Republicans Introduce Bill Mandating Misgendering of Trans Federal Employees

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11/27/2023

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn) have introduced bicameral legislation that would ban all federal government employees and federally funded entities from using anything other than a person’s legal name and the pronouns that correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth. The bill, misleadingly named the Safeguarding Free Speech Act, was introduced in response to a new “Gender Identity Non-Discrimination and Inclusion Policy for Employees and Applicants” issued in October by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This policy offers direction to ensure adherence to federal regulations prohibiting sex discrimination in employment and aims to cultivate a workplace that is welcoming and inclusive for all employees by mandating that HHS employees use the preferred names and pronouns of their colleagues. The anti-transgender bill introduced by Cruz and Ogles would block federal funds from being used to implement such rules and would entitle federal employees and contractors to sue and collect damages of up to $100,000 if a federal agency requests that they use the preferred name and pronouns of a coworker. The bill’s co-sponsors include Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colorado), Eli Crane (Arizona), Doug LaMalfa (California), Andy Harris (Maryland) and Mary Miller (Illinois).

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