Scientific American Torches Republican Senators Over Opposition to Equality Act

Scientific American, one of the oldest and most prestigious publications in the United States, blasted Republicans for exploiting their aversion to science to justify their opposition to the Equality Act.

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

“Last month the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on the Equality Act, a bill that would extend civil rights protection to LGBTQ people throughout the U.S. It is supported by 70 percent of Americans and recently passed the House of Representatives. But some politicians are hell-bent on making sure it doesn’t pass,” columnist Jack Turban wrote in an editorial that was published on Tuesday. “As a gay man, a physician and a mental health researcher, my heart broke listening to the hearing.”

Turban specifically mentions Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and Tom Cotton (AR), both of whom are outspoken opposers of legal equality for all Americans.

“I would talk until I fell over,” Graham, who threatened to filibuster the legislation, said in a recent hearing. Cotton, meanwhile, has clung to arcane and bigoted tropes to diminish the dignity and visibility of transgender Americans.

“Men are men, and women are women,” Cotton said in the presence of a transgender teen.

“Republican opposition to this bill is cruel. But beyond that, it’s also anti-science,” Turban said.

“GOP senators repeatedly cited ‘science’ as a reason to oppose civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans. Similar vague statements were made during debates between House members. Yet the politicians opposing the Equality Act never cited any research literature to back their assertions. I can tell you that science firmly disagrees with their position. As Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David pointed out during the Senate hearing, ‘we have to make sure our policies are driven by facts,'” he continued.

“If GOP Senators are going to continue opposing the Equality Act, it is time they admit that their opposition isn’t based on science. It’s based on the regressive view, not shared by the majority of Americans, that LGBTQ people are threatening and don’t deserve equal protection under the law. With scientific evidence overwhelmingly disagreeing with their position, they don’t get to use “science” as their rationale for discrimination,” Turban concluded.

Turban’s entire op-ed is available here.

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