Washington Times journalist denies calling for ‘execution’ of parents of trans child

A picture of two trans flags waving in an open area.

A Washington Times editor is facing a backlash after describing the parents of an 11-year-old transgender child as “sick, evil [and] abusive” in a column, as well as including a Bible quote which suggests they should be killed. 

On Monday (23 October), the paper published a piece by Cheryl Chumley, an opinions editor at the conservative daily title, with the headline “Orlando shame as boy, 11, parades in princess gown for LGBTQ crowd“.

The column was penned in response to Dempsey Jara making history as the youngest ever grand marshal of the Orlando Pride parade

In the piece, Chumley hit out at Jara’s parents for affirming their child’s gender and letting her take part in the event, writing: these “sick, evil people” – in reference to Pride goers – “along with [Jara’s] sick, evil parents, will one day face an unimaginable wrath”. 

The columnist continued by saying that Jara’s parents should “lose custody” of her, accusing them of “exploiting [her] and abusing [her]”. 

She also quoted a bible verse, Matthew 18:6, which reads: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” 

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People were quick to criticise the story, with civil rights attorney and clinical instructor at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic, Alejandra Caraballo, writing on X, previously called Twitter: “Cheryl Chumley at The Washington Times just straight up called for the execution of the parents of a trans girl who was grand marshal of Orlando Pride.” 

Other social media users called Chumley’s words “unconscionable and depraved”, as well as “disgusting” and “hateful”. 

A number of people also expressed their displeasure of Chumley’s use of a Bible verse to justify her beliefs. 

In response, Chumley took to her own X account to deny she called for Jara’s parents to be killed, writing: “I said arrest and loss of custody, not execution. Stick with the truth… unlike the abusive parents who tell their little children they can change from boy to girl at [a] whim.” 

Following the backlash, PinkNews asked Chumley if she stood by her column. 

“Of course they take offence… and of course I stand by my column, whatever that means,” she wrote in an email reply. 

“If it means ‘have the angry masses of atheistic, secularist, supporters of child abuse browbeaten me into changing my opinion’, well then, that’s a big no. 

“Child abuse is wrong in my eyes, child abuse is wrong in God’s eyes.” 

The Washington Times have been contacted for comment.

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