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Marjorie Taylor Greene goes on transphobic rant at CPAC

Anti-tras rhetoric dominates at the conservative gathering

Eric Garcia
Oxon Hill, Maryland
,Alex Woodward
Friday 03 March 2023 17:48 GMT
Marjorie Taylor Greene launches transphobic rant at CPAC conference

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene went on a transphobic rant at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland as she accused transgender activists of targeting children.

Ms Greene spoke on the second day of CPAC, criticising LGBT+ activists and claiming that providing gender-affirming care has become incredibly profitable.

“We have a responsibility that is to be the party that protects our children,” she said.

“They tell us the most incredible lie that children can actually change their gender before they've even grown up, before they even finish puberty, before they've developed into an adult, before they're old enough to vote.”

Anti-trans rhetoric has dominated much of the conference. Immediately after Ms Greene’s speech, the conference hosted a discussion featuring Chloe Cole, who said she detransitioned after initially having gender dysphoria, and Riley Gaines, who said she lost her opportunities in swimming after she tied with Lia Thomas, a transgender college swimmer.

Similarly, on the first full day of the conference, Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee spoke in a Q&A with Sara Carter and celebrated the fact she was on the panel with “two powerful women who can define the word 'woman,’” a reference to her asking Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson “what is a woman” during the latter’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Ms Greene said that transgender activists were targeting children who were vulnerable.

“Many of these victims have diagnoses of autism, of mental illness, they have depression, they have anxiety, they have psychosis,” she said, noting how some were in foster care.

“And these victims come in thinking they're going to find happiness and they’re going to find security in their identity because they think they can change their gender these boys think they can become girls use girls if they can become boys, but she want to hear what's happening to them,” she said.

CPAC attendees also got on their feet when she spoke about her legislation that would make it a felony to perform gender-affirming care to people under the age of 18. She also noted how many of her political opponents support her idea.

“People like Bill Maher agree with me on this issue, even though he attacks me,” she said of the late-night comedian. “There’s independents, Democrats, Republicans all over America that agee that we need to let kids be kids.”

Ms Greene’s legislation comes as many states have banned gender-affirming care. This week, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed legislation to ban gender-affirming care for minors.

The congresswoman also repeated a debunked claim that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that American men and women would need to fight in the country’s war against Russia.

Gender-affirming care can span several kinds of treatments, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and social transitioning support. Care standards from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and other leading medical groups do not recommend that affirming surgeries be performed on minors, and the American Medical Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians, among others, have established clear clinical guidelines for treating young trans people.

But legislation restricting such care is supported and in many cases drafted by influential right-wing legal groups, conservative Christian organisations and fringe medical groups that have aligned with right-wing public officials to advance their agenda.

Among them are the Alliance for Defending Freedom, which has been at the centre of high-profile legal manoeuvres to criminalise LGBT+ people and abortion care, and the American College of Pediatricians. Both are characterised by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, meanwhile, is the nation’s largest professional association of pediatricians. The group recommends a “gender-affirming” and “nonjudgmental approach that helps children feel safe in a society that too often marginalizes or stigmatizes those seen as different.”

“The gender-affirming model strengthens family resiliency and takes the emphasis off heightened concerns over gender while allowing children the freedom to focus on academics, relationship-building and other typical developmental tasks,” according to the organisation.

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