“War On Words”: Conservative Media Angry Over Proposed Legislation To Make Federal Law Gender Neutral

Right-wing media are mocking proposed legislation that would make the language in the federal marriage code gender-neutral, following the Supreme Court's decision earlier this month making same-sex marriage legal in every state.

Congresswoman Introduces Legislation To Update Federal Code With Gender-Neutral Terms

Rep. Lois Capps Introduces Legislation To “Rewrite Federal Laws With Gender Neutral Words.” Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced legislation on July 8 that would replace the words “husband” and “wife” in federal laws with the terms “spouse” and “married couple.” According to The Hillthe Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act “aims to both acknowledge the court's ruling on marriage equality and correct areas where gender discrimination has been written into federal law.” [The Hill7/8/15]

Rep. Capps: “Words In Our Laws Have Meaning And Can Continue To Reflect Prejudice And Discrimination Even When Rendered Null By Our Highest Courts.” In a July 8 statement, Rep. Capps explained that the change in terminology is a necessary step to “ensure that the United States Code reflects the equality of all marriages”:

“The Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act recognizes that the words in our laws have meaning and can continue to reflect prejudice and discrimination even when rendered null by our highest courts,” Capps said. “Our values as a country are reflected in our laws. I authored this bill because it is imperative that our federal code reflect the equality of all marriages.”[Rep. Lois Capps, 7/8/15]

Right-Wing Media Mock The Bill As A “War On Words,” Saying It Changes “His-Story”

Fox & Friends: Bill Will Turn “His-Story” Into “This-Story.” On the July 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Elisabeth Hasselbeck mocked the proposed bill, joking that Capps wants to change “his-story” to “this-story”:

HASSELBECK: There is a new move right now, Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act, is now going to ask that those words be banned as a step toward equality - we're not kidding here!


DOOCY: What's she's looking for is things that are gender-neutral, right? So no his, her, stuff like that.

HASSELBECK: So you would just be a spouse but not a husband.

DOOCY: So I guess she wants to change “his-story.”

KILMEADE: Yeah, you have to.

HASSELBECK: It'll now be “this-story.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends7/10/15]

Fox's Nauert: Proposed Bill Has “Some People Scratching Their Heads This Morning.” On the July 10 edition of Fox & Friends, network anchor Heather Nauert said the bill “has got some people scratching their heads this morning.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends7/10/15]

Washington Examiner: “Dems Declare War On Words 'Husband,' 'Wife.' A Washington Examiner headline suggested the bill is tantamount to Democrats' “declar[ing] war” on the gendered terms “husband” and “wife.” [Washington Examiner7/9/15]

InfoWars: “Democrats Introduce Bill To Ban 'Husband' And 'Wife' As 'Anti-Gay' Words.” An InfoWars headline suggested Democrats introduced the bill “To Ban 'Husband' And 'Wife' As 'Anti-Gay' Words.” [InfoWars, 7/10/15]