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Jenner hits California nerve by siding with GOP on trans athletes

Caitlyn Jenner arrives in Vienna, Austria on June 1, 2018. | Christian Hofer / Getty Images

OAKLAND – Caitlyn Jenner improved her bona fide national GOP with weekend comments embracing the party’s dominant view on transgender athletes – but now finds herself firmly at odds with key California policy as she stands present as governor.

Jenner, a former transgender Olympic gold medalist, told TMZ that banning transgender student athlete participation in competitive girls’ sports is “a matter of fairness,” the same position as state Republican leaders reds have adopted.

His remarks angered LGBTQ activists in California and are another early signal to voters unaware of his political positions. The strongly democratic state has been at the forefront of transgender rights, including the passage of a 2014 law protecting the right of transgender students to play sports that match their gender identity.

“It’s not just that [Jenner] is out of step with activists and the community, which is true, but out of step with voters in California, “said Samuel Garrett-Pate, communications director for LGBTQ rights group Equality California, which sponsored the state’s sports law for transgender youth. “She gets a Wheaties box and an Olympic medal and the trans kids just don’t have to play anything?” This is absurd at first glance.

Jenner immediately gained attention last month as the celebrity who is said to be the country’s top transgender political candidate, but entered the race to recall Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom without the support of California’s LGBTQ community. . So far, she hasn’t done much to solidify her position in the country’s most populous state, even though she will have her first major campaign interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday.

She was approached on Saturday in Malibu by a TMZ reporter who asked her where she stood on the issue of trans athletes. “It’s a matter of fairness. That’s why I oppose biological trans boys who participate in female sports at school,” Jenner said in brief remarks before getting into her car. “It’s just not fair. And we need to protect girls’ sport in our schools.”

His campaign assistants declined to comment further on the matter.

Jenner’s allies have suggested that a transgender person running for governor in America’s largest state could be a defining moment that energizes voters. But lawmakers and LGBTQ advocates remain deeply skeptical, arguing that Jenner wasted his platform by supporting President Donald Trump first and then with his recent statements this week.

“In addition to supporting the most anti-trans president imaginable, she is now literally attacking trans children, arguing that trans children should not be allowed to play sports. It’s really gross, but she’s done us a favor by showing us who she really is, “said Senator Scott Wiener, an openly gay lawmaker and staunch LGBTQ ally.

Prominent California LGBTQ groups like Equality California rallied around Newsom and quickly opposed Jenner’s candidacy. This frustrates some LGBTQ conservatives who say these groups do not represent them – and who see Jenner as a candidate who embodies the ideological diversity of a community that some people falsely claim to be uniformly liberal.

“I think Caitlyn potentially has an opportunity as someone who lives in both of these worlds – who has been a longtime conservative, but who has also struggled her entire life to be trans,” said the President of the Republicans of California. Log Cabin, Matthew Craffey, who pointed out that the group did not make a formal approval in the recall. “Being gay and voting for someone who will allow me to live my life the way I want to live is important to me, but I also care that my streets are safe, that someone does something about the homeless problem. – shelter, that the taxes are not astronomical. “

Jenner in 2018 challenged some of Trump’s transgender rights measures – including the exclusion of transgender people from the military. Since taking office as governor in late April, Jenner has yet to discuss the willingness of Republican lawmakers in 28 states this year to introduce a record number of bills affecting transgender residents.

In Arkansas, Republican lawmakers passed a sex-affirming medical care ban for trans youth – a move that may soon be reflected by lawmakers in Alabama. In Texas, lawmakers are considering a proposal that would separate trans children from parents who provide them with gender-based care. In North Carolina, Republicans have proposed legislation that would require state employees to immediately notify parents in writing if a child displays a “gender non-compliance.”

Even as debates over transgender students have devastated other states and created a series of national gender policy hotspots, California has long since addressed some of these issues. The LGBTQ-friendly state has spent years requiring institutions and public spaces to accept a range of gender identities.

A 2014 California law prohibits school districts from excluding students from using the restroom or preventing them from being on teams that match their gender identity. Although the requirement sparked controversy at the time, it was relatively subdued: an effort to overturn it by electoral referendum failed to muster the roughly 500,000 signatures needed to qualify – a small fraction of the electorate. Californian.

Lawmakers then passed a bipartisan voting law requiring single-person toilets in businesses, government buildings and public spaces to be gender neutral. The following year, the first openly lesbian state senate leader of California enacted a measure creating a third gender option on California driver’s licenses and other official documents. And California advocates hailed a breakthrough last year when Newsom signed a law allowing inmates in the state’s vast prison system to request transfer to facilities that match their gender identities.

California has gone so far as to ban state-sponsored travel to states known to have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ residents. The travel ban was enacted in 2016 in response to North Carolina law that restricted toilet use to gender on one’s birth certificate and prevented local governments from approving their own anti-discrimination orders. Twelve red states are currently on the California travel ban list.

Despite the steady progress of the LGBTQ community in California, disputes still arose in the California Legislature over surgeries for young children. Bills to ban doctors from performing surgery on young people with varying sex characteristics have repeatedly failed, with the powerful California Medical Association opposed. Newsom’s office has not been involved in these debates so far.

GOP consultant Tim Rosales said Jenner’s apparent disconnect with California over major transgender rights issue may not be the last time she will face such a dilemma as a Republican. standing in to replace Newsom.

“She has to come forward as her own candidate, her own person,” and in the coming months, “all of the Republican candidates are all going to have issues that don’t necessarily match the party,” he said.

“But unless they try to chart their own course, they are making the Governor’s argument in his favor – that this [recall] is a Republican-led exercise. “

Indeed, LGBTQ activists in California say Jenner’s most recent statements highlight what they see as a cynical attempt to use their community as a platform in a GOP attempt to recall Newsom.

“This is all a political coup … she is not connected to the trans community,” said Bamby Salcedo, chairman and CEO of the [email protected] Coalition, an advocacy group for transgender immigrant women. “Caitlyn Jenner will never know what it’s like to be in public school – or to be a trans woman walking the streets scared for her life.”

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