GOP lawmaker asks whether trans rights advocates would celebrate Trump declaring himself 'first female president'

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzTrump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen Rep. Gaetz to Cher: 'I got you, babe' Gaetz introduces 'PENCIL' resolution to oust Schiff from House Intel MORE (R-Fla.) said Tuesday he can’t support a transgender rights legislation, citing as an example that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference MORE could declare himself “the first female president”

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination based on gender, Gaetz said he “can’t” support the legislation because it “would only nominally protect certain individuals while causing tremendous harm to others.”

“I strongly support the rights of transgender individuals,” he continued. “I will not denigrate or deny their struggles. But I am concerned about the potential bad actors who would exploit the provisions for their own gain.”

He asked “if President Trump were to say, ‘I’m am now the first female president,’ who would celebrate that?”

Gaetz repeatedly said he wants to support the legislation, but continued to bring up reasons for why he felt as though he couldn’t.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I want to support this legislation and in the broadest sense I do. I believe that individuals in our country should not face discrimination for their sex or their gender or their sexual orientation,” Gaetz said, before questions what would happen “when sex is defined as gender identity and gender identity is terribly vague?”

“Will all sex-based distinctions be erased?” he quipped.

During his speaking time, Gaetz clashed with committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTim Ryan doesn't back impeachment proceedings against Trump 4/20: Will Congress advance marijuana legislation in 2019? Trump accuses 'fake news media' of 'doing everything possible to stir up anger' after Mueller report MORE (D-N.Y.), who unsuccessfully tried to make Gaetz yield his time as he went off topic to talk about a separate piece of legislation.