Claudia Tenney claims new Biden transgender policies fall under 'compelled speech'

Tenney said the government forcing someone to use pronouns they do not want to falls under "compelled speech," which is prohibited under the First Amendment. 

Published: April 29, 2024 7:11pm

Updated: April 29, 2024 11:13pm

New York Representative Claudia Tenney, a Republican, said she believes the new Biden administration policies designed to protect transgender people actually violate the First Amendment.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published new harassment guidelines Monday that warn employers that if they fail to use a worker's preferred pronoun, or refuse them the chance to use the restroom of their choice, they will be engaging in prohibited harassment.

Tenney said the government's forcing someone to use pronouns they do not want to falls under "compelled speech," which is prohibited under the First Amendment. 

"The First Amendment is in is an amazing document, because it's able to capture so many different ideas and concepts," Tenney said on the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. "But forcing people to use pronouns, in my view of the First Amendment, is what's called 'compelled speech.' And the freedom of speech prohibits the government from telling people what to say."

"They can't tell you [that] you have to say the Pledge of Allegiance or stand for the flag," she explained. "And so forcing someone to actually use pronouns that they don't choose to use, and then holding your employer liable, to me, is going to have First Amendment problems."

Tenney also slammed the EEOC as a federal agency that "always goes down bad paths," stating that many of their policies end up getting challenged and rolled back by the courts. 

The congresswoman said the protests at colleges and universities nationwide over the Israel-Hamas war were also troubling in regards to free speech. 

"You cannot use threatening language. You can't try to incite violence. You can't call for the death of someone," Tenney said. "Our first amendment is somewhat limited in that way. Yes, we want free speech. But if you're going to do it in a threatening way, you know, it's the famous interpretation of you can't yell fire in a crowded movie house. You can't put people in harm's way. [But] you have a right to stand and say terrible things."

Hundreds of students and anti-Israel protesters have been arrested nationwide over encampments on school property. The protesters have been slammed for being anti-Jewish, and even calling for Jews to be killed. One student also held a sign near Jewish students that claimed the students were "Al-Qasam's next targets." 

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