Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene hasn’t even been in Congress for two months, but she’s already making a strong play for the title of worst member. Greene was booted from her congressional committees in a House vote a few weeks ago over making and liking extremist Facebook posts backing political violence and spreading baseless conspiracy theories.
Now, she’s spending her time trying to trash the Equality Act that Congress is debating right now because it protects trans people. But even by Greene’s standards, she’s crossed a line by attacking a fellow freshman colleague and her child. On Wednesday, Greene spoke on the House floor attacking the Equality Act, which would enshrine LGBTQ civil rights into federal law. Later in the day, Democratic Rep. Marie Newman spoke on the floor in support of the bill and talked about her transgender daughter, who came out to her parents two years ago.“I knew from that day on, my daughter would be living in a nation where in most of its states, she could be discriminated against merely because of who she is,” Newman said. “And yet it was still the happiest day of my life, and my daughter has found her authentic self. And as any mother would, I swore that I would fight to ensure this country changes for the better.”Greene retweeted a clip of Newman speaking, and personally attacked her daughter by misgendering her. “As mothers, we all love and support our children,” she wrote. “But your biological son does NOT belong in my daughters’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams.”
Newman—who is Greene’s across-the-hall neighbor in the Longworth House building—then put a trans pride flag outside of her office “so [Greene] can look at it every time she opens her door.”
In response, Greene put the equivalent of a Facebook meme outside of her office, a poster reading: “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE.” It also says, in quotes, “Trust The Science.” Greene posted a video of herself putting it up and wrote on Twitter that Newman wants to “destroy women’s rights and religious freedoms.”
The video in which Newman put a trans pride flag outside of her office was initially removed from Facebook for “hate speech,” though as of Thursday morning, Greene’s video was still up. “Supporting transgender Americans is NOT hate speech,” Newman said in a tweet Thursday.
Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone directed VICE News to a tweeted reply he sent to Newman in which he apologized. “Congresswoman, this plainly should not have happened. We've restored this content and you have our sincere apologies,” Stone wrote.Newman told CNN Thursday that she “wanted to make a statement so [Greene] sees LGBTQ+ people.”When she saw the sign, Newman said her immediate thought was: “Wow, she’s got a lot of time on her hands because she’d have to go get that printed and decide that this is the right thing to do. So, kind of wild on a bunch of fronts.”“She’s welcome to her sign, [but] no one’s buying it, and that is not science,” she added. Other Democrats slammed Greene for targeting Newman and her daughter. “Sickening, pathetic, unimaginably cruel,” Rep. Sean Casten, an Illinois Democrat, tweeted. This hate is exactly why the Equality Act is necessary and what we must protect @RepMarieNewman’s daughter and all our LGBTQ+ loved ones against.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who voted earlier this month to strip Greene from her committees, called Greene’s attack “sad.” “Rep. Newmans daughter is transgender, and this video and tweet represents the hate and fame driven politics of self-promotion at all evil costs,” he wrote on Twitter. Earlier on Wednesday, Greene made a motion to adjourn during the debate over the Equality Act to “to give every Member of Congress time to rethink destroying #WomensRights and #WomensSports and #ReligiousFreedom before voting for the #EqualityAct!”“You could just vote “no” instead of trying to get out of work early,” Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at Greene. “And you should probably stop using those hashtags because women’s rights include trans women.”
Despite Greene’s efforts, the House is poised to pass the bill on Thursday. They previously passed a version of the bill in 2019. Though Democrats control the Senate, however, it’s unlikely they’ll get the 10 Republican votes needed to end a certain Republican Senate filibuster and pass the bill. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, one of the GOP senators seen as most likely to break with his party, has already said he opposes the bill, claiming that it doesn’t provide sufficient religious liberty protections. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, one of the most moderate Senate Republicans, told the Washington Blade earlier this week that she wouldn’t co-sponsor the bill—as she did in the last Congress—because of unspecified “changes” she sought which the bill’s cosponsors apparently didn’t want to make.“Senator Collins supports ensuring fairness and equal treatment of all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and she is considering all possible options to do so, including introducing her own bill,” her office told the Blade.