Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently introduced a bill that would prohibit federal dollars from going to enforcing policies requiring federal employees to use an individual’s preferred pronouns or name if they are not found on their legal documents.
The legislation was introduced by Cruz and U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN). Many are calling the bill, the Safeguarding Honest Speech Act, hypocritical since Cruz uses the nickname Ted although his birth name is Rafael Edward.
In a joint press release, Cruz and Ogles claim that “forcing anyone to use pronouns that don’t accord with a person’s biological sex is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.”
The statement continues: “The government has no business compelling anyone to use pronouns that contradict biological reality.”
In a statement to The Advocate, Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, called Cruz and Ogles “anti-LGBTQ extremists” who were “attempting to erase trans people” by ignoring their preferred pronouns and name.
“This latest attempt by Senator Cruz, who does not go by his own legal name, to prohibit the federal government, the nation’s largest employer, from respecting employees’ authentic name and pronouns, is not only dangerous and demeaning, it’s hypocritical,” Ellis said.
Critics of the bill also said it demeans individuals by deadnaming them. Deadnaming is when someone refers to a transgender person by their former name.
“The irony of Ted Cruz, who is known by his chosen nickname, attempting to use the government to police the names that others use is lost on no one,” said Brandon Wolf, national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. “This bill is a shameful attempt to control others and will be rejected.”
With a Democrat-led U.S. Senate, the bill is expected to fail.