An attack ad against Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear claims Democrats will use the power of the state and law enforcement to abduct children from their parents if those parents don’t affirm a child’s transgender identity without question.
The one-minute ad, by the right-wing American Principles Project — a “pro-family” political organization that has focused much of its political messaging on opposing LGBTQ rights — alleges that if Beshear wins re-election in November, non-affirming parents will soon lose custody of their children.
In the ad, “Dinner Table,” a mother, father, and teenage girl are eating dinner when the teenager says, “Mom, Dad, I’m transgender. I think I might be a boy.”
“Honey,” the mother says, “you know we love you no matter what, but, you’re a girl, so why would you say that?”
A short-haired woman in a black blazer appears and interrupts her.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold it right there, Mom. You don’t get to ask questions. That could hurt your child.”
The mother tells the woman to leave their house. “This is a family discussion,” she says.
But the woman opens a leather briefcase and says, “Not anymore. Democrats passed a law banning these types of discussions. We’re going to have to take the kid with us. This home isn’t safe for them.” Two FBI agents walk in.
The ad then crosscuts to a white van driving down the street, away from the house. “Learn more about Andy Beshear’s ‘Equality Agenda’ for Kentucky families,” a voiceover says as the ad directs viewers to visit a website opposing the governor’s re-election, which redirects to a page asking for donations for the American Principles Project.
The ad strains credulity on many levels.
First, Kentucky Democrats have not said they plan to remove trans-identifying children from their parents’ custody. Nor are Kentucky Democrats, even if Beshear were to win re-election, in a position to take any such action, because such a policy would have to be passed into law by the General Assembly, where Democrats are permanently entrenched as the minority party, holding only 7 of 38 Senate seats and 19 of 100 House seats in the solidly Republican state.
Even at the national level, Democrats have not called for separating transgender youth from non-supportive families, making it even less likely that lawmakers in Congress would ever pass such a proposal — let alone by those in Kentucky.
However, the ad does repeat rhetoric that is frequently echoed by anti-LGBTQ groups, who frequently allege that the government is seeking to take control over people’s children to “indoctrinate” or “groom” them into either identifying as LGBTQ or accepting the concept of LGBTQ identity as normal.
The commonly-repeated trope appears to be based on the story of a Texas father who lost custody of his children and objected to his ex-wife recognizing one of their children as transgender.
The American Principles Project’s ad is one of several by independent conservative political action committees bashing Beshear to elevate the candidacy of his opponent, Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Consistent with messaging adopted by the GOP in various states, and in Congress, the ads frequently claim that “woke” ideology or cultural trends pose a threat to American society in general, and especially to children and nuclear families.
While “woke” is ill-defined, it is generally considered a catch-all phrase encompassing any idea of diversity or representation of historically marginalized groups, particularly concerning LGBTQ people and their allies, racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, and discussions of race, racism, or discrimination.
It is frequently used as a slur against those who advocate for greater visibility for members of marginalized groups, accusing them of favoring political correctness over common sense.
Cameron has embraced the national GOP strategy of attacking Democrats for having a slavish allegiance to “wokeness” and has employed anti-transgender rhetoric on the campaign trail and in speeches to draw voters to his side.
He has accused teachers of attempting to “indoctrinate” children, arguing that social issues have taken precedence over fundamental academic skills in schools. He has railed against transgender girls and women, whom he calls “biological males,” playing on female-designated sports teams, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Even though Cameron is not behind the ads attacking Beshear over his support for LGBTQ equality, several Republican PACs have taken up that cause on his behalf.
For example, in July, an ad from Kentucky Values, a group affiliated with the Republican Governors Association, which depicted a drag queen reading a book to children, accused Beshear of pushing a “radical transgender agenda.”
Beshear campaign spokesperson Alex Floyd blasted the most recent ad as untruthful.
“There are no words for how absurd this ad is, and it blatantly lies to the people of Kentucky,” Floyd told the Herald-Leader.
Rebecca Blankenship, Kentucky’s first openly transgender elected official and the executive director of Ban Conversion Therapy, called APP’s ad “just another in a long line of the delusional and feverish. There is not one state or country on earth in which a family conversation about gender identity will result in a home visit by the FBI or any other law enforcement agency, and nobody supports making it that way.”
Watch the full ad below:
The Republican Party of Florida ousted its embattled former chairman, Christian Ziegler, who is embroiled in a sex scandal that has led to him being accused of rape.
Ziegler, who had many of his powers stripped away and his $12,000 per-year salary reduced to $1 last month, has been accused of raping a woman with whom he and his wife Bridget, a Sarasota County School Board member, reportedly engaged in a sexual tryst over a year ago.
As reported in November by the Florida Trident, the woman arranged to have another sexual encounter with the Zieglers on Oct. 2, but backed out after learning Bridget Ziegler had another engagement.
Nine Republican senators and a Republican-turned-independent who ground Oregon's legislative session to a halt by staging a walkout will not be permitted to run for re-election.
The ten senators staged the walkout to stop several bills from passing. The bills had been prioritized by the Democratic majority. In doing so, the Republican-led boycott denied the Senate a two-thirds quorum needed to move on with business.
The walkout was the longest in state history and the second-longest for any state legislature in the United States.
Chief among the bills Republicans were seeking to block was a sweeping "shield law" enabling doctors to treat patients seeking out abortion-related services and gender-affirming care. The law protects medical professionals from lawsuits originating in other states where abortion or access to gender-affirming care is banned.
Oklahoma's State Superintendent of Public Instruction has appointed Chaya Raichik, the anti-LGBTQ activist who founded the Libs of TikTok account, to an advisory committee that will determine what books students will be allowed to access in schools.
Ryan Walters, the state's top education official, announced that Chaya Raichik -- who does not live in Oklahoma -- would serve on the Oklahoma State Department of Education's Library Media Advisory Committee.
The committee determines whether a book violates the provisions outlined in Oklahoma's Media Program rules, which were adopted last year by the department, with the intent of routing out any materials -- including books, teacher manuals, videos, audio recordings, and online or multimedia resources -- that could be deemed "sexual" or "age-inappropriate" for minors.
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