Two members of Congress have taken the debate over the Equality Act out of the House chamber and into the hallway outside of their offices. After Rep. Marie Newman placed a transgender pride flag outside of her office, which is across from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s, Greene put up an anti-trans sign outside of her own, sparking backlash.
Newman, a Democrat from Illinois who has a transgender daughter, criticized Georgia Republican Greene on Wednesday for opposing the Equality Act — a sweeping anti-discrimination bill that would extend civil rights protections to LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Greene filed a motion to adjourn the House Wednesday in an effort to delay passage of the bill. However, the motion was denied. She also spoke against the bill on the House floor, saying it needs to be struck down and that she was concerned that transgender girls and women would be able to compete in girls’ and women’s sporting events.
Newman later shared a video on Twitter in which she is seen putting a transgender pride flag outside of her office. “Our neighbor, @RepMTG, tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is ‘disgusting, immoral, and evil.’ Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” Newman wrote in the tweet.
Hours later, Greene posted a video of her own. In it, she hangs a sign that reads: “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. ‘Trust The Science!'”
“Our neighbor, @RepMarieNewman, wants to pass the so-called ‘Equality’ Act to destroy women’s rights and religious freedoms. Thought we’d put up ours so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” Greene tweeted.
The move was met with backlash online from some lawmakers, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who replied to Greene’s video by writing: “This is sad and I’m sorry this happened. Rep. Newmans daughter is transgender, and this video and tweet represents the hate and fame driven politics of self-promotion at all evil costs. This garbage must end, in order to #RestoreOurGOP.”
Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL) tweeted: “Sickening, pathetic, unimaginably cruel. This hate is exactly why the #EqualityAct is necessary and what we must protect @RepMarieNewman‘s daughter and all our LGBTQ+ loved ones against.”
Others, including Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and Rep. Raj Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), also criticized Greene, for calling Newman’s daughter her “biological son” in a tweet.
“There’s no lower low than going after someone’s kids,” Waxton tweeted.
CBS News has reached out to Greene and Newman for comment.
Greene is a controversial figure in politics who was recently stripped of her committee positions over her previous embrace of conspiracy theories and her social media activity before she was elected to Congress. She has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Equality Act, which the House is expected to pass on Thursday.
The bill expands existing federal nondiscrimination laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act, to confirm that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is unlawful discrimination based on sex.
While speaking in support of the Equality Act in the House this week, Newman mentioned her daughter, who “years ago bravely came out to her parents as transgender.” Newman said she knows that without this act her daughter can be discriminated against in many states.
“Without the Equality Act, millions of Americans like my daughter can be denied housing, education, and more simply because they identify as transgender,” Newman wrote on Twitter, sharing a clip from her speech on the House floor. “I’m voting to pass the Equality Act for my daughter – the strongest, bravest person I know.”