House Republicans pass a ban of the use of ‘Latinx’ and ‘Latin-x’ on federal paperwork

Rep. Maria Salazar, R-Fla., speaks during a committee meeting on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2021, in Washington. Salazar sponsored a proposal banning the words “Latinx” and “Latin-x” on federal paperwork.
Rep. Maria Salazar, R-Fla., speaks during a committee meeting on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2021, in Washington. Salazar sponsored a proposal banning the words “Latinx” and “Latin-x” on federal paperwork. | Ting Shen, Associated Press

On Wednesday, Rep. Maria Salazar, R-Fla., sponsored a proposal banning the words “Latinx” and “Latin-x” in federal paperwork. The proposal is an amendment to one of the House GOP’s 12 appropriations bills made annually. The vote was 222-198 with 215 Republicans and 7 Democrats voting for the amendment.

Utah Reps. Blake Moore, John Curtis and Burgess Owens voted in favor of the proposal.

House Democrats who voted in favor of the ban included four members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus: Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, Yadira Caraveo D-Colo., Vicente Gonzalez D-Texas, and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash. The other three were Reps. Jared Golden, D-Maine., Matt Cartwright D-Pa. and Mary Peltola, D-Alaska.

“Latinx” and “Latin-x” take gender out of the ethnic identifier and are controversial to both sides of the political spectrum. The term “Latinx/e includes men, women, gender non-conforming, non-binary, trans, queer, agender and gender-fluid folks in our communities,” Colorado State University explained.

Salazar posted on X, “Como he dicho antes, yo no soy Latinx. Soy Latina… ¡y muy orgullosa de serlo!” which translates to, “As I said before, I am not Latinx. I am Latina… and very proud of it!”

The Florida representative added, “Hispanics are united by our beautiful Spanish language. By passing my amendment, Congress told (Joe) Biden to show us some respect!” per Voz.

While President Joe Biden has a history of calling Latinos and Latinas “Latinx,” Pew Research Center found “only 23% of U.S. adults who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino have heard of the term Latinx, and just 3% say they use it to describe themselves.”

Renowned Spanish linguist Concepción Company claimed the terms don’t actually facilitate equality. In an article titled “Grammar has no sex, it is neither inclusive nor exclusive,” Company said, “Respect and equality for women will not be achieved if we say presidente or presidenta, but rather it will be achieved when a woman earns the same as a man and has the same possibilities of educational access, work, health, etc., that men have, it doesn’t matter what she is called, presidente or presidenta.”

The bill heads to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future.