An Arizona lawmaker appeared to compare those who identify as non-binary to chickens

Screenshot/Arizona State Legislature
  • An Arizona lawmaker appeared to compare non-binary individuals to chickens during a hearing Wednesday.
  • Republican Rep. John Fillmore was speaking during a committee meeting about a bill he introduced.
  • The bill seeks to pre-emptively ban the use of “X” as a non-binary signifier on state identity documents.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

An Arizona state lawmaker appeared to equate being transgender to someone identifying as “a chicken” during a hearing about a bill to pre-emptively ban people who identify as non-binary from having their gender identity recognised on state documents.

House Bill 2725, which would require Arizona state identification documents such as drivers’ licences to list only male and female as gender options, was sponsored by Republican State Representative John Fillmore.

It seeks to prevent those who identify as non-binary from using an “X” marker rather than male or female in the gender field of such documents.

Arizona state law does not currently allow this distinction.

During a committee hearing on the bill, Fillmore argued that possibly allowing non-binary citizens this option in future could lead to people identifying as chickens.

“I don’t believe we, as a society, should have all of the different binaries identified,” he said during the hearing.

“What’s going to happen when someday someone wakes up and they want to go to a far extreme and identify as a chicken or something, for crying out loud,” he added.

“Where do we draw the line?”

Prior to his comments about people identifying as chickens, Fillmore said the “gender dysfunction thing” allows “men to enter into the restrooms of the little girls and creates situations that I don’t think are beneficial to society and the nuclear family as a whole.”

Megan Mogan, a Tuscon woman who has a child who identifies as non-binary and who spoke in front of the committee Wednesday, said that Fillmore’s words dehumanized her child and countless others.

“I don’t think you have to be the parent of a non-binary person, you can just be the parent of anyone, and if someone dehumanizes your child, it’s like one of the worst possible feelings you can have,” Mogan said in an interview with NBC News Friday.

She tweeted at the time that Fillmore had compared her child to a “barnyard animal.”

Fillmore is now facing an ethics complaint after his comments Wednesday. Riley Behrens, a local man and community advocate who previously worked as a Democratic campaign staffer in Arizona, filed a complaint after attending the meeting.

According to Pink News, Behrens’ complaint alleges that Fillmore “engaged in conduct that compromises the character of himself, the integrity of the Arizona State House of Representatives, and shows a lack of respect for members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

“We were all just in shock,” Behrens told NBC.

Republican lawmakers, however, called the ethics complaint “entirely without merit.”

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