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Attorney General Rokita offers her opinion on the use of pronouns at work

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorney General of Indiana Todd Rokita recently weighed in on a contentious and occasionally incendiary Facebook event over pronouns in the workplace.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said earlier this week that it is harassment in the workplace when an employee is consistently mislabeled or denied access to a restroom that corresponds with their gender identification.

Rokita issued a ruling of his own Wednesday, saying that “neither state nor federal law requires a coworker to use the preferred pronouns and names of fellow employees.”

But the office cautioned businesses that even if misgendering someone isn’t a recognized form of discrimination, they could still amount to a “hostile work environment claim.”

“There are no examples in case law where the (mis)use of an employee’s pronouns alone has been held to have created a hostile work environment pursuant to Title VII. However, many of these cases at least imply that repeated use of non-preferred pronouns and names could result in such an outcome if the conduct is ‘severe or pervasive enough,’” the ruling said.

In the 20-minute Facebook live event, the latest in a series of videos from the office, Rokita denounced the move as part of “a new push by America haters to force the rest of us to embrace the radical gender ideology that they want.”

Rokita went on to describe the participation of transwomen in sports as “an invasion” and called ongoing support for gender diversity “trans-sanity.”

“Most Hoosiers agree that we all should extend love and compassion toward individuals dealing with gender dysphoria. After all, it is a problem. And it should be treated. But it doesn’t need to be affirmed, nor should it,” Rokita said. “Treating these individuals with respect, however, does not require us by law to deny basic truths like the fact that there are only two sexes and an individual is one of them.”

Scientists have accepted intersex as a third sex, and hundreds of thousands of Americans identify as such. The attorney general’s office stated that gender identity and sexual orientation are not protected classes under Indiana’s Civil Rights Act.
According to Rokita, the viewpoint originated from a query posed by Indiana Representative Mike Speedy, a competitor in the GOP primary for the 6th Congressional District.

“I don’t believe this opinion, in any way, infringes on anyone’s right to be who they think they are. What it does is it protects employers and employees from that ideology from being imposed upon them in a workplace environment. And that’s fair to everyone,” Speedy said.

Even though the statement was made the night before the primary the following week, Rokita stated it wasn’t meant to be political. He claimed Speedy’s request was submitted months ago, but the compilation of the decision took some time.

Rokita was charged by the Indiana Democratic Party of misusing public funds for political gain.

“Rokita owes Hoosiers an apology for this obvious political stunt. Whether it’s attacking medical professionals like Dr. Caitlin Bernard or using his office for political games, Rokita’s tenure has been an embarrassment to Indiana. Hoosiers can replace him with a Democratic Attorney General who will respect women’s rights, and focus on protecting taxpayers,” the party said in a statement.

Rokita is probably going to be on the November ballot. In Indiana, party nominees for attorney general are chosen by a convention procedure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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