GOP Governor Of Utah Plans To Veto Transphobic Law, So That's Nice!
Generally speaking, I don't go in for the "You gotta give it to [whatever Republican], that sure is some basic human decency they are exhibiting right there!" rubric. Sometimes said act of basic human decency is a criticism of another Republican for being crass or conspiratorial. Often it is a relatively mild criticism framed in a headline as a SLAM or a SMACKDOWN or some other kind of WWF-ish metaphor. That's just annoying.
That being said ...
On Friday, Utah GOP Governor Spencer Cox — both a Republican and a Mormon — announced that he would veto a bill banning trans students from participating in school sports. And you know what? That actually is a pretty big deal, and not just because it's the decent thing to do, or because he's "bucking his party" to do so. It's a big deal to the trans students who won't be treated like second-class citizens.
Without his support, Utah is unlikely to join the 11 states, all Republican-led, that have recently enacted bans on transgender girls wanting to compete in school sports leagues that correspond with their gender identity.
In vowing to veto the bill, Cox directly addressed transgender student-athletes, who he said found themselves the subject of political debate through no fault of their own.
“I just want them to know that it’s gonna be okay. We’re gonna work through this,” Cox said.
Well, that is actually very nice. Cox has a history of "basic human decency" as it concerns LGBTQ rights, and it's nice to see him keeping up with that. We certainly prefer this Spencer Cox to the porn-banning, MLM-promoting Spencer Cox.
It's also important because certain supposedly left-leaning white guy pundits have frequently brought up trans students' participation in sports as the kind of thing that might make an absolutely darling little culture war concession to Republicans. This is not only cruel but unbelievably naïve. Republican elected officials and voters have absolutely zero history of rewarding Democrats for such concessions in the past, and frequently throw those concessions in their faces once they are no longer socially acceptable.
This incredible compilation includes classics like "This bigot's terrible opinions on same-sex marriage are no different than Obama's were when he was elected. So are you saying Obama was a bigot?" and "Hillary Clinton voted to authorize the Iraq War, and is therefore the only person who should be held accountable for it, including the man I voted for who started the whole thing to begin with."
So congratulations, white guy pundits I have trouble telling apart! This man just freed you from even having to consider recommending anyone throw trans people under the bus in the spirit of being "reasonable," or trying to win elections by reeling in the votes of bigots who have 87,000 other reasons not to vote for Democrats anyway.
If the Republican governor of Utah can pull this off, anyone can!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse