Progressive lawmakers and human rights advocates on Wednesday condemned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene—and the GOP caucus that backed her up—after the Georgia Republican went on a hateful anti-transgender screed before moving to adjourn the House of Representatives to stop a vote on the Equality Act.
"Our neighbor [Greene] tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is 'disgusting, immoral, and evil.'"
—Rep. Marie Newman
The Equality Act, which would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity, is all but certain to pass despite vehement Republican opposition.
Greene's speech provoked immediate outrage.
"I don't like to give this bigot attention but we can't just act like this isn't happening when the entire Republican party is lining up behind her," tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) as the events unfolded. "Here's Greene's speech attacking trans people before she tried to adjourn the House," added Beyer, sharing the tweet she posted with her remarks. "This is really awful."
Today, I rose in defense of women, girls, and children.
The so-called “Equality” Act needs to be struck down.
This is about women’s and girls’ rights.
I ask everyone to please pause, consider the ramifications, and VOTE NO on the so-called “Equality” Act. pic.twitter.com/v2jjzru8L6
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) February 24, 2021
Zeroing in on the issue of competitive sports, Greene fell back on the conservative canard conflating sex and gender identity, declaring on the House floor that "biological women cannot compete against biological men" and "biological little girls cannot compete against biological little boys."
Referring to her daughter, a college fast-pitch softball player, Greene played up right-wing fears expressed during the so-called "bathroom bill" debates, asserting that "if she has to compete against boys in her sport, not only will they be on her playing field... they will be in her locker room, they will be in her showers, they will be in her bathroom... all under the Equality Act."
Greene then falsely identified transgender men—men who were assigned female at birth—as "biological men who identify as women" before arguing that the Equality Act—which she previously called "evil"—"must be struck down."
"It's completely wrong," said Greene. And although she cited unspecified "science" in her transphobic tirade, Greene then invoked "God" to posit that "male and female" were "created" in the male deity figure's "image."
Update: every House Republican who has voted so far backed Marjorie Taylor Greene in trying to adjourn the House to block a bill protecting LGBTQ Americans.
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Greene made it very clear that this was about bigotry against trans people. House Republicans are standing with her. pic.twitter.com/KRMdZ78rEb
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) February 24, 2021
Actual scientific research belies the myth that gender is binary. Furthermore, while research on the subject has produced mixed results, many doctors say there is no reason why trans women and girls should not be allowed to compete against their cisgender counterparts.
"A person's genetic make-up and internal and external reproductive anatomy are not useful indicators of athletic performance," Dr. Joshua D. Safer, president of the United States Professional Association for Transgender Health, told the ACLU last year. "There is no inherent reason why her physiological characteristics related to athletic performance should be treated differently from the physiological characteristics of a non-transgender woman."
Progressive Democratic lawmakers joined Beyer in denouncing Greene, who earlier this month was removed from her committee assignments for promoting conspiracy theories, showing support for murdering prominent Democrats, and contributing to the deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by propagating the lie that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election.
This whole time, I thought you were bored without having any committee work.
Anyway, the motion failed and tomorrow House Democrats will pass the Equality Act. https://t.co/orTGqwxE3C
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) February 24, 2021
We’re gonna pass the #EqualityAct today, protect our LGBTQ+ family and make the world a little bit better.
Nothing is going to stop that.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 24, 2021
Our neighbor, @RepMTG, tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is “disgusting, immoral, and evil.”
Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door pic.twitter.com/dV8FatQFnx
— Congresswoman Marie Newman (@RepMarieNewman) February 24, 2021
Human rights defenders also blasted Greene's remarks, with the Human Rights Campaign tweeting that she "has no issues with insurrection, calls for violence against elected officials, or conspiracy theories—but equality for LGBTQ people is where she draws the line?"