CHICAGO (CBS/CNN) — First-term Illinois Congresswoman Marie Newman’s feud with Republican colleague Marjorie Taylor Greene took a dramatic twist on Thursday, as Facebook temporarily removed a video Newman posted showing her displaying the transgender pride flag outside her office on Capitol Hill, labeling it as “hate speech.”
However, Facebook did not remove a video Greene posted showing her hanging an anti-transgender sign at the Capitol.READ MORE: Investigation Underway After 74-Year-Old Man Found Dead In Englewood Home
“Facebook took down our video of me putting up the Transgender flag outside my office and labeled it as ‘hate speech.’ Meanwhile, they’re still allowing Marjorie Taylor Greene’s transphobic video to be posted. Supporting transgender Americans is NOT hate speech,” Newman wrote in a Twitter post Thursday morning.
Facebook took down our video of me putting up the Transgender flag outside my office and labeled it as “hate speech.”
Meanwhile, they’re still allowing Marjorie Taylor Greene’s transphobic video to be posted.
Supporting transgender Americans is NOT hate speech. pic.twitter.com/dU2eXUpZSy
— Congresswoman Marie Newman (@RepMarieNewman) February 25, 2021
Facebook later restored the video, and the social media giant’s policy communications director, Andy Stone, apologized for mistakenly flagging it as hate speech.
“Congresswoman, this plainly should not have happened. We’ve restored this content and you have our sincere apologies,” Stone wrote in a Twitter post.
Newman, an Illinois Democrat whose daughter is transgender, posted the video on her social media accounts Wednesday showing her hanging the pink and blue transgender pride flag outside her office, captioning that Greene tried to block the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against LGTBQ Americans, “because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is ‘disgusting, immoral, and evil,'” adding, “thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door” with winking and transgender flag emojis.
Later Wednesday, Greene responded to Newman with her own videos on social media, showing her posting a sign across the hall, reading “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE …Trust The Science!”
“Our neighbor, @RepMarieNewman, wants to pass the so-called ‘Equality’ Act to destroy women’s rights and religious freedoms. Thought we’d put up ours so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” Greene captioned the tweet with winking and American flag emojis.
The antagonizing move by Greene comes as the House is expected on Thursday to pass the Equality Act, after the Georgia Republican’s attempt to block the legislation failed on Wednesday. It also follows a string of incendiary statements and actions by the freshman Georgia congresswoman, who was removed from her committee assignments earlier this month after violent past comments were unearthed.
Before her Facebook video was removed, Newman told CNN Thursday the back-and-forth with Greene was never meant to be a fight and that she is unconcerned with Greene’s reaction to her flag.
“It was a statement I felt very necessary. … I felt as though she needed to hear from us,” the Democratic congresswoman told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” “And what I mean by that is that I just wanted to make a statement so that she sees LGBTQ+ people and so the symbolism was simply to put the flag out there so she has to see our community every day. You know, I’m immensely proud of my daughter and that’s all anyone is asking for is to be treated as anyone else and that’s what I want representative Greene to see.”
Newman later said, “She can keep going with whatever she’s doing and I have no interest in it” and that she is concerned about getting vaccines rolled out. “If she’s going to spend time running to FedEx and creating goofy signs, have at it.”
CNN reached out to Greene’s office for comment on Thursday.READ MORE: Police Task Force Arrest Carjacking Suspect Hour After Vehicle Was Stolen In Englewood
Greene’s action drew bipartisan backlash, including from Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an outspoken critic of Greene, who was one of 11 GOP lawmakers who voted in favor of stripping her of committee assignments.
“This is sad and I’m sorry this happened. Rep. Newmans daughter is transgender, and this video and tweet represents the hate and fame driven politics of self-promotion at all evil costs,” Kinzinger tweeted, adding “this garbage must end” in order to restore the GOP.
This is sad and I’m sorry this happened. Rep. Newmans daughter is transgender, and this video and tweet represents the hate and fame driven politics of self-promotion at all evil costs. This garbage must end, in order to #RestoreOurGOP https://t.co/gcPZ5Cu7Vr
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) February 25, 2021
Virginia Rep. Don Byer, a Democrat, tweeted Wednesday Greene’s “cyberbullying her colleague’s child” with an “ugly, bigoted attack is absolutely beyond the pale” and called for fellow lawmakers to support Newman.
Opposition to the Equality Act
Greene, has a history of making offensive statements, pushing conspiracy theories and while arguing against the passage of the Equality Act on the House floor Wednesday she made inflammatory statements.
“It is one thing to stop discrimination of a class of people, but it’s another thing to completely violate and destroy the rights of girls and women in order to achieve this.” Greene said.
In her argument that equality for a group of people would take away equality for others, Greene also claimed that this legislation would make sports unfair.
“Biological women cannot compete against biological men. Biological little girls, cannot compete against biological little boys and they shouldn’t have to,” she said.
Greene also said the bill would “put trans rights above women’s rights, above the rights of our daughters, our sisters, our friends, our grandmothers, our aunts. It’s too much.”
Transgender athletes in recent years have fought against legislation aimed at limiting their participation due to their gender identity. Many argue such policies violate Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law in education credited with leveling the playing field for women in sports.
Her past extremist comments and behavior has concerned lawmakers, even prompting Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat, to move her office away from the Georgia congresswoman after a heated exchange over Greene not wearing a mask in a hallway on Capitol Hill.
The vote on the Equality Act comes at an important moment for transgender rights, as the Biden administration has taken steps to aid the effort, including ending former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military service people. Also on Thursday, a Senate confirmation hearing will take place for Biden’s pick to serve as assistant health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, who would make history as the first out transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate.MORE NEWS: Security Guard In Critical Condition After Falling 15 Feet Into Hole In Aurora Parking Lot
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The-CNN-Wire contributed to this report.)