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Democrat Tulsi Gabbard thinks US House officially adopting gender-neutral language ‘denies women’s biological existence’

Lily Wakefield January 6, 2021
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US representative Tulsi Gabbard

US representative Tulsi Gabbard. (Getty/ Bill Pugliano)

Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard claimed that the US House of Representatives using gender-neutral language in its rules is the same as “denying the very biological existence of women”.

On Monday (4 January), the House of Representatives approved a new set of rules for the 117th Congress, which include adopting gender-neutral language, in a 217-206 party-line vote.

Alongside new rules stipulating that former members who have committed a crime related to their office are banned from the floor and making it a rule violation to expose the identity of a whistleblower, the package has a strong focus on diversity and inclusion.

The rules do not ban gendered language in the House of Representatives, but simply amend the House rules to be gender-neutral, for example replacing gendered words like “mother, father, daughter, son, sister and brother” with terms like “parent, child and sibling”.

The change has enraged religious, right-wing Republicans and, apparently, Tulsi Gabbard.

Appearing on the show of anti-LGBT+ Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Gabbard was asked how the gender-neutral language in the House rules “empowers women”.

Gabbard said: “It absolutely does the very opposite of that, and it’s the height of hypocrisy for people who claim to be the champions of rights for women to deny the very biological existence of women.”

A statement from the chair of the House’s Rules Committee, Democratic representative James McGovern, explained that the language rule aimed to “ensure we are inclusive of all members, delegates, resident commissioners and their families – including those who are non-binary”.

But Gabbard ploughed on: “This recent rule change that the House just actually voted and passed on today removing references to mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters from congressional rules and administration, it’s mind-blowing because it shows just how out of touch with reality and the struggles of every day Americans people in Congress are.”

Tulsi Gabbard was recently slammed for a “blatantly transphobic” bill to deny trans-inclusive schools funding.

In December 2020, Tulsi Gabbard introduced a bill to the House, co-sponsored by Republican representative Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, called the “Protect Women’s Sport Act”.

The bill aims to clarify Title IX rights (outlawing sex-based discrimination in federally-funded education) as “based on biological sex”, and prevent schools from receiving federal funding if they allow trans girls and women, as well as non-binary people, to compete on women’s sports teams.

She was swiftly criticised for the “disgusting TERF nonsense” legislation, especially as just last year she insisted that would “work toward passing legislation that ensures equal rights and protections on LGBT+ issues”.

Related topics: gender neutral language, house of representatives, Tucker Carlson, Tulsi Gabbard

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