Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican who's become a flashpoint for her promotion of dangerous conspiracy theories, on Wednesday placed an anti-transgender sign outside her office to mock Rep. Marie Newman, a Democrat from Illinois whose daughter is transgender, in a back-and-forth that quickly spread on social media and drew widespread outrage.
Newman and Greene are both freshmen members of Congress whose offices in the Capitol complex are located across the hall from one another.
The conflict between the two began after Newman spoke in favor of the Equality Act, a measure that's been proposed in multiple iterations over the past several decades. The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act to also prohibit discrimination or segregation in areas like employment, housing and more based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
"I rise today on behalf of the millions of Americans who continue to be denied housing, education, public services and much, much more because they identify as members of the LGBTQ community - Americans like my own daughter, who years ago bravely came out to her parents as transgender," Newman said Tuesday in remarks on the House floor that she later posted on social media. "I knew from that day on my daughter would be living in a nation where most of its states, she could be discriminated against, merely because of who she is. And yet it was still the happiest day of my life and my daughter has found her authentic self."
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"And as any mother would, I swore that I would fight to ensure this country changes for the better. Without the Equality Act this nation will never live up to its principles of freedom and equality. The right time to pass this act was decades ago. The second best time is right now," Newman continued. "I'm voting yes on the Equality Act for Evie Newman, my daughter, and the strongest bravest person I know."
Greene later shared the video of Newman's speech on her own Twitter account, writing, "As mothers, we all love and support our children. But your biological son does NOT belong in my daughters’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams."
Greene has spoken out against the Equality Act on several occasions, saying in a speech on the House floor that it would "put trans rights above women's rights" and later tweeting that the measure "destroys women’s rights, religious rights, and rights of the unborn."
Greene has made national headlines in recent weeks for promoting dangerous conspiracy theories and extremist views, like support for QAnon, or saying without evidence that high-profile school shootings had been staged and that parts of the attack on Sept. 11, 2001, didn't occur, as well as previously expressing approval on social media of messages advocating for the execution of prominent Democrats. Earlier this month, the House voted to strip her of her assignments on the Education and Budget committees and she subsequently spoke on the House floor to say "9/11 absolutely happened" and "school shootings are absolutely real," among other comments walking back her previous statements.
In response to Greene's comments on the Equality Act, Newman posted a video on social media Wednesday in which she put up the transgender pride flag outside her office, directly across the hall and within view of Greene's office.
"Our neighbor, @RepMTG, tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is 'disgusting, immoral, and evil,'" Newman wrote. "Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door," she said, adding a winking face and transgender flag emoji.
Hours later, Greene responded with a video of her own in which she put up a large anti-transgender sign on the wall next to her own office's door.
"There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE," the sign said, with the second portion in all capital letters and red ink. The third line of the sign reads, "'Trust The Science!'"
"Our neighbor, @RepMarieNewman, wants to pass the so-called 'Equality' Act to destroy women’s rights and religious freedoms," Greene wrote. "Thought we’d put up ours so she can look at it every time she opens her door," with her own winking face and American flag emoji.
The videos from both women were shared thousands of times on social media and several of their colleagues in Congress spoke out in support of Newman, denouncing Greene's actions.
Among them was Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois who's been one of the most outspoken critics of Greene from within the GOP. He tweeted, "this video and tweet represents the hate and fame driven politics of self-promotion at all evil costs. This garbage must end, in order to #RestoreOurGOP."
On Thursday morning, Newman tweeted from her campaign account, "For every step of progress we take in the fight for equality, there are hateful folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene doing everything in their power to drag us backwards. But despite the efforts of ppl like her, love always has the last word. Onwards."