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.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."
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."
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.
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?"