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Opinion A transphobic tirade against the Equality Act masquerading as feminism

A sign hangs on the wall outside the Capitol Hill office of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who affixed it there in reaction to a transgender pride flag placed across the hall outside the office of Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) in the midst of contentious debate over the Equality Act on Feb. 24. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
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They say ignorance is bliss. But when it comes to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), ignorance is hateful and dangerous. The latest example came on Feb. 24 when she took to the House floor to decry the Equality Act.

Through a star-spangled mask, the QAnon congresswoman urged her colleagues to vote against the legislation that would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It was a five-minute transphobic tirade masquerading as feminism.

“I rise today in defense of women, girls and children,” Greene began. After declaring that there shouldn’t be discrimination in our nation and extolling the rights achieved by women in various aspects of American life, Greene got to her bigoted point.

“The Equality Act will change all of that, because it will put trans rights above women’s rights, above the rights of our daughters, our sisters, our friends, our grandmothers, our aunts. It’s too much,” groused Greene. “You see, as a woman, I have competed in sports and I’m so thrilled I was able to do that, but I competed against biological women.” It went downhill from there, with a lot of folderol about how “biological women cannot compete against biological men” and how “biological little girls cannot compete against biological little boys and they shouldn’t have to.”

The Equality Act and the ramped-up culture war over LGBTQ rights

Democrats responded to comments made by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) during the announcement of the Equality Act on Feb. 25. (Video: The Washington Post)

The offensiveness of this is off the charts. Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. Period. But we’re talking about Greene, who has shown herself to be a bottomless pit of ugliness. But I digress.

Later that day, after Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) displayed a transgender pride flag outside her office in support of her transgender daughter. Greene, whose office is directly across the hall, responded by putting up a sign with a transphobic message. The next day, the Georgia congresswoman with nothing else to do because she was kicked off her committees dubbed the Equality Act “a completely evil, disgusting, immoral bill.” Talk about projection.

The Equality Act was made to protect me and other LGBTQ Americans from people like Greene, people who are always trying to reduce our lives to bedrooms, bathrooms or locker rooms rather than deal with the complex lives of real people who must endure their hatred.

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A lot of people thought the fight for LGBTQ equality was over when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015. But it wasn’t. And still isn’t. Marriage is legal for same-sex couples in all 50 states. But that couple could lose their respective jobs in 21 states, be denied housing in 27 states, be denied public accommodations in 25 states, and if they or their children are in school or college, their sexual orientation or gender identity could open them to discrimination in their educational pursuits in 31 states.

The Equality Act passed the House on Thursday. With Democrats in control in the Senate, its chances of surviving a filibuster are a tiny bit better. President Biden has promised to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

LGBTQ Americans deserve equal protection under all the federal laws that secure the safety and dignity of ourselves and our families. Besides, we pay taxes and are part of the sturdy fabric of this nation, from your essential workers to your secretary of transportation.

“There should not be discrimination of anyone in the United States of America, and I fully believe that,” Greene declared in her anti-Equality Act speech. If she really did believe that, she would stop blocking legislation that would give her hollow words the ring of truth.

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The Post’s View: Last year was good for LGBTQ rights. Congress can make this one even better.

Letters to the Editor: Equality does not infringe on anyone’s rights

Doriane Coleman, Martina Navratilova and Sanya Richards-Ross: Pass the Equality Act, but don’t abandon Title IX

Letters to the Editor: The Equality Act doesn’t threaten Title IX