Democrats’ Proposed ‘Transgender Bill of Rights’ Only a Symbolic Resolution

By Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.
August 2, 2022 Updated: August 2, 2022

News Analysis

House Democrats introduced a symbolic “transgender bill of rights” last month that has been erroneously hailed as a package of major civil rights reforms.

Shortly after five House Democrats held a press conference to introduce House Resolution 1209 on June 28, a windfall of national media and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) rights organizations celebrated it as a bill that would create federal anti-discrimination laws for transgender people.

“The proposal, dubbed ‘The Transgender Bill of Rights,’ would codify the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock v. Clayton County decision that protects employees against discrimination for being gay or transgender,” wrote The Hill.

The LGBTQ Allyship tweeted, “the legislation would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly include gender identity and sex characteristics as protected characteristics.”

While a bill could accomplish that, H. Res 1209 cannot because it is a simple resolution, which is not binding and symbolic.

Examples of simple resolutions used by Congress to promote a particular viewpoint are the 1971 resolution Senate passed in support of withdrawing American troops from Vietnam and the resolution Democrats passed in 2007 expressing their disapproval of President George Bush’s decision to increase U.S. troops in Iraq.

Nevertheless, drafters of the “transgender bill of rights” have hailed it as a legislative fix to what they called an attack by Republicans on gay rights.

“Across the country, radical right-wing Republicans have introduced hundreds of bills attacking the LGBTQ+ community—particularly transgender and nonbinary youth—to score political points,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) in a press release announcing the proposed resolution.

The resolution is co-sponsored by more than 75 Democrats and endorsed by more than 35 LGBTQ organizations. One of them is Athlete Ally, a nonprofit organization that promotes the participation of men who identify as women in women’s sports.

Under it, Democrats envision protecting the rights of “intersex children and infants” to undergo sex change procedures. They also call for creating a transgender liaison in the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to enforcing the civil rights of transgender people.

Andrew Beckwith, President of the Massachusetts Family Institute, told The Epoch Times that he believes the proposal by Democrats is part of a growing campaign designed to erase the two biological genders, especially the female gender.

“So-called ‘gender identity’ or ‘trans right’” laws are used chiefly by adult men to impose their sexual expression on women in sports, locker rooms, homeless shelters, and spas,” he said.

Gregory Quinlan, Founder of the national organization Pro-Family Network, points out what he says is becoming “the obvious,” that almost all transgender people, including transgender athletes, are men claiming to identify as women.

“This is not about women’s rights, but about the rights of men to masquerade as women,” he said.

As part of the Trans Bill of Rights, Democrats also call for the protection of abortion rights, which they have long framed as a women’s rights issue.

The National Women’s Law Center is among supporters of the symbolic trans rights bill. Established in 1972, it is considered one of the largest advocacy groups for women’s rights.

The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), a conservative version of the National Women’s Law Center, has proposed its own symbolic resolution called the Women’s Bill of Rights. It calls for the nation to recognize that there are only two genders.

“Every American must now decide: do I support this vision of trans rights, or do I stand for women’s rights? “It is impossible to support both because they are in direct conflict,” the IWF wrote in an editorial

According to Quinlan, the LBGTQ community now lists 72 different genders that it wants officially recognized.

To encompass the growing number of proposed genders, Several states have adopted the letter “X” for the choice of gender on driver’s licenses.

The federal government elected the 24th letter of the alphabet as a new gender choice with a new law that recently went into effect, allowing U.S. citizens to choose “X” as their gender on passport applications.

Sixteen states now allow new parents to choose “X” in identifying the gender of their newborn baby on their birth certificates.

Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.