Bishop David Konderla, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, also discussed the Equality Act and how it would affect religious freedom if enacted.
by Lauretta Brown in the National Catholic Register
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been voicing grave concerns over the Equality Act that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would redefine civil rights law to include “sexual orientation and gender identity” as protected classes, but does not contain religious freedom exemptions and could potentially expand abortion funding.
In a joint letter, the heads of five USCCB committees wrote to the House before their vote warning, “the Equality Act purports to protect people experiencing same-sex attraction or gender discordance from discrimination. But instead, the bill represents the imposition by Congress of novel and divisive viewpoints regarding ‘gender’ on individuals and organizations. This includes dismissing sexual difference and falsely presenting ‘gender’ as only a social construct.”
One of the letter’s signers is Bishop David Konderla of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the USCCB chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. Bishop Konderla spoke with the Register last week about the USCCB’s concerns regarding the Equality Act as well as the Church teaching on the matter and how the faithful can address these issues.
What are the bishops’ main religious liberty concerns with the Equality Act?
The first thing that we would say is that as Catholic Christians we operate many charities and hospitals and schools and various things for the sake of the public good. We don’t have tests about faith. We don’t ask people what their denomination is or anything.
We serve whoever comes and that’s because of our Catholic faith that we do it that way, but the Equality Act would try to force people of faith to violate their own conscience by accepting a false view of human anthropology, by accepting the whole idea behind transgenderism or what is called LGBTQ.
For example, in the case of an adoption agency, we rightfully choose who we think would make adequate parents for children in an adoption agency and we believe that a child is better off in a family with a father and a mother and this kind of a bill would force people of faith to not be allowed to do that. It would discriminate against people of faith by forcing them to abandon their religious beliefs in the public square.