To the Editor:

One hundred years ago in May, the House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote. It was a grand move to celebrate the advancement of women in the United States.

How sad that a century later the U.S. House of Representatives failed to protect women and girls by passing the deceptively named "Equality Act." H.R. 5 would give any man civil rights protections to claim he is a woman, at any time and for any reason. It cancels fairness in sports, and female safety and privacy rights in bathrooms, locker rooms, and women's shelters. It

destroys our First Amendment right of religious liberty to affirm that we are created male and female.

By amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the definition of "sex" in H.R. 5 includes sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). This elevates SOGI to the highest threshold of protected classes - along with race, color,religion, and national origin.

Giving a man who claims to be a woman the right to invade women's spaces and opportunities is far from equality. The "Equality Act" is an affront to the dignity of females and everything for which we have fought and achieved in education, sports, the workplace, and society.

The suffragists of a century ago would be horrified that the egregious ideas expressed in this bill are even discussed and celebrated, let alone passed in one house of Congress.

Linda D. Schauer, State Director

Concerned Women for America of South Dakota

Leola