The Republican Party has been losing the culture war for decades, their weaponized bigotry slowly and begrudgingly ceding ground to a more accepting, more diverse version of America. Conservatives lost their hateful struggle to prevent gay marriage from becoming legal and now they’ve turned their attention towards oppressing transgender Americans.
One need only flip through the video backlogs of any prominent online right-winger, be it Ben Shapiro, Stephen Crowder, or Candace Owens to find truly horrifying attacks on the trans community. Fox News hacks like Tucker Carlson gleefully mock transgender Americans at every opportunity. These hate merchants know that there is a significant portion of the GOP base who hate anything that is different from themselves and will lap these segments up as confirmation that their prejudices are valid.
Acceptance and love will win in the end, but in the meantime, these Republicans are inflicting real damage on real people and there will be tragic consequences. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), one of the more radical right-wingers to have infected our government in recent years, recently attacked the Equality Act, a crucial piece of legislation backed by Democrats and the Biden administration.
If it passes in the Senate, the bill would broaden and strengthen protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. It codifies sexual orientation and gender identity specifically as categories that cannot be discriminated against. As of right now, they still fall under the blanket term “sex.” Essentially, it will expand the Civil Rights Act to protect groups that have been historically mistreated when it comes to areas like housing, employment, federal programs, and even something as simple as trying to shop at a given retailer.
With her trademark handgun strapped to her hip, Boebert spoke to a crowd of supporters at a saloon in Montrose, Colorado. In a video of the event shared on Facebook by the Montrose Daily Press, Boebert engaged in the kind of rhetoric we’ve come to expect from people like her. She called the bill “disgusting” before going off on an extended rant.
“Well here’s what it’s called, it’s called the Equality Act. Must be good right? We all want equality, right? Must be a fantastic bill. Well, the Constitution right there in the preamble says that we are all equal, we have a 14th Amendment that says all men—and it’s okay to say men as a gender-neutral term—all men are created equal, are equal under the law,” said the Congresswoman to a warm reaction from her fans.
“You know, I’ve decided I don’t want Democrats to call me congresswoman. I want them to acknowledge that ‘man’ is a gender-neutral term, and they can call me ‘Congressman Boebert,'” she went on, employing the same witless logic to attack trans rights we’ve witnessed countless times from these people.
The simple fact is that there is no convincing people like Boebert to change their opinions. Bigotry is too useful a political tool for them. The only option is to vote to keep them in the minority and away from the levers of power. The lives of trans Americans depend upon it.
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.