Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Tuesday said that he could not support the Equality Act because President Donald Trump could declare himself a woman.
In a House Judiciary Committee hearing about the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination based on gender, Gaetz clashed with Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
“I want to support this legislation and in the broadest sense I do,” Gaetz said. “I believe that individuals in our country should not face discrimination for their sex or their gender or their sexual orientation.”
“I very much want to support the legislation, but I can’t,” he added. “Because the legislation would only nominally protect certain individuals while causing tremendous harm to others.”
According to Gaetz, transgender people could upset the legal system by using grants set aside for women and minority-owned businesses.
“What happens when sex is defined as gender identity and gender identity is terribly vague?” the GOP congressman opined. “Will all sex-based distinctions be erased?”
“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.”
Gaetz warned that “if President Trump were to say, ‘I’m am now the first female president,’ who would celebrate that?”