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.
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: