Robert Garcia Responds to Majorie Taylor Greene’s Homophobia With Resolution Honoring All Families
Author: Trudy Ring
U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia, a California Democrat and a gay man, Friday introduced the Honoring All Families resolution, a direct response to Republican colleague Marjorie Taylor Greene’s remark that a lesbian union leader who’s a stepmother of two is not really a mother.
Greene, well known for her virulent anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and other outrageous comments, made the statement when Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic April 26. Greene said Weingarten was not qualified to give advice on school closures because the union leader is “not a medical doctor, not a biological mother, and really, not a teacher either.”
Weingarten is married to Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, and they have two daughters who Kleinbaum brought to the relationship.
Garcia said during the hearing that Greene’s comments were “unacceptable” and affirmed to Weingarten, “You are a mother. Thank you for being a great parent.” Democrats on the subcommittee sought to have Greene’s remarks deleted from the Congressional Record, but the chair, Republican Brad Wenstrup, said House rules prevented that.
Garcia elaborated on his condemnation of Greene’s statements in a press release announcing the resolution just ahead of Mother’s Day. “As an LGBTQ+ person myself, I know the positive impact chosen family and adoptive figures have on our community. With this resolution, we stand with these families and honor the incredible work they do to nurture, raise, and provide for their loved ones. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and they shape who we are in an immeasurable way,” he said. “Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comments were gross, bigoted, and invalidated the thousands of loving LGBTQ+ and adoptive families across this country.”
His resolution mentions people who become parents through adoption, fostering, and stepparenting and the large number of LGBTQ+ parents, concluding, “A parent’s ability to contribute to their child’s growth and success is not defined by the circumstances by which they became a parent; and families of all backgrounds and circumstances deserve to be recognized, respected, and celebrated.”
Garcia’s co-leads on the resolution are Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Ranking Member Raul Ruiz and out Reps. Becca Balint, Angie Craig, and Mark Pocan, all Democrats. Ruiz also spoke out during the April hearing, denouncing Greene’s “cruel personal attacks” on Weingarten and other parents.
In the press release, Ruiz said, “I was deeply troubled to hear such harmful, extreme remarks disparaging LGBTQ+ and adoptive families during last month’s hearing. Our nation is forged by people from all different backgrounds and circumstances coming together to build a better future for the next generation. We are at our strongest when we recognize that a parent’s contributions to their child’s growth and success are not defined by the circumstances by which they become a parent, and adoptive parents, foster parents, and stepparents are no exception.”
Pocan, chair of the Equality Caucus, added, “No one, including extremist politicians, has the right to tell any child or any parent whether their family is valid. It’s not surprising that Marjorie Taylor Greene is attacking LGBTQI+ families to raise her political profile and raise funds.”
Craig, a mother of four, noted that her family was formed in part through adoption and said she is taking action in support of every adoptive mother “because I believe we should support and uplift all American families.” Balint said that “ignorance and bullying must be rejected and denounced.” Also quoted in the release was Congressman Maxwell Frost, who said he is “a proud adoptee.”
In a Yahoo! News interview after the hearing, Weingarten said Greene’s comments were “very homophobic” and added, “She was just attempting to dehumanize me.” Weingarten said she has received many “vile” emails since the hearing, many of which are homophobic or anti-Semitic.
Weingarten also noted that she has been traveling with a security guard ever since another Republican, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, called her “the most dangerous person in the world” in a November speech. Pompeo condemned “teachers’ unions and the filth that they’re teaching our kids.”
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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring