Commentary, Opinion

U.S. Republicans slammed for craven, hateful anti-trans bills


By U.S. Rep. Becca Balint

Editor’s note: On March 21, Rep. Becca Balint (VT-AL) called out hateful anti-trans bills in the House Judiciary Committee. Her remarks below: 

“So here we are, spending time, one again, using our valuable time to pick on a class of people in this country. I believe I’m the only person on this committee who represents the LGBTQ community. Though, I always say that we know of. And I have to tell you, I’ve been absolutely stunned by the amount of time and energy that we have spent in this Congress talking about trans kids, their parents, gay Americans, that somehow my community is the source of all that is wrong in this country. And I want to associate myself with remarks of Ms. Jackson Lee from Texas and Ms. Jayapal from Washington. 

“This is about basic humanity. This is about dignity. And it is no secret, if you are paying attention, that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have decided that this congressional term would be about bringing up the issue of trans kids and their families and gay Americans relentlessly. Amendments and bills and riders constantly, as if we have nothing better to do than to demonize our fellow citizens. Because that’s what we’re talking about here. It’s about constantly trying to get Americans to hate one another. It is about dehumanizing children. Children.

“And as a former teacher, I can tell you it is hard enough to be an adolescent without getting all of these messages from our elected officials that somehow, they are not worthy. They are not loved. And some of the rhetoric that I hear right now in this body is about making them less than human. And all they want to do is live their lives, attend school, have friends, participate in sports, know that their government is not using every opportunity to fan the flames of fear and hatred.

“Now, I understand that there are some people in this room and in this body as a whole that may actually believe the rhetoric, may actually believe that you are doing good. But I’m telling you, it has a devastating effect on children, on teens and their parents. 

“In this committee, we had a hearing on trans kids generally, and the danger, essentially, they were to the American way of life. And right there in that seat, we had a conservative Republican woman who came to talk about her experience trying to raise her trans kid and what it felt like for her to sit in this body and have members of her own party try to treat her as if she were somehow doing damage to her child by simply trying to hold her for all that she was. I don’t believe that you think you’re doing real damage, but I’m telling you, you are.

“This is not how we should be spending our time. We should be spending our time uplifting Americans, alleviating suffering, letting Americans know that we believe in them and we support them and not this. This fear mongering, this constant fear mongering in this Congress. People who just want to live their lives and the families who love them.” 

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