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Congressman Andy Barr

Representing All the People of Kentucky's Sixth District

Statement from Congressman Barr on H.R. 5 Vote

May 17, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Today, I voted against H.R. 5, legislation that has been inaccurately described as a simple measure to prohibit discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans.

“As an opponent of discrimination and as someone who believes strongly that all Americans should be treated with dignity and respect, I am disappointed that this legislation contains objectionable features that go well beyond non-discrimination.

“In fact, HR 5 would prohibit under federal law, in all circumstances, any acknowledgement that biological gender is a reality.  It would require doctors to provide life-altering and often irreversible hormones and surgeries to adolescents without parental involvement.  It would insert the state in matters that should be exclusively the province of the family.  And it would require insurers to provide coverage for sex change operations and any operations that attempt to reverse the effects of prior operations.

“As the father of two girls, I am particularly concerned that this bill would eliminate girls’ and women’s sports by requiring biological boys and men to compete in girls’ and women’s sports against biological females.  Additionally, HR 5 would require that boys and men be allowed into private female spaces, including dormitories, locker rooms and other places formerly reserved for girls and women.

“And perhaps most importantly, this bill would deny religious people and people of faith the protection of the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act. For the first time ever, HR 5, would require churches, temples, mosques, synagogues and other religious organizations to make their gathering places open to celebrations of gender alteration, even if those events contradict a religious organization’s sincerely held religious beliefs.

“Simply put, contrary to the claims of the House Democrat majority, HR 5 is not a simple bill prohibiting discrimination. Rather, it is frontal assault on parental rights, conscience rights for health care providers and people of faith and the privacy and athletic rights of women and girls.”