Thursday, November 25, 2021

21 House Republicans Wave the Pink and Blue Flag: Why are they supporting legislation that could arm the transgender movement’s already robust efforts to silence dissent with the full force of the civil-rights bureaucracy?

Tom Brenner/Reuters
21 House Republicans Wave the Pink and Blue Flag:
The ongoing controversy about the meaning of gender is not an abstract issue. Recent years have wrought sweeping changes to the social contract in the name of accommodating the less than 1 percent of Americans who identify as transgender, including the rapid deconstruction of single-sex spaces in everything from sports to schools to prisons. This movement has material consequences: A slate of new blue-state laws allowing biologically male prisoners to transfer to women’s prisons under the nebulous guise of “gender identity” has raised serious concerns about women’s safety and has already led to allegations of sexual assault. Similar policies in public education have become a hot-button issue after gruesome recent allegations that the accommodation of gender identity directly enabled a series of sexual assaults in school bathrooms. And women’s sports have seen an influx of podium-topping biological males with innate physical advantages, depriving female athletes of college offers, scholarships, and any number of other opportunities.
Now, powerful activist groups are mounting a final push to make sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) a federally protected class under civil-rights law, stamping gender ideology with the legitimating imprimatur of the American legal regime. With all of the anti-discrimination protections afforded to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability, such legislation would elevate transgenderism to the place of a fixed category with a positive right to affirmation in the public square. But perhaps more worryingly, it could arm the transgender movement’s already extraordinary efforts to silence dissent with the full force of the civil-rights bureaucracy.
So why do 21 House Republicans want to help make it happen?
Fairness for All?
Despite the recent surge of state-level conservative resistance to gender ideology — which saw eight states bar biological males from competing in women’s sports and two more ban gender-transition surgeries and puberty blockers for minors in the past year alone — 21 members of the House GOP are pushing forward with an effort to write SOGI into civil-rights law.
The Fairness For All Act (FFAA), an all-Republican bill that would make SOGI a federally protected class in return for certain “right to discriminate” carve-outs for dissenting religious institutions, was originally introduced in 2019 by Representative Chris Stewart of Utah. Stewart, whose district went for Donald Trump by 16 points in 2020 — up two from 14 points in 2016 — reintroduced the bill at the outset of the 2021 congressional session with the backing of such well-known Republicans as Elise Stefanik, Nancy Mace, and Burgess Owens. This is the full list of the FFAA’s co-sponsors: 
  • Chris Stewart (Utah) 
  • Fred Upton (Mich.) 
  • Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) 
  • John Curtis (Utah) 
  • Mark Amodei (Nev.) 
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) 
  • Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) 
  • Andrew Garbarino (N.Y.) 
  • Blake Moore (Utah) 
  • Burgess Owens (Utah) 
  • Carlos Gimenez (Fla.) 
  • Chris Jacobs (N.Y.) 
  • Claudia Tenney (N.Y.) 
  • Jeff Van Drew (N.J.) 
  • Jenniffer González-Colón (P.R.) 
  • Maria Salazar (Fla.) 
  • Mario Díaz-Balart (Fla.) 
  • Mike Simpson (Idaho) 
  • Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.) 
  • Steve Stivers (Ohio) 
  • Tom Reed (N.Y.)
When these 21 Republicans reintroduced FFAA in February, proponents of the legislation argued that it brokered a “compromise” between religious-liberty and anti-discrimination protections for LGBT Americans. Right-leaning backers maintain that the bill is the conservative alternative to the Equality Act, a much more radical Democratic bill that enshrines SOGI in U.S. civil-rights law without any of the religious-liberty protections offered by FFAA.
Read the rest of the story HERE

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