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

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzSchiff told Gaetz to 'absent yourself' in fiery exchange: impeachment transcript Do Republicans understand the Constitution? Ocasio-Cortez: 'Major crime' against Katie Hill will deter other female candidates MORE (R-Fla.) said Tuesday he can’t support a transgender rights legislation, citing as an example that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 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.

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“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 NadlerHouse to vote on bill to ensure citizenship for children of overseas service members As impeachment goes public, forget 'conventional wisdom' What this 'impeachment' is really about — and it's not the Constitution 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.