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