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Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

Abraham, House members act to restore Congressional authority on transgender definition

June 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, joined three of his House colleagues in introducing legislation Wednesday that would prevent the federal government from redefining the definitions of “sex” and “gender” without Congressional approval.

 

The bill, HR 2796: The Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017, comes in response to the Obama administration’s attempts in September of last year to unilaterally change the long-held legal definitions of sex and gender without Congressional approval. The most glaring example came when the White House threatened to withhold federal funds from local school districts unless the school system allowed its students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that corresponded to the student’s gender identification, not the student’s biological sex.

 

HR 2796 would clarify that “sex” as it appears in federal law corresponds to one’s biological sex, not one’s gender identification, and only Congress would have the authority to change that definition or include gender identity as a protected class.

 

The Obama Administration blatantly tried to hijack Congress’ role of writing law when it contorted the definition of sex and gender to advance its liberal agenda. We can’t allow that to happen again. Passing the Civil Rights Uniformity Act will remove all ambiguity from the law across the federal government and protect the long-held understanding of what sex and gender are,” Dr. Abraham said.

 

Reps. Pete Olson, R-Texas; Brian Babin, R-Texas; and Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.; joined Dr. Abraham as original cosponsors of the legislation.

 

Olson said, “The Obama Administration strongly overreached by unilaterally redefining the definition of ‘sex’ with respect to the Civil Rights Act outside of the lawmaking process. We must reject the notion of false power stolen from Congress by a White House seeking to impose social policy on America. The Founding Fathers never intended unelected bureaucrats in federal agencies to make sweeping changes to the definition of gender. While we have a new president in office, we must restore the voice of the people given to them by our Constitution and put an end to this dangerous precedent of removing Congress’ power to make laws.” 

 

Babin said, “The Obama Administration used brute force and coercion to compel states and localities to accept its redefinition of sex to include ‘gender identity.’ Though the Trump Administration has rolled back most of these overreaching executive orders, the Civil Rights Uniformity Act would ensure that any redefinition of sex by the U.S. government would have to originate from Congress and be passed into law, preventing future executive overreach. This bill preserves the power of Congress and restores the voice of the people to make sure that ‘gender identity’ is not conflated with biological sex without explicit approval by the people’s representatives in Congress.

 

Hartzler said, “The fact is, the Obama Administration reinterpreted the law and circumvented the will of the people. Congress writes the laws, not the President. The Civil Rights Uniformity Act returns control of decisions on civil rights to Congress where it belongs.

 

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