Twitter suspended the account of Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) on Saturday for violating its hateful conduct policy after he intentionally misgendered Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer and federal official confirmed by the Senate.
Levin made history Tuesday when she was sworn in as the first-ever female four-star admiral to oversee the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
Banks, a staunch Donald Trump supporter who backed his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, tweeted from his official account last week: “the title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.”
Twitter said the remark violated its hateful conduct policy, which prohibits the “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
A spokesperson for the platform told Axios that the tweet must be deleted before the account is unlocked.
Banks tweeted from his personal account on Saturday saying he had been suspended for “posting a statement of FACT” and that “Big Tech must be held accountable.” He said he refused to back down and would be posting from his personal page for the time being.
Several GOP lawmakers made transphobic comments in the wake of Levine’s historic appointment. A tweet from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was also flagged as violating Twitter’s hateful conduct policy but remained visible because the platform said it had “determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”