Congressional Democrats claim they brought two gun control bills to the House floor Wednesday to “protect our kids.” However, they added a provision requiring all federal agents to receive training in controversial sexual orientation and gender identity ideology.
The measure is one of at least four provisions in the bills that insert contentious LGBT issues into an otherwise unrelated bill restricting gun ownership — a bill that opponents say is unconstitutional in its own right. Experts warns that pro-LGBT workplace training could “create bias” against Christian employees of federal law enforcement agencies.
The two bills imply officers could decide which gun owners to flag as potentially dangerous based on principles of equity drawn from critical race theory. They would also require the federal government to collect data based on “sex” and “gender,” and would redefine the family to include unmarried and unrelated persons.
Here is a breakdown of each of those provisions:
1. Federal officers must receive diversity training on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”
Controversial diversity training, which President Donald Trump eliminated from the federal workforce, would be legally required by the “Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order” Act (H.R. 2377). The law mandates that every federal law enforcement agency “shall require each [f]ederal law enforcement officer employed by the agency to complete training” about “bias based on race and racism, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, language proficiency, mental health condition, disability, and classism.”
This could mean the return of federal agents being subjected to such radical notions as critical race theory and transgender ideology. “This training is undesirable, because in practice it is generally ideologically-driven and aimed at elevating an agenda rather than truly eliminating wrong bias,” said Mary Beth Waddell, director of Federal Affairs for Family and Religious Liberty at Family Research Council.
Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute reported a 2020 training session he said was aimed to teach white male employees of a federal nuclear facility the perils of “white male culture.” The research materials denounced “heterosexual privilege.”
Injecting LGBT issues into the workplace could violate the views of Christian law enforcement officers, Waddell warned. “Those who do not agree with the ideology and agenda may have their conscience rights violated and face bias themselves for raising conscience concerns,” she explained. “This is especially concerning, because the language regarding training is also supposed to be about preventing religious bias, yet it could create that bias.”
2. Injecting equity into red flag laws
H.R. 2377 also states: “The head of each [f]ederal law enforcement agency shall require each [f]ederal law enforcement officer employed by the agency to complete training” in the “equitable use and administration of [f]ederal extreme risk protection orders.” ERPOs, otherwise known as “red flags,” allow law enforcement officers to remove firearms from “an individual who is suicidal or otherwise in crisis” who might “use a firearm to seriously injure or kill himself or herself or another person.”
As Vice President Kamala Harris has said, “There’s a big difference between equality and equity.” In CRT, equity means equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity. Biden’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge agreed that “equity means treating people differently” based on such factors as “discrimination that has existed for a long time.”
Equity would imply that the percentage of red flags deputies impose on members of any group should be no greater than its share of the population. For instance, individuals who identify as transgender make up less than 1% of the U.S. population. But one would expect LGBT-identifying people to be disproportionately represented in red flag orders since, according to the National Alliance of Mental Health, “LGB adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition. Transgender individuals are nearly four times as likely as cisgender individuals (people whose gender identity corresponds with their birth sex) to experience a mental health condition.”
“LGB youth also experience greater risk for mental health conditions and suicidality,” NAMI notes. “Transgender youth face further disparities as they are twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms, seriously consider suicide, and attempt suicide compared to cisgender lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and questioning youth.”
Untreated mental illness is a major factor in mass shootings and suicides. Equity principles might cause a sheriff’s deputy to think twice before imposing a red flag on a member of the LGBT community, or to impose additional red flags on heterosexuals to avoid charges of “homophobia” or “discrimination.”
“Sheriffs should be protecting, serving, and reacting to real threats, not tied to quotas or ideologies,” said Waddell.
3. Collecting gender data to precipitate the next round of SOGI/LGBTQIA+ “equity” legislation
The “Protecting Our Kids” act (H.R. 7910) requires the U.S. attorney general to issue a report in 2023 on “the demographic data of persons who were determined to be ineligible to purchase a firearm based on a background check,” including “race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, age, disability, average annual income, and English language proficiency, if available.” Federal authorities may separate “sex” from “gender” to further transgender ideology.
That report could also allow congressional Democrats or the Biden Administration to enact new federal benefits for the LGBTQIA+ community based on newfound “disparities” with their heterosexual counterparts. The administration highlights the importance of such data for launching new federal programs: “Without this information [on] lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients,” the Biden administration’s CDC states, “the health disparities they experience cannot be addressed.”
The “disparities” the Biden administration’s CDC aims to combat include conditions allegedly “related to experiences of anti-LGBT stigma,” implying that faith-based opposition to the sexual revolution constitutes a public health threat.
4. Redefining ‘family’ by statute
H.R. 7910 would also redefine the meaning of family to include unmarried, unrelated people living in the home. “The term ‘family members’ means spouses, domestic partners, parents, and their children, including step-parents and their step-children, siblings, aunts or uncles, and their nieces or nephews, or grandparents and their grandchildren,” the bill states. (Emphasis added.)
This is far from the first such effort to reorient the nation’s laws away from the nuclear family. In 2011, the Obama Administration’s HUD introduced a measure to redefine the family through federal regulation. The proposed rule defined family as any individual “living with another person or persons, regardless of marital status, or actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Critics say, these concerns aside, the bills are highly concerning to those who support the Second Amendment.
H.R. 7910 is a wide-ranging bill that would raise the age an adult could own certain firearms from 18 to 21, restrict many magazines to hold no more than 10 rounds, and even regulate the way gun owners store guns in their own homes.
“They went to the shelf and pulled off all the dusty old Democrat gun control bills that they could and mashed them up together in one highly emotional, knee-jerk reaction to the terrible tragedy in Uvalde, Texas,” said Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” on Tuesday. “And they presented that because they want to show that they’re ‘doing something.’ The problem is the provisions of the bill not only would not do anything to solve any of these problems, but almost everything they put on paper was unconstitutional, and some of it had already been declared as such.”
For instance, on May 11, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a proposal to raise the legal age to own some firearms from 18 to 21.
“America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” began the 2-1 opinion in Jones v. Bonta authored by Judge Ryan Nelson, a Trump appointee. “Today, we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”
By offering a provision that judges have already ruled unconstitutional, Democrats have proven that “they have no regard for the Constitution,” argued Johnson. He added that Democrats broadcast their contempt for our founding document last Thursday when Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) fumed, “Spare me the bulls*** about constitutional rights.”
Whether or not the bills pass the House or become law, Johnson said, they would do nothing to address the root causes of mass shootings, which are “the inevitable result of this decades-long effort to remove God, to remove moral absolutes, to remove even the idea of truth” from society.
Fr. Ben Johnson serves as a senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand. He was previously the U.S. bureau chief for LifeSiteNews.com.
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on The Washington Stand.