Republican lawmaker doubles down on TV ad attacking transgender women

A Republican candidate has given a defiant speech after airing a TV ad attacking transgender women.

Illinois Republican state lawmaker Jeanne Ives is running for her party’s nomination for the state governorship, as a more conservative challenger to existing GOP Governor Bruce Rauner.

She attracted controversy this week over a TV ad she is airing in the state that has been derided as “racist, sexist and homophobie” – which depicts a string of supposedly undesirable people “thanking” Rauner for policies that are unpopular with Republican voters.

A trans woman is depicted with a deep-voice and chest hair, and thanks Rauner “for signing legislation that lets me use the girl’s bathroom”.

The ad also took aim at a feminist campaigner and an African-American teacher in Chicago.

The TV clip led to condemnation from state Republicans, who called on Ives to apologise.

But in a speech last night she hit out at her critics.

Ives said: “I don’t know why people are so offended by it.

“What’s offensive about the ad? The ad is a policy ad. That’s what it is. It’s an accurate depiction of the policies that Rauner put in place.

“I mean, look, I talk about it on the stump, my literature has all these issues laid out there. The fact that you saw a visual representation of the policies he put in place is maybe considered offensive.

“I don’t understand that. There’s, that’s exactly … the fat-cat Exelon guy, that’s exactly who we bailed out. Hello.

“The teacher from Chicago Public Schools, that’s whose pension you just bailed out. The transgender man, that’s exactly what typically a transgender man looks like.”

According to the Chicago Tribune she added: “Rauner chose the political agenda of the LGBTQ movement over the privacy interests of moms and dads who don’t want their daughters forced to be in the same bathrooms and locker rooms as men.

“This is a real issue being litigated in Palatine Distinct 211 and across the country. Last month a Wisconsin school district agreed to pay a transgender student $800,000 to settle a lawsuit she filed in a successful attempt to share bathrooms and overnight sleeping quarters with male high school students.

“There was a story in the New York Post over the weekend about a father-daughter dance at a Staten Island elementary school being cancelled because it offended the trans rights community. I’m sorry, but as parents of a daughter in elementary school, my husband Paul and I are not on board for this.

“As Christians we believe every person is made in God’s image and deserving of dignity. I respect people who are different from me. I respect people who have different views than me.

“In fact it seems that the converse is not true among many (with) whom I disagree. They shouldn’t be silenced. But neither should I. And I won’t be.”

A spokesperson for the Chicago Teachers Union had told the Tribune: “We’re not going to dignify this racist, sexist, homophobic piece of crap with a response.”

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider has said Ives should pull the ad and “immediately apologize to the Illinoisans who were negatively portrayed in a cowardly attempt to stoke political division.”

He added: “There is no place in the Illinois Republican Party for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisans based on their race, gender or humanity.”

Ives previously claimed gay people have “disordered relationships”.

Speaking on the Catholic Conference of Illinois Radio in 2013 she said that she would rather not talk about equal marriage, but that the issue kept coming up.

She said: “It’s unfortunate that actually that’s the issue that we have to talk about in Springfield… You deal with the issues that are given to you. This issue is going to be brought up – they are trying to redefine marriage – it is a completely disordered relationship.

“When you have a disordered relationship, you don’t ever get order out of that, so I am more than happy to take the no vote on the issue of homosexual marriage.”