GATTACA for Gender
Published July 18, 2017 / Updated August 7, 2020

GATTACA for Gender

The “Civil Rights Uniformity Act” would make gender about genetics

by Chris Thomas

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H.R. 2796 would codify as law the idea that genotype — the having of XX or XY chromosomes — determines gender for all legal and governmental purposes. It also prevents current or future Presidents from extending civil rights protections to transgendered individuals and from considering transgendered individuals as the gender with which they identify if it differs from the gender encoded on their DNA.

Why This Matters

Proponents of this bill take a dim view to fluid ideas about gender and consider LGBTQ identities as fundamentally invalid and/or a deliberate choice made by those who hold to them. They see the extension of civil rights protections to these individuals and their accommodation under federal law as both wasteful and culturally offensive.

Opponents of this bill have pointed out several problems with it as written. Besides denying the validity of transgender identity, the bill further establishes “genetic sex” as the sole factor in determining gender. Few, if any, Americans have documentation of their chromosomal sex markers and those sex markers are not exclusively male or female. Individuals with Klinefelter Syndrome, for example, carry XXY chromosomes.

Tell Congress what you think!

Text RESIST to 50409 to tell your representatives what you think about gender identity and civil rights or to see what else is happening in Congress this week!

Who To Talk To

At the time of this writing, H.R. 2796 is before the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. If one of your representatives serves on either the committee or subcommittee, your voice is particularly important.

The Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice

  • Chairman: Steve King (R-IA 4)
  • Vice Chairman: Ron DeSantis (R-FL 6)
  • Ranking Member: Steve Cohen (D-TN 9)
  • Trent Franks (R-AZ 8)
  • Louie Gohmert (R-TX 1)
  • Karen Handel (R-GA 6)
  • Jamie Raskin (D-MD 8)
  • Jerry Nadler (D-NY 10)

House Judiciary Committee

  • Chairman: Bob Goodlatte (R-VA 06)
  • Ranking Member: John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI 13)
  • Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI 05)
  • Lamar Smith (R-TX 21)
  • Steve Chabot (R-OH 01)
  • Darrell Issa (R-CA 49)
  • Steve King (R-IA 04)
  • Trent Franks (R-AZ 08)
  • Louie Gohmert (R-TX 01)
  • Jim Jordan (R-OH 04)
  • Ted Poe (R-TX 02)
  • Tom Marino (R-PA 10)
  • Trey Gowdy (R-SC 04)
  • Raúl Labrador (R-ID 01)
  • Blake Farenthold (R-TX 27)
  • Doug Collins (R-GA 09)
  • Ron DeSantis (R-FL 06)
  • Ken Buck (R-CO 04)
  • John Ratcliffe (R-TX 04)
  • Martha Roby (R-AL 02)
  • Matt Gaetz (R-FL 01)
  • Mike Johnson (R-LA 04)
  • Andy Biggs (R-AZ 05)
  • John Rutherford (R-FL 04)
  • Karen Handel (R-GA 06)
  • Jerry Nadler (D-NY 10)
  • Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 19)
  • Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX 18)
  • Steve Cohen (D-TN 09)
  • Hank Johnson, Jr. (D-GA 04)
  • Ted Deutch (D-FL 22)
  • Luis Gutierrez (D-IL 04)
  • Karen Bass (D-CA 37)
  • Cedric Richmond (D-LA 02)
  • Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY 08)
  • David Cicilline (D-RI 01)
  • Eric Swalwell (D-CA 15)
  • Ted Lieu (D-CA 33)
  • Jamie Raskin (D-MD 08)
  • Pramila Jayapal (D-WA 07)

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