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Transgender Sport Bills All About Bullying and Polls for GOP

Republicans have to have someone to pick on. They lost the fight against gays and lesbians, and their potty-panic bills backfired, so now they are using kids as human shields in their poll-pandering bullying of transgender athletes:

CHANG: Now, this other legislation we mentioned, the ban in Arkansas on trans women and girls competing in women’s sports, came around the same time as similar restrictions in South Dakota. Can you just talk about what are the justifications that these state lawmakers are giving for restricting the rights of trans people in sports?

BURNS: So this is another outgrowth of their broader culture war against trans people. If you remember, after marriage equality was passed into law by the Supreme Court, what the religious right then did was sort of start ignoring lesbian and gay and bisexual people and focus all of their attention on trans people. So in 2016, you know, the bathroom bill in North Carolina that passed, you had all these states trying to institute bathroom bills. That effort largely spectacularly failed and actually increased Americans’ knowledge and sympathy towards the trans community. So what they’ve done is they’ve moved on to more sort of fringe issues that poll better for them. And one of them happens to be the sports issue.

CHANG: But help me understand something, Katelyn, because according to the Public Religion Research Institute, three-quarters of Americans support LGBTQ protections. So why do you think we’re seeing such a significant wave of anti-trans legislation on the local level?

BURNS: There’s been a very concerted effort on the far right to divide the T from the rest of the LGBT. So somebody who ostensibly leans liberal, maybe has gay relatives or friends or long ago accepted marriage equality, like, they think they know what’s up with all of this stuff. But then when you start drilling down on these more difficult questions, like should we allow trans children to transition or trans teens to transition, the polling all of a sudden starts moving, right? And you see this especially with the trans kids and also the trans athlete question. So it’s – I think it’s easier to sort of thread in anti-trans propaganda that sort of turns the polling a little bit [Ailsa Chang and Katelyn Burns, “New Anti-Trans Legislation Passed by Arkansas Senate,” NPR: All Things Considered, 2021.03.30].

Republicans don’t care about you or your kids. They only care about keeping their bigoted base whipped into a froth and winning elections on false pretenses.


  1. Nix 2021-03-31 08:22

    Ah, You might leave here for 4 days in space.
    But when you return, it’s the same old place.
    The pounding of the drum, the pride and disgrace.
    You can bury your dead but don’t leave a trace.
    Hate your next door neighbor but don’t forget to say grace.

    Barry McGuire, 1965.

  2. Kirsten Walrath-Noem 2021-03-31 08:50

    As a mother of two high school kids – the trans “issues” are really non-issues at the actual school. This is about a bunch of parents / grandparents making up a problem that doesn’t exist.

    In fact, my high school kids think it’s seriously harmful legislation.

  3. Donald Pay 2021-03-31 08:59

    I think it’s more about money than morality. The Christian right has always exhibited a fluid morality. They flip their outrage on or off depending on the resistance to rapid money flow. The less resistance to forking over bucks, the more immoral some behavior becomes in their eyes.

    They really can’t raise much money on interracial relationships or premarital sex anymore. Those used to be big “moral” issues that attracted lots of bucks. While the Christian right marketeers may still hate gay marriage, they realize they lost that one, and by “losing” what they mean is doesn’t shake the money tree as it used to because the flock realizes gay marriage isn’t as big a deal as they were led to believe. So the marketeers cancelled their public pretend horror show over that issue to be able to switch their marketing plan over to anti-trans posing.

    Of course, politicians who rent their morality out to Christian-corporate complex climb on board whatever marketing scheme is popular because what works with the religious right, also works for the right-leaning politicians, moneywise, that is. And, of course, the “morality” of money raising means the Christian right big-wigs cleave to certain politicians, no matter how immoral they are, if it benefits their coffers. Thus, we get Donald Trump, the great Satan, as the leader of the Christian right.

    It’s all a money game. There is no morality involved at all.

  4. Jenny 2021-03-31 10:22

    Right Kirsten, my teenage daughter goes to a public school here in MN and the support for the LGBT is huge.
    Many young supporters are protective of transgenders and I’m proud of this younger generation for this awakening compassion that should have been there with older generations.
    If mean pubs could only realize how fragile these kids are and bullying them is just causing pain and suicides to increase.

  5. bearcreekbat 2021-03-31 10:58

    I suspect Donald is right again, as usual. Identifying some harmless group of people to label as immoral and deserving of condemnation, expulsion or eradication seems to be a recurring theme in American and world history. In the early days power and big money could be had by targeting Blacks and Native Americans. Over the years various identifiable groups of immigrants were made targets, including Irish, Italian, Asian, Mexican, etc., and would generate tons of income for the folks claiming to be the “good guys.” Then religion was identified as an extremely effective tool to raise money and power by identifing folks to attack, including Catholics, Jews, Muslums, etc. As most people with money to contribute began to gradually realize they were being duped, new groups had to be created and identified as “immoral” to keep the money flowing, so in more modern times the money grubbers and power hungry con men and women focused on gay individuals and concepts like gay marriage, as Donald pointed out. Again, rational folks paid for a time and then began to realize how stupid attacking gay marriage really is, so a new bogeyman was needed: Transgender girls seems to be today’s money making target.

    The hopeful news is that history will quickly repeat itself and rational folks with money to contribute will again realize how stupid and what a waste it is to attack transgender females. The question remains, however, who will be in the next money making group to marginalize and how dangerous will it be to the members of this group. Will they be enslaved like Blacks, gassed like Jews, deported like Hispanics, interred in camps like Japanese, murdered in groups with AR-15s or bombs like Asians or Muslems or Gays, or be beaten up, ostracized, and stereotyped like transgendered girls today.

  6. grudznick 2021-03-31 12:44

    Did you fellows know today is the day of transgender visibility? We should not make today about any politician.

  7. Mark Anderson 2021-03-31 16:24

    What if the transgender is Jewish? A double whammy. The pubs are simply protecting their ignorance and not anyone who needs protection, thats why they love me tv so much. A return to the 50s when men were men and women were wives or whores. Such a a longing for a place that never existed.

  8. DaveFN 2021-03-31 17:34

    It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from Donald Pay’s argument vis a vis the Christian right to the function of religion in general, be it Islam, Christianity, or any other. Or to politics in general. In order to shake money out of trees a threat is eminently helpful: fear of hell, a threat to one’s ‘way of life,’ corruption of our youth (or sports teams), threat to broader society including its current norms and social boundaries.

    Same sex marriage was preceded by the AIDS crisis in the 80s in which partners were dying of HIV but their working partners had no same-sex monetary employment benefits for medical treatment. In that sense the narrative reverses: the situation was more about money than morality or human rights but morphed into the latter, ultimately culminating in the legalization of same-sex marriage. This was the also the era of ranting Jerry Falwell, defender of all things good (in his own mind) but of Michel Foucault as well, the latter having an enormous intellectual influence which continues today in the form late 20th century postmodernism, social constructivism/constructivist thought, deconstruction and an attack on foundationalism and traditional social institutions of any kind, be they religious, psychiatric or penal. This is not unlike the attack fundamentalist Islam fought and yet fights against which views much of the permissiveness (progressivism? freedom? license?) inherent to American life as exceptionally excessive and therefore a threat to Muslim values, with a result leading to all kinds of just-as-transgressive behaviors including 9-11 according to some. Foucault was viewed as a dangerous French intellectual, as prolific as were his writings, and furthermore was homosexual and intrigued by the leather scene and other salacious practices of S&M/B&D homosexual culture in America, so much so that he traveled from Paris to San Francisco to experience the “culture” first hand, contracting AIDS and dying therefrom in 1984. This kind of “progressive” behavior only added fuel to the fire and brimstone and provided the religious right precisely the justification they needed to defend their own way of life and raise monies to do so. None of this has gone away and it remains very much alive and part of the cultural memory, particularly of those who abhor it.

    Any cause, be it liberal or conservative, relies on money to fight, and the best way to fight is to have an enemy to rally against, be that enemy real, imaginary, or symbolic. But it’s chicken and egg. Is money necessary to fight evil or is the posited evil a way to get money? Which is the cause and which the effect? The narrative can be written and rewritten various ways and always will be, and the shoe be on either foot, liberal or conservative, or so it seems to me.

  9. leslie 2021-04-02 04:16

    Geez Don Pay, what a beautiful two paragraphs of writing!

    Here is another cynically funny: “Republicans don’t care if you bear spray and beat a cop with a flag pole or sex traffic a teenager, but don’t you dare take a few Dr. Seuss books away. Now that’s where they draw the line.”

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