Mark Pocan called out GOP members for mainstreaming anti-trans congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Trigger warning: This story contains compelling details of transphobia which readers may find disturbing.
Representative Mark Pocan labeled GOP members bigots for opposing the Equality Act with a "nasty and hateful" spirit. Mark Pocan, who's gay, called out the GOP on the House floor before the chamber narrowly passed the bill to advance LGBTQ rights. Mark Pocan had prepared a speech about what the bill means to him and his husband but went in a different direction, highlighting the transphobic actions and comments by GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. The representative, who pushed Qanon conspiracy theories, hung a transphobic poster outside her office, right opposite that of Representative Marie Newman, who has a trans daughter. The poster falsely declared that there are only "two genders." She called on Congress to "trust the science," which is ironic when you consider the GOP has been actively working to delegitimize wearing masks, discrediting Fauci, an immunologist, and questioning the numbers of the pandemic. Pocan called out the GOP for enabling the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and hate.
I had a different speech prepared today—about the Equality Act and what it would mean to me & my husband of 16 years, Phil.— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) February 25, 2021
But then the @GOP showed just how willing they are to attack their colleagues, trans kids, & put their prejudice so openly on display.
They are bigots. pic.twitter.com/ABOQGNfkYM
"I was going to talk about the need for equal treatment under the law, for everyone regardless of who they love.... But the QAnon vibe in this chamber has gone too far," said Pocan, reported Newsweek. "This new QAnon spirit across the aisle is occurring in a nasty and hateful way. A lead GOP opponent of this bill actually posted an anti-trans poster on the wall outside her office, directly and intentionally across from a Democratic member of Congress with a trans daughter," said Pocan. "I'm voting yes on the Equality Act for Evie Newman, my daughter and the strongest, bravest person I know," said Marie Newman on the House floor, who hung a trans flag outside her office.
The Wisconsin Democrat said some GOP members would go extra-lengths to score points on social media and their base even if meant being hurtful and inconsiderate to your own colleagues in Congress. Greene made a personal attack on Marie Newman and said, "Your biological son does NOT belong in my daughters' bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams," reported Newsweek. "Is that where we are here today?" asked Pocan. "Who can out-crazy, out-tastelessly act to prove to the base that they'll say or do anything to score points and show how inconsiderate they can be to a colleague to just get social media clickbait?"
The majority of the GOP, a party that works overtime to deny women the rights to make choices over their own body, said the Equality Act would encroach on women's rights within sports, prisons, and public bathrooms. Pocan called out the arguments the GOP was making to vote against the bill. "Some are debating that this bill discriminates based on religion, which it doesn't," Pocan. "Some are debating an even sillier notion that somehow a man will pretend to be a woman to win in sports—a crazy, made-up, fantasy notion."
‘I wanna believe that progress is possible. And I wanna believe that it can happen in my child’s lifetime’ — This mom of a trans teen is urging opponents of the Equality Act to open their hearts pic.twitter.com/cvqzVgFMx2— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 2, 2021
The bill was passed with a 224-20 vote in the House with the votes being split along party lines reminding everyone that the GOP is a party that primarily aligns itself with transphobia. The bill will now be sent to the Senate where the number is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. If passed in the upper house of Congress, the bill would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act that will enable the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in federally funded programs related to housing, health care, and education. "In practical terms, the Equality Act would greatly expand access to federally funded programs that LGBTQ youth disproportionately need, such as services related to homelessness and violence," said Casey Pick, a senior advocacy fellow for the Trevor Project. "Additionally, knowing that discrimination is legally forbidden will make LGBTQ youth more likely to actually seek out these services in times of need," added Pick.