- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Rep. Matt Gaetz on Tuesday voiced his opposition to a new transgender rights bill, arguing that it could allow someone like President Trump to declare himself “the first female president.”

The Equality Act would expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include protections regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. Mr. Gaetz, a Florida Republican, said he couldn’t support the legislation because it would only “nominally protect certain individuals while causing tremendous harm to others.”

“I strongly support the rights of transgender individuals,” he said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill. “I will not denigrate or deny their existence or their struggles, but I am concerned about the potential bad actors who would exploit the provisions of this law for their own gain.

“Consider this possibility,” he continued. “If President Trump were to say, ‘I am now the first female president,’ who would celebrate that? Would those who support the legislation think that’s a good thing or would they be dismayed?”

Mr. Gaetz said he wanted to support the legislation but not as it’s written, arguing that its vagueness would “expand and exacerbate” the “problematic loopholes” that allow individuals to “exploit the process.”

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