LGBTQ On the Hill Politics

New House Rules Mandate Gender-Neutral Language

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern announced the rules package for the 117th Congress, which includes increased accountability for the public, strong ethics reforms, and a focus on inclusion.

The new rules establish a permanent Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as “honor all gender identities by changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral”. This means eliminating terms like father, mother, son, and daughter. Up until now, a binary rule was applied, meaning that “words importing one gender include the other as well”.

“As House Speaker, I am pleased to join Chairman Jim McGovern in introducing this visionary rules package, which reflects the views and values of the full range of our historically diverse House Democratic Majority,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  

“Thanks to the leadership of Chairman McGovern and our Members, Democrats have crafted a package of unprecedented, bold reforms, which will make the House more accountable, transparent and effective in our work to meet the needs of the American people.  These future-focused proposals reflect our priorities as a Caucus and as a Country – including crushing the coronavirus, addressing economic disparity, combating the climate crisis, advancing inclusion, and promoting integrity in government.”

As the 117th Congress breaks records with the number of LGBTQ+ members, the new rules package aims to affirm diversity in gender and sexuality.

Sources: House Committee on Rules 1/1/21; The Hill 1/4/21

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