What does a wave of legislation targeting transgender children in state houses across the country have in common with the recent furor among Republicans over “cancel culture” and Dr. Seuss?
More than you might think — at least according to LGBTQ rights’ advocates, who are working to fend off the bills.
They argue that Republicans are targeting transgender youth now as a way to score political points with a segment of their base at a time when the party is out of power at the federal level and squabbling over some of the fundamental policies that used to unite them — from fiscal conservatism to cozying up to big business.
Representative Jim Banks, the chair of the House Republican Study Committee, argued in a recent memo that Republicans should make fighting “wokeness” a core campaign message. (Wokeness can refer to anything from supporting the Black Lives Matter movement to Dr. Seuss’ own estate pulling some of his books that contained racist imagery.)
Banks also included under the “wokeness” umbrella legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination.
[However, it] doesn’t appear that targeting transgender people is a winning political issue. A new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found that roughly two-thirds of Americans say they oppose bills limiting transgender rights, including a majority of people who identify as conservative.