On Tuesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) warned that the Equality Act would erase sex-based distinctions by enshrining transgender identity in law. He presented a concrete example to get Democrats to realize the negative consequences of the legislation.
“Consider this possibility: if President Trump were to say, ‘I am the first female president,’ who would celebrate that?” Gaetz asked. “Would those who support the legislation think that’s a good thing or would they be dismayed?”
Gaetz asked this rhetorical question in order to emphasize the dangers of the Equality Act.
“I believe that individuals in our country should not face discrimination for their sex or their gender, or their sexual orientation or for their gender identity. Our country is an inclusive place and bigotry and prejudice and discrimination don’t belong here,” the representative began. “I very much want to support the legislation but I can’t because the legislation would only nominally protect certain individuals while causing tremendous harm to others.”
Gaetz quoted the definitions of “sex” and “gender identity” in the bill.
“It says the term ‘gender identity’ means ‘the gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.’ And then only a few lines later the bill says the term ‘sex’ includes sexual orientation or gender identity,” he explained.
“So gender identity is defined as a concept distinct from sex but at the same time, the term ‘sex’ is defined in part by gender identity,” Gaetz noted.
“What happens when sex is defined as gender identity and gender identity is terribly vague? Will all sex-based distinctions be erased?” he asked. “Would grants for female-led businesses and programs, for women in STEM fields suddenly be open to all persons?”
“I strongly support the rights of transgender individuals. I will not denigrate or deny their existence or their struggles, but I am concerned about the potential of bad actors who would exploit the provisions of this law for their own gain,” Gaetz warned.
He then mentioned the hypothetical of Trump declaring himself the first female president.
This declaration sparked a great deal of criticism, but it is a very strong argument. If transgender activists claim that a biological male can identify himself as a woman and he must be treated as a woman, what is to prevent President Donald Trump, who defeated a woman who wanted to be America’s first female president, from declaring himself a woman?
Trump is not transgender and he does not identify as a woman, but what would prevent him from doing so in the future? Wouldn’t transgender activists have to celebrate him as the first female president if he did so?
Democrat lesbian feminists like Julia Beck have warned against enshrining transgender identity in federal law for similar reasons. She called the Equality Act a “human rights violation” because it would remove Americans’ rights to sex-segregated spaces.
Julia Beck would be the first to warn against a President Donaldina Trump using a woman’s restroom. One can only hope other Democrats would join her.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.