Actually reading the bill in question would be more constructive than spreading gossip.

According to LifeSiteNews Raymond Wolfe is a “faithfully Catholic journalist and researcher” which means that he is currently unemployed. Wolfe used to work for Austin Ruse (C-Fam).

Raymond Wolfe might be Raymond Michael Wolfe III. If not I can expect a nasty (although warranted) email.

Mr. Wolfe delights us with 5 things to know about the anti-family Equality Act that could pass this week. I think that correct grammar dictates “which could pass this week” but I am no expert.

Among the five things is this:

It would force Catholic institutions to hire transgenders, female “priests” — or face sanctions

The Equality Act would mandate that “existing Federal statutes prohibiting sex discrimination in employment” cover gender identity and sexual orientation, outlawing Catholic hiring practices.

“Any church or private school which refused to hire persons who engage in sodomy and other same-sex behaviors, or who support abortion, even though it violates church teaching, will be held to be in violation of the Act,” said Robert Marshall, writing for LifeSiteNews.

I know more about social norms than I know about grammar. In polite society people are called “transgender persons” — never “transgenders.” Wolfe is indulging in (or parroting) a sophomoric effort to dehumanize transgender people.

People of faith are not stupid per se. Some people of faith do stupid things from time-to-time. For example people who are pro-choice dishonestly become “pro-abortion.”

More importantly, Raymond Wolfe and Robert Marshall are both full of crap.

No. The Equality Act does not require houses of worship to hire clergy who do not conform to the faith of that particular religious sect. A Christian Identity church is not obliged to hire an African-American pastor.

In fact, the Equality Act is no longer the guardrail with respect to employment discrimination. That matter has been resolved with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. The opinion for the majority was written by Justice Gorsuch.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court has also established that the Establishment clause prevents the government from appointing ministers, and the Free Exercise clause prevents it from interfering with the freedom of religious groups to select their own.

The applicable cases are Our Lady Of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and, prior to that, Hosanna Tabor v. Equal Employment Oopportunity Commission.

So what is a minister? While the Court has not established a rigid criteria, in Hosanna-Tabor it has ruled that a minister:

  1. Is someone who has the title of minister.
  2. The person’s position requires substantial religious training.
  3. The individual holds themselves out as a minister.
  4. The individual’s duties are to promote the mission and message of the church which seems an amorphous standard.

The Supreme Court has progressively widened who qualifies as a minister for claims of discrimination which provides an increasing advantage for religious institutions.

In the aforementioned Morrissey-Berru case, the Court ruled in favor of the Church because the teachers were evaluated on whether they infused Catholic values into their teaching and prayed with their students. That is admittedly an over-simplification on my part.

However the bottom line is that the Equality Act does not change legal precedent in any form.

Mr. Marshall’s argument that the Equality Act requires a Catholic Church to hire a pro-choice employee is simply absurd. The purview of the Equality Act is sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Act does expand what constitutes a public accommodation but has no effect on who is, or is not, a minister. Raymond Wolfe and Robert Marshall would both benefit from reading the bill text rather than relying upon nonsense spread in the conservative Christian echo chamber.

The following words are not to be found anywhere withing the text of the Act: Abortion, choice, minister, life, church. The word “religion” is included only in reference to the original text of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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