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No More Mothers and Fathers

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

Proposed Rules for 117th Congress Say Goodbye to Biological Sex


The proposed rules of the 117th Congress, to be voted in when the new Congress assembles following the White House administration turnover later this month, include the following revision regarding “Adopting the Rules of the House of Representatives for the One Hundred Seventeenth Congress, and for other purposes.”

(3) In clause 8(c)(3) of rule XXIII, strike ‘‘father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, step-sister, half brother, half sister, grandson, or granddaughter’’ and insert ‘‘parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild’’.

(4) In clause 10(b) of rule XXIII— 7 (A) strike ‘‘submit his or her resignation’’ and insert ‘‘resign’’; (B) strike ‘‘he or she serves’’ and insert ‘‘such Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner serves’’; and (C) strike ‘‘he or she holds’’ and insert ‘‘such Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner holds’’. (5) In clause 15(d)(2) of rule XXIII, strike ‘‘father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father-in-law, or mother-in-law’’ and insert ‘‘parent, child, sibling, spouse, or parent-in-law’’. 20 (6) In clause 4 of rule XXVII, strike ‘‘himself or herself’’ and insert ‘‘themself’’.

This rule change removes all use of common, biologically accurate, and historically understood familial terms based upon biological sex relationships. Ostensibly these rules apply only to the House of Representatives, but the clause “and for other purposes” leaves open the ominous possibility that they will be applied in other arenas.

It is important to share your thoughts about this proposed rule change directly with your US Representatives. Taking a few minutes to call, email, or send a letter is part of democracy, and your voice is important.

Find the contact information for your US Representative here.

For your reference, the entirety of the rules can be read here.

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