Indiana Rep. Jim Banks’s official Twitter account has been suspended after he intentionally misgendered Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for health Rachel Levine in a tweet. Banks shared a screenshot of the tweet where he referred to Levine, the first openly transgender Cabinet official confirmed by the Senate, as “a man” after she was named the first female and first transgender four-star officer of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

A Twitter representative confirmed that Banks’ account had been temporarily locked for violating the social network’s ‘Hateful Conduct’ policy which includes “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals” as a violation of the policy. The Twitter representative added: “The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining access to their account.”

Banks described the tweet as a “statement of fact” and said he would continue to post from his personal account while the suspension is in place. He wrote in a statement tweeted from his personal account: “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.” Banks added that if Republicans gain a majority in the House next year that they must “restore honesty to our public forums and hold Big Tech accountable.”

Editorial credit: Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

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