Two House Democrats introduced an official resolution this week condemning Ben Carson's comments mocking and misgendering trans women.
In a resolution put forward Tuesday, House Representatives. Katie Hill (D-California) and Mike Quigley (D-Illinois) singled out the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development's recent remarks made during an internal meeting with White House staff. As three unnamed sources told the Washington Post, he claimed "big, hairy men" are trying to invade women's homeless shelters.
According to the lawmakers, Carson "accused [transgender people] of pretending to be women to access women's shelters."
"[T]hose statements are incredibly disrespectful and reflect bigoted, outdated thinking that is both offensive a nd counterproductive to the mission of the agency," the resolution said.
Hill and Quigley -- who are, respectively, the co-chair and vice chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus -- further accused Carson of furthering "a divisive and demoralizing atmosphere which does not best serve the American people" in the HUD office, referring to additional reports from the Post that he has "repeatedly mocked transgender people in internal meetings in Washington."
"[I]t is the responsibility of the Secretary of HUD, an agency with more than 8,000 employees, to ensure a welcoming work environment that fosters productivity on behalf of the American people," they said.
In a press release accompanying the resolution, the House Democrats were even more pointed in their condemnation of Carson, calling on him to either apologize or resign from his position. Hill called the remarks "hurtful [and] bigoted" and said they "do not represent the feelings of this Congress," while Quigley added that they are "completely unacceptable for the federal official responsible for ensuring minority populations have access to safe, secure housing."
"At a minimum, he owes an apology to the staff he subjected to his bigoted remarks, to trans individuals around the country, and to the entire [LGBTQ+] community," he said. "It is clearer than ever that Secretary Carson's bigoted views make him unfit to lead HUD and the record must reflect that this Congress does not condone such intolerance."
Carson, however, has only doubled down on the comments since the Post report was published in September. In an internal email to other White House staffers, he accused the media of "[stirring] up controversy through identity politics."
But while the former Johns Hopkins surgeon has also claimed the statements were "misconstrued," Hill and Quigley pointed out that he has a long history of demonizing transgender people. Carson spoke out against trans military service during his failed presidential run, claiming the armed forces should not be used "as a laboratory for social experimentation," and has rolled back gender-affirming policies for trans homeless people since joining HUD in 2017.
"Secretary Carson seems committed to ensuring that [LGBTQ+] individuals are unable to exercise even the basic rights afforded to all Americans," Hill and Quigley concluded.
Read the entire resolution, per the LGBTQ+ newspaper Washington Blade.
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