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A House Democrat’s proposal to scrub “husband” and “wife” from federal law, replacing it with “spouse,” has members on both sides of the aisle talking.

“I think that some of the wokeness here in Congress is laughable,” Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer told Fox News. 

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Democrats are “not fighting for better jobs, they’re not fighting for a secure border … they’re fighting for a woke agenda to satisfy an extreme left wing contingency that’s taking over the Democrat Party here in Washington,” he said. “It’s just another joke in the far-left overreach of government.”

Republican lawmaker on Capitol Hill

Rep. James Comer says Democrats are pushing a woke agenda rather than fighting for better jobs and securing the border. (Jon Michael Raasch/Fox News Digital )

Virginia Rep. Don Beyer, a Democrat, said, although he uses the terms “husband” and “wife,” it may not be for everyone.

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“I think it depends on who you are,” Beyer said. “I’m not a person that shows my pronouns, but if somebody does list their pronouns then, okay, I respect that.”

Democratic California Rep. Julia Brownley introduced the Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act on July 14, seeking to eliminate the terms “husband” and “wife” from a number of existing laws. The proposed legislation would replace them with more gender-neutral choices like “spouse” or “married person.”

Rep Julia Brownley speaks into microphone during outdoor event

California Rep. Julia Brownley seeks to eliminate the terms “husband” and “wife” from federal laws to be more inclusive to LGBTQ+ parents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“They’re not controversial for 98% of the public,” Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said. “They’re probably controversial for the 2% of radical leftists who now run the Democrat Party.”

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However, Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif., said he had no issues with any of the terms.

“I happen to have a spouse and a husband which I’m very proud of,” he said. “If people want to call other folks whatever they want that’s totally up to them.”

Democrat lawmaker on the terms husband and wife

Rep. Robert Garcia says people should call their loved ones whatever they want. He has no issues with any of the terms whether it be “spouse” or “husband.” (Jon Michael Raasch/Fox News Digital)

The bill referenced to the terms “husband and wife” and “former wife,” replacing them with “married couple” and “person who has been, but is no longer, married to.” The term “one man and one woman” would also be eliminated and replaced with “two people as spouses.”

Republican South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, who called the proposal “bulls—“, told Fox News that the move is an attempt to erase femininity.

“This is the dumbest thing ever,” she said. “It’s bulls—.”

“They want to take away women,” she continued. “They want to call it pregnant moms. You’re like a pregnant person. You’re not a mother anymore.”

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Republican lawmaker on new bill

South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace says Democrats are trying to take away from women with this new legislation. (Jon Michael Raasch/Fox News Digital )

Some government institutions and organizations have been updating their language to be more gender-inclusive in recent years. In June, for example, Portland, Oregon’s Office of Equity and Human Rights pushed an inclusive writing guide as part of a city-wide collaboration to alter commonly used terms that they feel have evolved. The guide suggested removing femininity from terms commonly used for women, including replacing “pregnant women” with “pregnant people” to be more inclusive to LGBTQ+ parents. 

“Why would anyone make that something that would be divisive rather than just this is my husband or this is my wife?” Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah said.

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“They’re not intended to be controversial,” he said. “They’re endearing terms. Everyone knows what they are.”

To watch lawmakers’ full interviews, click here.

Aubrie Spady contributed to this report.

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