Proposed House Rules Eliminate Gendered Terms Like ‘Father’ and ‘Daughter’

By Published on January 4, 2021

The Rules Package for the 117th Congress includes a proposal to replace gendered language referring to a representative’s family members with gender-neutral terms, House leaders announced Friday.

Democratic California Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Massachusetts Rep. James McGovern, chairman of the Rules Committee, announced changes to the House rules that will “honor all gender identities” by modifying the pronouns and familial relations references in the rules, the Committee on Rules announced.

The resolution would change “pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral or removes references to gender, as appropriate, to ensure we are inclusive of all Members, Delegates, Resident Commissioners and their families — including those who are nonbinary,” McGovern’s announcement said.

The new rules also change “seamen” to “seafarers”, “chairman” to “chair” and “submit his or her resignation” to “resigns,” according to the resolution.

References to fathers, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and in-laws would be changed to “parent, child, sibling, spouse, or parent-in-law,” according to the resolution. Extended family members would be referred to as “child’s parent” instead of aunt or uncle, stepparents, and siblings-in-law.

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“Thanks to the leadership of Chairman McGovern and our Members, Democrats have crafted a package of unprecedented, bold reforms, which will make the House more accountable, transparent and effective in our work to meet the needs of the American people,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The rules package will be voted on when the new Congress assembles and includes reforms to ethics, accountability and inclusion, according to the Committee on Rules.

 

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