Twitter takes down U.S. Rep. Jim Banks’ tweet about transgender four-star officer

Twitter has removed a derogatory tweet by Indiana Congressman Jim Banks.

Banks misgendered Dr. Rachel Levine, the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer, on Tuesday.

“The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man,” he said.

On Saturday, the tweet was taken down, with the following message:  “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.”

Twitter’s rules includes protection for transgender people in their “Hateful conduct policy.”

“We prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category,” Twitter states. “This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

Banks stood by his comments and criticized the social media platform in a statement to IndyStar.

“My tweet was a statement of fact,” he stated. “Big Tech doesn’t have to agree with me, but they shouldn’t be able to cancel me.  If they silence me, they will silence you. We can’t allow Big Tech to prevent us from telling the truth. When Republicans take back the House next year, we must restore honesty to our public forums and hold Big Tech accountable.”

His second tweet targeting Levine remains online.

Critics called the tweet bigoted.

“Whether Jim knows it or not, he has served next to countless LGBTQ military members who risk everything for our country, and with hundreds of LGBTQ appointees who work tirelessly for the American people,” Ruben Gonzales, executive director of the LGBTQ Victory Institute, said in an statement.  “For him to go out of his way to denigrate Admiral Levine and those LGBTQ public servants tells us much more about him than it does about them.”

“Calling yourself a Christian while you live the life of a bigot doesn’t make you Christian,” Congressional candidate John Stephens tweeted. “Weren’t you taught to respect officers when you served?”

Stephens is a Democratic candidate for Indiana’s 3rd Congressional district seat, currently held by Banks.

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