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Twitter suspends Rep. Jim Banks for misgendering transgender four-star officer

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Twitter suspended the account of Indiana Rep. Jim Banks on Saturday after the Republican congressman intentionally misgendered Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, the first transgender person to hold an office that requires a Senate confirmation.

Levine was sworn in last week as the admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, making her the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer. Banks, who represents the northeastern corner of the state, was responding to the news that Levine became the first woman to be awarded the title of four-star officer, saying the title was taken and honor were taken by a “man.” Twitter said the comment violated its hateful conduct policy, which prohibits the “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

 “The account referenced has been temporarily locked for violating our Hateful Conduct Policy,” the spokesperson wrote. “The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining access to their account.”

Banks railed against the suspension on his personal account, tweeting that he had written a “statement of FACT” and that “Big Tech must be held accountable!” The Indiana representative said he’ll be tweeting from his personal account from now on: “I won’t back down.”

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