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Arizona lawmaker compares non-cis people to farm animals: 'Where do we draw the line?'

Arizona lawmaker compares non-cis people to farm animals: 'Where do we draw the line?'
© CURTO DE LA TORRE/AFP/Getty Images

Arizona Republican State Rep. John Fillmore compared non-cisgendered people to chickens during a House Government and Elections Committee meeting Wednesday, KPNX reports.

"I don't believe that we as a society should have all of the different binaries identified," Fillmore said. "What’s going to happen when someday someone wakes up and they want to go to a far extreme and identify as a chicken or something for crying out loud. Where do we draw the line?"

Fillmore made the comments while explaining his proposed bill, which would limit gender identification options to male or female on any documentation issued by any state agency, board, commission or department.

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If someone has successfully completed a sex change from one gender to another, they could then change their gender identity on their documentation, Fillmore argued.

Should House Bill 2725 pass, gender non-confirming Arizona residents won't have a proper identity option in their documentation.

State Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton (D) denounced the bill, calling it "harmful," according to KPNX.

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"I was angry," she said while describing her experience at the meeting. "There were three moms who made themselves very vulnerable and put their families in the public arena by sharing their very personal experience as to why a bill like this can be hurtful and detrimental for their children's well-being."

According to KPNX, an ethics complaint has been filed against Fillmore in the wake of his comments, which stated, "Representative Fillmore continuously made discriminatory and harassing comments during public testimony and in his response compared members of the LGBTQ+ community to farm animals."

The complaint continued: "By his actions, Representative Fillmore has engaged in conduct that compromises the character of himself, the integrity of the Arizona State House of Representatives, and shows a lack of respect for members of the LGBTQ+ community."  

In a statement to KPNX, Fillmore said the complaint is "entirely without merit."

He continued, stating, "It’s rather unfortunate that some opponents of the bill have unfairly and grossly mischaracterized my comments at Wednesday’s hearing. I invite people to listen to my actual remarks, which do not remotely match the distorted version critics have alleged."

In a video of the meeting posted to Twitter, Fillmore says he doesn't intend to tear down those who are non-cisgender. He claimed he's trying to avoid confusion in situations involving the government, such as when police are looking out for a male suspect.

The left's push to allow gender fluidity is creating situations that are not "beneficial to society or the nuclear family," Fillmore added, including letting "men to enter into the restrooms of little girls."

Fillmore did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.