Commentary

How Is Calling a Man a Man 'Hateful Conduct'?

By Bill Donohue | March 10, 2022 | 10:57am EST
Swimmer Lia Thomas has been the epicenter of the transgender athlete debate. (Photo credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Swimmer Lia Thomas has been the epicenter of the transgender athlete debate. (Photo credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Catholic League President and CEO Bill Donohue sent the following letter to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal.

March 10, 2022

Mr. Parag Agrawal

CEO, Twitter

1355 Market St. Ste. 900

San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear Mr. Agrawal:

You and I are in a different line of work, but we share one thing in common: we both oppose hateful speech and conduct. In my case, I am mostly concerned about hateful speech directed at Catholics. 

I am writing to you because I do not understand why those of us who publicly acknowledge the fact that there are only two sexes, one male and one female, is considered hateful speech by Twitter. This is a pedestrian observation, but one that also happens to be grounded in science. 

Yet Twitter recently suspended the personal account of a woman candidate for a senate seat in Missouri, Vicky Hartzler, because she tweeted, "Women's sports are for women, not men pretending to be women." She was referring to a male University of Pennsylvania swimmer who claims to be a woman and is allowed to compete in women's sports. 

Twitter has sanctioned at least three other persons who have made similar comments.

Twitter's "Hateful conduct" policy says: "You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease."

That sounds reasonable. Could you please identify what Ms. Hartzler said that violated this policy? She obviously did not promote violence against or threaten anyone. So on what basis was her account suspended?

Telling the truth can be painful, but as Catholics we are called to do so. 

Sincerely,

William A. Donohue, Ph.D.

President

Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of nine books and many articles.

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