'Radical gender ideology': Mike Pence attacks transgender children in the name of God

'Radical gender ideology': Mike Pence attacks transgender children in the name of God
Image via screengrab.

Less than one month after the January 6 insurrection Mike Pence made one of his first moves as a former vice president: he joined Young America’s Foundation as a Ronald Reagan Presidential Scholar. YAF, a decades-old youth outreach group designed to influence high school and college-aged conservatives, boasts alumni like Trump architect of child separation policies Stephen Miller. It has received millions from the DeVos family, and has a chapter that was listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Last year far-right Daily Wire political commentator Matt Walsh gave college speeches sponsored by YAF, attacking "radical gender ideology" – right-wing talk for supporting the rights of transgender people. Walsh, 36-years old, has built his career on the backs of LGBTQ people – so much so his Wikipedia page says "Known for: Opposition to the LGBTQ+ movement."

It wasn’t long before Pence embraced the battle against "radical gender ideology," including in a speech at Catholic University in November.

He did so again on Wednesday, again dipping his toe in the water that is Iowa, the proving ground for Republican presidential candidates, in a speech filled with fear-mongering, false claims, and biblical quotes, denigrating transgender children by saying: "Instead of encouraging a tragedy of a broken ideology from the left, we should teach every child that they are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God."

"You all know the arguments against this transgender ideology," Pence told his audience. "It's harmful to our kids. Oftentimes those that medically or surgically transition as children see no health or quality of life benefits and it's often much worse," he said, falsely.

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Pence, who identifies as "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican – in that order," didn't make that declaration as he addressed a small group gathered inside a local Cedar Rapids pizza parlor.

But he did declare, "radical gender ideology has slipped into our classrooms, teaching children to hate their own bodies and furthering the notion that it's possible to transition from one gender to another. And worst of all, I don't need to tell you here, some school district parents are helpless to stop this from happening."

"Across the country," Pence continued, "parents' rights are being trampled by a politically correct nanny state that's ruining our schools and telling parents they have no role in their child's education."

Pence had a game plan: he didn't just happen to show up in Iowa on Wednesday because he was in the area. He targeted Cedar Rapids because a local school district is fighting in court to keep its policy supporting transgender students. And he showed up on Wednesday because there was a closely-watched court hearing in St. Louis, focused in part on an Iowa school district's policy on transgender children and he wanted to be certain to show parents he is their fighter.

That school policy in part "recognizes students' chosen name and gender identity, a policy that a group of parents say violates their constitutional rights," as Courthouse News explains.

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"Parents of Iowa schoolchildren, Republican state legislators and advocates for recognizing LGBTQ rights are clashing at school board meetings and state Capitol hearings over whether some schools have gone too far in protecting transgender students – even from their parents," CN’s report explains.

"That clash came into sharp focus during oral arguments Wednesday morning before the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, where a group of parents are asking the federal appeals court to block a Linn-Mar [Iowa] Community School District policy designed to respect the wishes of transgender students who don't want to be identified by their gender or name given at birth – including directing school officials to use students' chosen names at school and in school records – without necessarily informing or consulting with parents."

The former vice president who is also a former Indiana governor, former GOP congressman, and former right-wing radio talk show host, on Wednesday, focused what he called "radical gender ideology." In fact, Pence used the word "radical" eight times. The word "God" four times. He used the word "family" eight times. He used the word "child," "children," "kid," or "kids" 25 times. And the word "parent" a whopping 32 times, more than once a minute in his speech than ran less than 20 minutes.

Pence blamed Democrats for forcing Republicans to wage a battle against allowing transgender children to have dignity, support, and autonomy.

"You know, it wasn't our choice to start the left's culture war, and now we have no choice but to win. And we will win," Pence promised, to applause.

Courthouse News also notes, "As a measure of how intense the fight over this issue is not just in Iowa but nationally, 66 friend-of-the-court [amicus] briefs were filed with the Eighth Circuit, including by 18 states. All but five opposed the Linn-Mar policy."

One of those 66 briefs came from a group associated with Mike Pence, which he made sure to tell parents. After promising parents "we will win," Pence said: "The next step on the road to victory began here in Iowa and it continued in Minnesota today," referring to the St. Louis court hearing.

"Great organization here in Iowa called Parents Defending Education recognized what was happening in the Linn-Mar Community Schools and took the matter into the courts. And today as I visited Minnesota, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals was hearing the case and I couldn't be more proud," he boasted, "that our organization, Advancing American Freedom rounded up more than 20 pro-family conservative organizations in America. We intervened in the case with an amicus brief and we're gonna fight for parents' rights all the way to the Supreme Court, if need be."

(Filing an amicus brief is not "intervening.")

"The case was brought to stop the school here in Iowa from implementing a radical transgender policy," Pence bellowed, stressing the word "radical."

Pence then moved to a biblical reference to denigrate transgender children.

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"The policy is designed to facilitate students' gender transitions, without the knowledge of their parents. It also is designed to punish other students who fail to use a student’s preferred pronoun or to punish students who voice opinions on transgender issues that are out of step with the radical left, even if that proceeds from a religious conviction that male and female, He created them," Pence said, directly quoting the Bible's Book of Genesis.

After mischaracterizing the goals of the policy, Pence declared, "Folks, this isn't bad policy. This is crazy. And it stops right here right now."

Pence continued to use language of mental illness, telling parents: "We're asking the court to end this dangerous integrating policy. Restore sanity and the preeminent role of parents in our public schools not just here in Iowa, but all across America. The hypocrisy of this or the absurdity of this comes into high relief," he continued, "when you realize the same school district that will provide a gender transition plan to your child without your consent or knowledge still has to get a written authorization signed by you to give them an aspirin. Amazing."

He then continued his fear-mongering, claiming the schools have, "a secret plan to transition a child from one gender to the other."

"You know there's a reason why kids are not allowed to enter into a legal contract until they reach the age of majority without their parent's permission. That's because every parent and grandparent knows young people are not psychologically prepared to understand the full consequences and accept the full responsibility of their decision."

Pence continued his biblical references, saying, "we have to have parents' rights restored so they can guide, instruct, and protect their children in the way they should go, embracing that ancient principle that if you train up a child and the way they should go when they're old will not depart from it," direct from The Book of Proverbs.

It "doesn't say the government would train up the child, their parents will," he added. "It is in fact one of the most ancient liberties in existence, the right of parents to direct the upbringing, education and care of their children. Family as a sovereign sphere predates government. We do not co-parent with government."

Pence ended his speech urging parents to "pray."

Watch clips of Pence above, his full speech below, or both at this link.

Former Vice President Mike Pence in Cedar Rapidsyoutu.be

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