House Democrats got a stark warning Tuesday that their gay and transgender bill is really bad news for women's rights — and from a somewhat surprising source.
Lesbian activist Julia Beck warned the House Judiciary Committee that Democrats' (and three Republicans') "Equality Act" legislation to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to federal discrimination law is "a human rights violation."
"If the act passes in its current form as H.R. 5, then every right that women have fought for will cease to exist," Beck said. "Every person in this country will lose their right to single-sex sports, grants, shelters, and loans. The law will forbid ever distinguishing between women and men.
"People who call themselves transgender, nonbinary and everything in between still deserve the same basic human rights that we all do," Beck said. "But treating someone as if they are a member of the opposite sex is not a civil right; in fact, this violates the rights of others."
Beck formerly served as a co-chair of Baltimore's LGBTQ Commission until her views on biology and gender got her kicked off the panel.
Beck contended what while biological sex can never be changed, "gender changes all the time" based on the societal expectations attributed to the sexes, adding that since there's no hard and fast definition for what constitutes a gender identity, drafting legislation to protect it leads to legal confusion.
The bill in question defines gender as "gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics," which Beck called a "circular definition" and "logical fallacy."
"There is no way to protect a person on the basis of their gender identity without a legitimate definition," Beck said. "Lawmakers across the country will have to decide which mannerisms, hairstyles, occupations, and clothing choices make up one gender identity or another.
"How is this any different from the sex stereotypes women have been fighting to break free from?" Beck asked. "How is this not regressive?
"The concept of gender identity suggests that there is an essentially female personality or feeling that a person can have, but no such thing as a female body," Beck continued. "Making gender identity the law will, in fact, mandate a belief in a 'female penis' or 'female testes.'"
The witness went on to warn that the transgender language in the bill would empower male rapists to go to female prisons and "likely assault female inmates, would silence female rape survivors from challenging the presence of biological males in women's shelters, and would deny young women scholastic opportunities by allowing biological males to dominate women's sports."
"I urge my fellow Democrats to wake up," Beck concluded, "Please acknowledge biological reality."
Beck's opening statement begins after the 59-minute mark: