The Equality Act faced a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday, March 17th. In the course of opening the hearing, Committee Chairman Dick Durbin categorized concerns about women’s sports teams, privacy, and potential harm as “exaggerated” and a cover for bigotry.

“Unfortunately some opponents have chosen to make exaggerated claims about what the Equality Act would do… many of the attacks on this bill are nothing more than the latest in a long, long, long line of fear-mongering targeting the LGBTQ community.”
Senator Dick Durbin (D – IL)

False. Completely make believe.

But the consequences of removing the category of biological sex from the law are already happening across the country in states that have similar provisions in their law to the changes the Equality Act makes on the federal level.

In Alaska, a women’s shelter was sued for turning away a biological male on the basis that the women seeking help from domestic violence situations would not feel comfortable sharing a sleeping space with him. In California, Catholic hospitals are being hauled into court for refusing to refer medically healthy girls for gender reassignment surgery. Brave girls in Connecticut are suing the state track circuit after two transgender athletes took the first and second spots in 19 meets. And in Washington state, a male inmate who claimed to identify as female and was transferred to a women’s prison raped a female inmate.

In other countries, similar laws have had even more dramatic effects. In Canada, a female spa technician who refused to perform waxing services on a trans activist’s male genitalia was dragged through court for two years. A father there was arrested for refusing to use his daughter’s preferred male pronouns as part of a family court settlement.

These are not “exaggerated” claims, but instead represent the very real set of consequences, from loss of opportunities to increased risk of physical danger, that women and girls will face if the law is no longer allowed to recognize biological sex as opposed to gender identity. We rely on hundreds, if not thousands, of laws that respect the fact that although males and females are equal under the law, they’re not identical in every respect, and that sometimes women’s spaces, teams, locker rooms, or prisons might be necessary to protect the well-being of women and girls.

The consequences of the Equality Act will fall disproportionately on the shoulders of women and girls. That is a fact, not an “exaggeration.”