bother."

On the threats posed to First Amendment rights by the Equality Act, Sen. Cruz asked:

"As the father of two young girls, that girls' sports has had a profound impact in their lives. Our youngest girl, Catherine, play softball every Sunday. I'm out on the softball field with her at practice and the discipline, the teamwork, the camaraderie, the competitiveness that girls sports teaches is effectively destroyed from this bill. Ms. Hasson, let me ask you, what are the consequences for pastors and churches and individuals expressing either free speech or religious liberty if this radical bill becomes law?"

Ms. Hasson responded:

"One of the problems is that under the Equality Act, it sends the message that to affirm biological reality, the difference between males and females, that that's bigotry, that that's discrimination. And there are many religious congregations that hold that as a matter of faith. So here we are - that's going to be now redefined."

Sen. Cruz continued:

"So Ms. Hasson, you're saying if I say boys are different from girls, that I could be sued in the private workplace just as an individual citizen?"

Ms. Hasson concluded:

"I think we're opening up that risk, and I think we're going to see harassment lawsuits as well because there's a chilling effect. If the whole idea here is to affirm that biological sex doesn't matter, that all that matters is self-perception, then we're going to see that coming out as a sword, and religious people, people who hold that in in good faith, are going to be the ones who are going to suffer the consequences. [...] Now, the other comment I was going to say is that for religious organizations, we've heard so much about the effect of the pandemic and it mystifies me why we would want to destroy, incentivize religious organizations from serving, why we would want to make it more difficult for them to remain true to their beliefs and to serve the marginalized and vulnerable as religious organizations do so well for our country."