Legislation

Open Letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy on Equality Act – and his response

I sent this letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, and also to Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pres. Joe Biden, Sunday afternoon. It states my opposition to HR 5, the Equality Act, which passed the House Feb. 24 and now faces a close vote in the Senate.

The links used to send the emails are printed below. Readers are welcome to use them as they see fit, including reprinting some or all of the content below. I could have said more. I hope others will.

Sen. Leahy’s response also is printed below.

Dear Sen. Leahy:

On February 25, Rep. Peter Welch joined 223 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass HR 5, named the Equality Act. It was opposed by 206 representatives. 

I ask you to oppose this bill when it comes before you in the Senate. The closeness of this vote and the language in the bill suggests that despite its ‘who could argue with this?’ name, the passage of HR5 would:

  1. Undermine the inestimably precious institution of the one man, one woman family.

Section 2:A:2 refers to the “sex stereotype that marriage should only be between heterosexual couples.” Heterosexual marriage must not be denigrated as a “stereotype.” Both human history and modern academic studies show us that heterosexual marriage is not only the most enduring bond between adults, it is by far the most beneficial to children. By any meaningful standard – emotional security, educational and employment achievement, freedom from substance abuse, future family happiness – heterosexual marriage benefits children the most. While government should not discriminate against parents who do not fit this mold, government should unapologetically support the heterosexual family – not denigrate or dismantle it. We submit that both denigration and attempted dismantling happens when supporters of heterosexual marriage are called “hateful” and “discriminatory” by both media and government representatives – including many supporters of this bill. 

  1. Create unconstitutional demands on Americans of religious conscience. 

Section 1107 says “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.) shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.” If we read this correctly, the RFRA – meant to establish in law the constitutional rights guaranteed by the First Amendment – would be null and void. The potentially abusive applications of this sweeping away of statute protecting religious expression are manifold. Furthermore, they will not – or at least should not – hold up under Supreme Court scrutiny. The Senate could save everyone the trouble of a successful court challenge by removing from HR5 any language that would impinge on Americans’ freedom of religion. 

  1. Cause harm to women. 

This bill would in effect allow biological men to use the same bathrooms as girls and women, and allow biological men to compete athletically against women. Both outcomes are distressing abuses of women’s hard-won privacy, dignity and right to compete. 

I ask you to uphold longstanding American values of individual, Constitutional freedom and oppose HR5.

Guy Page

Berlin Vermont

CC:

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Pres. Joe Biden

https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Dear Mr. Page:

Thank you for contacting me about the Equality Act.  I appreciate hearing from you.

The Equality Act was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 18, 2021.  That bill was voted on and passed the House chamber on February 24, with bipartisan support.  The Equality Act now awaits action by Leader Schumer in the Senate. 

As the son of Vermont printers, I learned at an early age the importance of the First Amendment to America’s identity as a free society.  The First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democracy, and I have long worked to uphold First Amendment protections, including those meant to protect religious freedom, and will continue to do so.  I am proud to have received the 2016 First Amendment Award from the New England First Amendment Coalition for my unwavering commitment to protecting Americans’ right to speak and worship freely. 

However, we must ensure that the shield of religious liberty is not used as a sword for discrimination.  Discrimination on the grounds of a person’s race, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation is antithetical to everything America stands for.
 
The Equality Act would simply ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Please know I will keep your thoughts in mind as these issues arise in the future.  Thank you for contacting me.  Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

PATRICK LEAHY
United States Senator

Categories: Legislation

14 replies »

  1. So, as per Leahy’s reply, the senator is so obsessed with the “discrimination” of less than 1% of transgender people, a concept that contradicts the most rudimentary science in most cases, that he feels compelled for the USA to instead DISCRIMINATE against 51% of the population – women!

    Got it, THANK YOU, SENATOR!

    CHANGE YOUR VOTING TRENDS, VERMONT!

  2. “Ugh” is my first response to Sen. Leahy. Women are being screwed by this patriarchal society that deems them insignificant…..once again.
    It is time for the Divine Feminine to rise and be heard. Yes, we are all equal…but women ARE granted freedoms and protections under the law, and this bill attempts to thwart those rights, predictably.
    Follow the money. It is only there that one sees the real reason for this erasure of the Female.
    And it ain’t pretty.

  3. I think our Senators should be required to watch the videos of trans MMA fighter Fallon Fox as he/she savagely beat up a female MMA fighter, fracturing her skull and causing a concussion. This was the second female MMA fighter he/she had done this to. The poor woman had no clue that she’d be fighting a biological male which is indeed what any guy who “transitions “ to being female is.

  4. Interestingly, a friend of mine received the exact same canned response from Leahy. When asked if if he would guarantee the Equality Act would not be used as a sword AGAINST religious freedoms Leahy had no response. Apparently they haven’t canned anything for that question, yet.

  5. Well, Senator Leahy, you say you are for free speech, but what about most of Vermont’s colleges and the majority of higher education establishments SQUELCHING free speech on campuses!! Have you EVER said anything against this or aggressively opposed such tyranny? Not that I know of. Sounds like you don’t know what is really going on outside the DC bubble!

  6. A form letter. I would expect no different from any of our D.C. “Swamp Monsters”.

  7. I, too, got the same form letter from Senator Leahy. So I wrote back to him….”As the daughter of hardworking Vermonters, I learned at an early age…”
    Term limits needed!

  8. I find it troubling that his support of no discrimination is one directional. By virtue of supporting this bill he is choosing to discriminate against women who will lose their natural born rights as well as constitutional rights granted them, like Title 9, to ensure fairness in pursuit of their lives. This is a tremendous step back for women’s rights and frankly for their safety. His one form letter response shows his blatant disregard for the issue and for Vermonters.

    • I sent a complaint to Sander’s office & got a form letter in return as well – stating he will support this completely!

      And despite all these dangerous, even illegal, illicit policies these extremists are pushing through even though many are NOT in line with what Americans want – the “Vermont Stepford Voters” will re-elect these two nut jobs yet again in order that they may continue their life-long “career” as politicos.

      TERM LIMITS!!!

  9. Mr. Page; I believe this letter overemphasizes the marriage aspect. I too believe that marriage should be limited to two people, but that it shouldn’t be limited. That being said, the dangers to women are inherent and obvious. States must begin to preserve Women’s Sports.
    Many feminists are allying with conservative Christian groups. This isn’t widely publicized.

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