Summary List Placement
It’s been nearly two months since Rep. Marie Newman planted a transgender rights flag outside her Capitol Hill congressional office to support her daughter — and the recently introduced Equality Act.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican whose office is across from the Illinois Democrat, in turn hung a printed poster that read, “There are TWO genders: Male & Female. Trust The Science!”
But as of Wednesday — 57 days later — both the flag and the poster remained outside the offices in the Longworth building in what’s become a silent stand-off between the two offices.
Newman says she hasn’t spoken with Greene, a Georgia Republican, since their initial dust up. Nor has her staff spoken with Greene’s staffers about the issue, to Newman’s knowledge.
“I’m not surprised at [Greene’s] behavior at all because I think she’s going to continue to display the disrespectful behavior. She always has,” Newman told Insider on Wednesday. “What’s really surprising is that she’s in Congress. That’s the real surprise here. I am shocked every day based on her disregard for Americans of all sorts. It’s sort of shocking that she’s here. So I’m not surprised that the inaccurate and disrespectful sign is still up.”
Greene’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Genesis of a Newman-Greene cold war
Newman, whose daughter, Evie, is transgender, posted the flag after an emotional speech on the House floor about the Equality Act, which seeks to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation,” among other goals.
“I rise today on behalf of the millions of Americans who continue to be denied housing, education, public services and much, much more because they identify as members of the LGBTQ community — Americans like my own daughter, who years ago bravely came out to her parents as transgender,” Newman said in remarks on the House floor that she later posted to her Twitter account.
Greene spoke against the measure, which passed in the House in a 224-to-206 vote and is now under consideration in the Senate. She said she’s concerned that transgender girls and women would compete in girls’ and women’s sporting events.
The Georgia congresswoman later tweeted a video of Newman’s House remarks and wrote, “As mothers, we all love and support our children. But your biological son does NOT belong in my daughters’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams.”
Soon after, Newman flew her pro-transgender flag. And Greene displayed her anti-transgender poster.
“Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” Newman tweeted on Feb. 24.
“Thought we’d put up ours so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” Greene tweeted of her poster.
Several human rights groups were aghast to learn from Insider that Greene continues to display the anti-transgender poster in a hallway where members of Congress and their staffers work.
“Hate has no place in our halls of government,” Human Rights Watch President Alphonso David told Insider in an email. “Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comments about trans Americans are more than disturbing. They’re cruel and dangerous to the trans and non-binary community in Georgia and across the country.”
A nationwide fight
The Greene-Newman drama — rarely do neighboring congressional offices so publicly poke at one another — is a microcosm of a nationwide debate over the rights of transgender Americans.
More than 30 state legislatures have together proposed more than 115 bills that would limit transgender rights – including sports participation and medical care access, PBS reported.
Montana State Rep. John Fuller, for one, introduced legislation in January that would require athletic teams at all public schools — including universities — to be designated based on “biological sex.” It would stop transgender students from joining teams that match their gender identity.
Montana lawmakers this week amended the measure this week to nullify it if the federal government withholds education funding from the state as a result of the policy, the Associated Press reported.
Asked about Greene’s views on transgender rights, and the sign outsider her office, Fuller told Insider on Thursday that science proves the congresswoman’s views are correct.
“Science has proven, definitely, that there are only two sexes (male and female) and if someone believes that their gender identification is incompatible with their sex, it doesn’t matter what lengths they go through to change their appearance, they cannot change their sex,” Fuller said in an email.
But Newman called Greene an outlier on the issue. A Public Religion Research Institute poll released in March found 76 percent of adults favor laws that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations, NBC reported. Just 19 percent opposed such protections.
Newman said she has been “respectful” to people who don’t agree with her when it comes to LGBTQ rights.
“I usually just try to be very respectful and positive and say that we’re all just humans, and it’s really nobody’s business who you love or how you look or how you identify,” Newman said. “You just should respect human beings because they’re human beings and not worry about the rest.”
Greene has quickly become one of Congress’ most polarizing members, and not just for her stance on transgender issues.
In January, lawmakers in January officially stripped Greene of her two committee assignments as they detailed her social media history, which included the promotion of debunked far right conspiracy theories and her endorsement of political violence.
In all, 230 colleagues in the Democratic-led House voted to oust her from both the House Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on the Budget.
Greene also last week scrapped the launch of her “America First” caucus after receiving blowback from leaders in her party, CNN reported.
A flier promoting the caucus, obtained by Punchbowl News, called for a “common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions” while pushing conspiracy theories about election integrity.