WASHINGTON (WCSC/AP) - Two members of Congress on opposite sides of the Equality Act, and whose offices are across the hall from each other, are waging a battle on Facebook.
The act would amend existing civil rights law to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identification as protected characteristics.
The protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas.
The Democratic-led House is poised to pass the protections for LGBTQ people, a top priority of President Joe Biden, though the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate.
But away from the House chamber, Reps. Marie Newman, D-Illinois; and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia; posted dueling videos on their Facebook page in response to each other’s positions on the bill.
Newman posted a video to her Facebook page shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in which she put up a transgender flag outside her office.
“Our neighbor, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is ‘disgusting, immoral, and evil.’ Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” the post read.
Approximately four hours later, just after 7 p.m., Greene responded with a video of her own, showing her posting a sign facing Newman’s office that reads, “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. Trust the science.”
“Our neighbor, Congresswoman Marie Newman, wants to pass the so-called ‘Equality’ Act to destroy women’s rights and religious freedoms. Thought we’d put up our sign so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” the post states.
Newman said on Twitter Thursday morning that Facebook took down the video of her putting up the transgender flag and labeled it as “hate speech.” But, she said, Facebook was still allowing Greene’s video, which she called transphobic, to remain.
“Supporting transgender Americans is NOT hate speech,” she posted.
A short time later, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone responded to her tweet, saying this “plainly should not have happened.”
“We’ve restored this content and you have our sincere apologies,” he said.
Supporters say the law before the House on Thursday is long overdue and would ensure that every person is treated equally under the law.
But some religious groups and social conservatives worry that the bill would force people to take actions that contradict their religious beliefs. They warn that faith-based adoption agencies seeking to place children with a married mother and father could be forced to close, or that private schools would have to hire staff whose conduct violates tenets of the school’s faith.