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Trans and Gender Identity Issues Overshadow LGB At Equality Act House Judiciary Committee Meeting

Republican House members on Tuesday were on attack mode during the first House Judiciary Committee meeting of the Equality Act that would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to extend housing, employment, and public accommodation protections to LGBT Americans.

Basically ignoring gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals: 90% of the GOP’s questions, concerns, and comments were targeted at the transgender community and gender identity issues categorizing the nondiscrimination legislation as advancing a “radical gender ideology.”

Georgia GOP Rep. Doug Collins claimed that “women, lesbians, and families become the collateral damage of identity politics.” He argued that the bill would codify “stereotypes and sexism,” adding, “To move this legislation forward, we must recognize that it prioritizes the rights of biological men over the rights of biological women.”

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) complained that nondiscrimination protections for gender identity would only help men who wished to lie about their gender

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) said during the hearing, “I believe that all people should be treated equally, but I am concerned that HR 5, with the weight of federal law, forces schools, prisons, shelters, etc. to prioritize the rights of biological males over that of biological women.”

Notoriously anti LGBT Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), said although men competing in women’s sports may not be widespread now, “there is no question that problem will continue to arise.”

“I think when we consider laws to say something is equal like testosterone, the testimonies already indicate it’s clear in the medical literature, it does make a difference,” Gohmert said.

Asserting the Equality Act would amount to telling women “it’s just too bad” men should be allowed in their safe spaces, Gohmert concluded the Equality Act amounts to a “war on women that should not be allowed.”

With Republicans focusing on the “T” and their claims that the bill would compromise women’s rights, the stories of gay and lesbian discrimination were easy to miss.

in 2016, from the Williams Institute, estimated that only 0.6% of U.S. adults identify as transgender, and as many up to 6.2% of Americans identify as LGB.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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