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.
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 platform temporarily locked Banks’ account, saying he would regain access upon deleting the tweet.
On his personal account, Banks decried his suspension, saying he was punished for “posting a statement of FACT.”
“I won’t back down,” Banks wrote. “I’ll be posting on my personal account for the time being.”
Levine, the nation’s most senior transgender official, became the first openly transgender four-star officer across any of the country’s eight uniformed services on Tuesday.
“This is a momentous occasion, and I am honored to take this role for the impact I can make and for the historic nature of what it symbolizes,” Levine said in a speech at her swearing-in ceremony.