NewsUSA and CanadaConnecticut bill would ban term “Latinx”

    Connecticut bill would ban term “Latinx”

    The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, on Oct. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

    The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, on Oct. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)


    A group of Hispanic legislators in Connecticut have proposed that the state follow Arkansas’ example and ban the term “Latinx” in official documents, arguing that it is offensive to Spanish speakers.

    The term is used as a gender-neutral alternative to “Latino” and “Latina,” and is useful for supporting people who do not identify as male or female, according to proponents of the word.

    But state representative Geraldo Reyes Jr, the main sponsor of the bill and one of the five Hispanic Democrats who signed it, says that Latinx is not a word in Spanish, but a “wokeista” term that is offensive to the greater population. Puerto Rican from Connecticut.

    “I am of Puerto Rican descent and I find it offensive,” he said.

    Last month, Arkansas banned public officials from using Latinx on official documents as part of several orders issued by Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders within hours of taking office.

    Reyes says his motivation may be different than Sanders’, but he believes his decision was the right one.

    The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest Latino civil rights group in the United States, announced in 2021 that it would no longer use the term Latinx.

    “In the Spanish language, which is centuries old, the default is Latin for everyone,” Reyes said. “It includes everyone. They didn’t need to create a word, it already exists.”

    But Maia Gil’Adi, a professor of “Latino and Multi-Ethnic Literature” at Boston University, said that Latinx dates back to Latino and Latino youth and queer culture in the 1990s, and that the “x” is used to recognize the indigenous roots of many people.

    “The word Latino is incredibly exclusive, both for women and for gender non-conforming people,” she said. “And the term Latinx is very useful because of the way it challenges those conceptions.”

    David Pharies, a professor of Spanish at the University of Florida, said another move would replace the “o” and “a” in many Spanish nouns with an “e.” He said it would be easier for Spanish speakers to pronounce than the Latinx word.

    “Latinx was clearly a solution that was proposed outside of the Spanish-speaking world,” he said.

    It is not clear how often the term Latinx has been used in official documents. A search on the state government website returned 945 links to documents such as press releases, blogs and reports. Michelle Dumas Keuler, an attorney with the Human Rights and Opportunity Commission, said that when asked, she uses the term in any complaint she files about housing, employment and other types of discrimination, according to Hearst Connecticut Media.

    Reyes said he hopes there will be a hearing on the bill before the Committee on Government Administration and Elections of the Democratic-majority legislature during the current session.

    Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s spokesman, Adam Joseph, said the governor’s office will continue the debate as the proposal moves through the legislature.

    This story was originally published on February 1, 2023 8:46 p.m.

    Source: El Nuevo Herald

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