GOP Bill Banning Existing Federal Civil Rights Laws From Protecting Transgender People Advances to Subcommittee


Would Ban "The Word 'Sex' or 'Gender' From Being Interpreted to Mean 'Gender Identity'" in Federal Law

A bill that would ban all federal civil rights laws from specifically protecting people because of their transgender status that was introduced last month has now been advanced to a House subcommittee.

The "Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017," would ban federal civil rights laws from treating gender identity or transgender status as a protected class, and would ban "the word 'sex' or 'gender' from being interpreted to mean 'gender identity,' and requires 'man' or 'woman' to be interpreted to refer exclusively to a person's genetic sex," according to the bill's summary.

The only exclusions would be for any federal civil rights law that "expressly designates 'gender identity' or 'transgender status' as a protected class."

The legislation, HR 2796, is sponsored by Texas Republican Rep. Pete Olson (photo), and has five co-sponsors, including Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), who just yesterday saw her anti-transgender amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act die by a narrow margin on the House floor after being fast-tracked through committee. It was so expected to pass that Hartzler didn't even address the committee before it was rushed to the floor for a full House vote. 

In a press release announcing the bill's introduction last month, Rep. Olson said his legislation will "remove lawmaking authority from unelected federal bureaucrats and reinstate that power to Congress," and blasted Obama-era policies.

“The Obama Administration strongly overreached by unilaterally redefining the definition of 'sex' with respect to the Civil Rights Act outside of the lawmaking process," Olson said, ignoring that federal courts and federal agencies across the nation for years have repeatedly expressed transgender people are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"We must reject the notion of false power stolen from Congress by a White House seeking to impose social policy on America," Olson continued. "The Founding Fathers never intended unelected bureaucrats in federal agencies to make sweeping changes to the definition of gender. While we have a new president in office, we must restore the voice of the people given to them by our Constitution and put an end to this dangerous precedent of removing Congress’ power to make laws."

Again, the Constitution gives federal courts jurisdiction and the courts have already spoken.

Also among Rep. Olson's bill's co-sponsors are Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), and Rep. Steve King (R-IA). King is a white nationalist and anti-LGBT extremist who happens to chair the House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, the committee Rep. Olson's anti-transgender bill has been assigned to. Also on the committee are Rep. Franks, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and newly-elected Rep. Karen Handel (R-GA). Democrats on the committee include Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).

The bill was introduced June 7, and assigned to the House Committee on the Judiciary. On Wednesday, it was referred to Rep. King's committee. 

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