Gaetz: Protected Gender Identity Could Let Trump Call Himself ‘First Female President’

on December 6, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to members of the media after a news conference in front of the Capitol December 6, 2017. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
|
April 2, 2019 2:46 p.m.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) explained his impending no vote on the “Equality Act” by saying that “bad actors” would exploit the “loophole” of protected gender identity written into the legislation.

Gaetz’s example of a potential bad actor? President Trump.

“Consider this possibility, if President Trump were to say ‘I am now the first female President,’” Gaetz posited Tuesday. “Who would celebrate that? Would those who support this legislation think that’s a good thing, or would they be dismayed?”

“I am most emphatically not saying that a majority of transgender individuals are using their gender identity to exploit the process, but I am saying that these cases do exist and the legislation before us would expand and exacerbate those problematic loopholes,” he concluded.

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

The bill, which would prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation, is currently before the House Judiciary Committee on which Gaetz sits.

“I very much want to support the legislation, but I can’t because the legislation would only nominally protect certain individuals while causing tremendous harm to others,” he said. “What happens when sex is defined as gender identity and gender identity is terribly vague? Will all sex-based distinctions be erased?”

He went on to list programs developed to help women’s advancement that he believes “bad actors” would feign a different gender identity to join.

“I strongly support the rights of transgender individuals and I will not denigrate or deny their existence or struggles, but I am concerned that potential bad actors would exploit the provisions of this law for their own gain,” he added.

Gaetz’s comments start at about 2:15 into the video:

Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: