Kentucky Republican governor candidate makes chilling vow to purge transgender kids from schools

Kentucky Republican governor candidate Kelly Craft

A candidate to become governor of Kentucky has vowed to purge transgender kids from the state’s schools, in her bid for Republican nomination. 

On Monday (8 May), Kelly Craft – a former ambassador to the United Nations responded to phone callers’ questions ahead of the primary election on 16 May, where she made the cruel pledge.

According to a transcript of the “town hall”, reported on by the Lexington Herald Leader, she said: “We will not have transgenders in our school system,” although she didn’t specify what action she planned to take.  

Referring to her running mate, senator Max Wise, in response to how she would “combat the transgender agenda in classrooms”, she said: “Under a Craft-Wise administration, we will not have transgenders in our school system,” later adding: “Under a Craft-Wise administration, we will not have transgender.” 

Craft’s husband, coal magnate Joe Craft, has lent her campaign more than $9 million in an attempt to help her secure the state seat.

‘Unhinged political promise’

Chris Hartman, the executive director of the Fairness Campaign, a Kentucky-based LGBTQ+ advocacy group, told AP: “Her claim that she and Wise will somehow purge transgender kids from Kentucky schools is nothing more than an unhinged political promise she can’t keep. 

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“None of the other candidates are railing this hard against LGBTQ youth because it won’t work, except to harm trans kids.” 

After being asked to respond to Craft’s remarks, her campaign communications director, Weston Loyd, said: “Of course, Kelly was referring to the woke ideologies being pushed in our schools. She has been advocating for the best for all children this entire campaign.”

Throughout the campaign Craft has focused on “woke [ideologies] highjacking” children’s futures.

There are 12 other candidates in the primary, including Daniel Cameron, who is seen as her main threat. 

Even after Donald Trump was found liable for sexual assault, state attorney general Cameron said he was honoured to have the backing of the former president, according to NBC News.

The winner of the primary is expected to challenge incumbent Democratic Andy Beshear in the gubernatorial election in November. 

‘Worst anti-trans bill in the nation’

In March, Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 150 which aimed to ban all gender-affirming care for trans youth. 

Craft’s running mate, Wise, sponsored the legislation which was denounced as “the worst anti-trans bill in the nation” by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. LGBTQ charity The Trevor Project described it as “appalling” and “dangerous”.

The Republican-dominated legislature overrode Beshear’s veto to pass the anti-trans law. 

The bill bans gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth, requires doctors to detransition young trans people and prevents schools from discussing gender identity or sexual orientation with students of any age. It also allows teachers to refuse to use a student’s preferred pronouns.