This Lawmaker Wants To Make Absolutely Sure No Law Protects Transgender People


Rep. Pete Olson just wants to make sure everything’s “uniform.”

This week, the General Services Administration issued a notice ensuring that transgender individuals will have access to facilities to bathrooms that match their identity in more than 9,000 federal buildings and offices. It’s the latest move from the Obama Administration toward recognizing that nondiscrimination protections based on “sex” apply to trans people, but one lawmaker wants to end all of this “executive overreach.”

Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX) filed a bill last month that would eliminate the foundation for these protections. HR 5812 serves only one purpose: clarifying that transgender people do not enjoy protections under the law.

(a) Rule of Construction. — In determining the meaning of any Federal civil rights law, and of any related ruling, regulation, guidance, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words “sex’’ and “gender” and their equivalents shall not be interpreted to mean “gender identity” or its equivalent, and the words “man” and “woman” and their equivalents shall refer exclusively to a person’s sex.

(b) Rule of Interpretation. — No Federal civil rights law shall be interpreted to treat gender identity or transgender status as a protected class, unless such law expressly designates “gender identity” or “transgender status” as a protected class.

Though Olson claims his bill is simply a clarification, its dictate that “man” and “woman” never apply to transgender people’s gender identity rejects the legitimacy of those identities. He filed no partner bill establishing the protections for transgender people that he seeks to erase.

And that’s because he doesn’t want them to be protected from discrimination. In a statement this week, Olson attacked what he called a “dangerous precedent.” “First they target school bathrooms and healthcare professionals, and now the bathrooms of all federal buildings. Where does it stop?” Speaking to Hot Air, he agreed with the conservative site’s claim that gender is determined by chromosomes, adding, “The science is clear on gender.”

Olson’s bill only has two co-sponsors, Reps. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO).

About the Author

Zack FordWritten by Zack Ford, GBT Editor at Think Progress. Gay, Atheist, Pianist, Unapologetic “Social Justice Warrior.”

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  1. *
    They may only be three Representatives, but they represent many others who represent much undercurrent of pervasive hate in this nation.

    I try hoping that education will help, but reversing such mindset is not easy. Difficult when they deny education and fact.

    One bit of long-known education is that chromosomes do not guarantee one sex or another – female can be XY, male can be XX, and there are a myriad or other karyotypes far more than those two.

    Nor is the binary cast in stone, but rather in clay or sand.

    • As you said, that is one bit of information for education but really describes intersex people. I have run across more than 1 intersex person who has asked for this not to be used as a general transgender narrative. Why? Because it appropriates intersex identity as a justification for all transgender identity. It’s a nice factoid that chromosomes don’t guarantee sex or gender. That’s all. I don’t need a medical or chromosome based anomaly to ride the coattails of. Most of us who are transgender are plain old XX or Xy. Proof is always going to be elusive and unconvincing to haters anyway.

  2. Why are people in USA so frightened of lavatories? In most parts of the world, the public lavatory facilities are for people of whatever. An example is a public toilet in a fairly large market town in France. The urinals are to the left as you go in and the closet is to the right. And washing facilites are just to the right of the door. Same deal in a fairly posh restaurant in a large military town – except the floor is carpete and the fittings are very up-market and include a large make-up mirrored area. A Frenchman told me that If you habitually make use of the same facilities, whatever you are, you tend to respect each other’s needs.

  3. He’s wrong when he said, “…he agreed with the conservative site’s claim that gender is determined by chromosomes…” He’s not educated on the subject and neither is the conservative site. Sex is determined by chromosomes but not gender. He’s using the words sex and gender to mean the same thing and he’s wrong. He also said, “First they target school bathrooms and healthcare professionals, and now the bathrooms of all federal buildings. Where does it stop?” First of all I disagree with the word, “target.” The word “target” sounds like a negative word. No one is “targeting” anything. And if he said, “Where does it stop” in my presence I would have said, “When every transgender person receives the same level of protection as anyone else is afforded under the US Constitution!” I really don’t understand what the big deal is when it comes to transgender people using the bathroom. Transgender people are human beings too and everyone has to use the bathroom at one time or another. It’s not like you can plan yourself to use the bathroom only at home. I’ll say this too…I do NOT agree with putting in unisex bathrooms to accommodate a transgender person. That is segregation. That’s just what they did with the blacks in the south at one time. If they do that they might as well hang a sign on that bathroom that says, “For Transgender People Only.” Don’t people realize that there are stalls in the bathrooms? You don’t pull down your pants or skirt or lift up your dress BEFORE you go into a stall. You cannot see the other person next to you when you are in a stall.

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