Blistering new advert names and shames Republicans behind anti-trans sports bans

Maggie Baska March 29, 2021
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Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson South Dakota governor Kristi Noem

(Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A powerful commercial has called out several Republican governors for pushing anti-trans sports bans.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched the campaign on Friday (26 March), naming and shaming Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, Tennessee’s Bill Lee and Mississippi’s Tate Reed, who have all signed bills targeted trans inclusion in sport. It also targets South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, who is on the verge of following suit.

The commercial calls it “shocking that elected officials across the country are using their time and energy to attack LGBTQ kids” while the pandemic is wreaking havoc across the US, “putting even more lives at risk”.

“These bills will only push more trans kids deeper into isolation,” it continues. “Trans kids are kids, they don’t deserve this cruelty.”

A version shared on Twitter shows all four governors, as the narrator proclaims: “Shame, shame, shame.”

A version of the advert specifically targeting the Arkansas governor aired in the state during an NCAA March Madness basketball game this weekend, which was expected to be watched by hundreds of thousands.

In a press release, Alphonso David, president of HRC, said the wave of anti-trans bills is “in search of a problem that does not exist”. He added that HRC would be there to make sure Hutchinson and “any elected officials pushing for these discriminatory laws are held accountable”.

“Hutchinson’s shameful decision to attack transgender children to score a few political points is absolutely abhorrent and rooted in nothing but his animus towards LGBTQ people,” David said.

On Friday (26 March), Hutchingson signed into law a bill that bans trans women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. Mississippi and Tennessee signed similar bills this month, while in South Dakota, Noem has vowed to do the same.

HRC also shared the commercial on YouTube with the caption that “Arkansans need to see their governor [Asa Hutchinson] has failed them”. The caption continued: “He’s failed to effectively combat COVID-19 with Arkansas being in the bottom 10 in vaccine distribution, and he’s failed his constituents, especially trans kids.

“It’s time he’s held accountable.”

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