The 2024 GOP presidential lineup is looking dreadful, and prospective Republican candidates are certainly not shy about sharing their transphobic opinions. Though there are a slew of conservative candidates at present, some of the biggest names include Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, and Chris Christie.
It’s been an unfortunately record-breaking year for transgender people in America as laws have been proposed and passed attempting to curtail gender-affirming healthcare, trans participation in sports, LGBTQ+ education, trans events and rituals, and basically activities of everyday life in the trans community. Trans people have been threatened time and time again, under constant attack, and as the GOP candidates move forward with their campaigns, concern for the safety of trans individuals is only getting worse.
Here’s a breakdown of all the GOP candidates running for president in 2024 and where they stand on transgender rights.
Donald Trump has been indicted four times and is facing 91 different charges for tax fraud, conspiracy, the insurrection, rape, and countless other offenses, but he’s still going strong with an unwavering following. During his term as president, Trump removed nondiscrimination protections in health care and insurance for LGBTQ+ people. Should he take office again, many predict he will restrict transgender rights even further.
Mike Pence has long been infamous for his homophobic stances and his strong belief in conversion therapy. He has stated that he would support a federal ban on gender-affirming care for minors. According to the New York Times, “He has suggested that the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage conflicts with religious freedom.” Additionally, during his time as governor of Indiana, he attempted to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which would have allowed business to deny service to LGBTQ+ people.
If you haven’t heard DeSantis’ incessant rhetoric protesting the trans community and painting them as a threat to minors, then you might live under a rock. As governor of Florida, DeSantis has made quite the name for himself stripping the state from essential education on gender and sexual identity, making it illegal to discuss LGBTQ+ people and identities in Florida primary schools with the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law. He also banned gender-affirming care for youth, criminalizing the prescription of puberty blockers, hormone medications, and other gender-affirming medical procedures for individuals under the age of 18. He also passed a law preventing transgender people from using bathrooms that match their gender identity, and another law preventing children from attending drag shows and events. Need we say more?
One of the only Republican candidates who doesn’t entirely oppose transgender rights is Chris Christie. Christie claims that the government shouldn’t be involved in a child’s decision to transition, but a child’s parents should be. When he acted as governor of New Jersey, he signed a law that lets schools affirm transgender students’ use of new names, pronouns, and bathrooms matching their identities. But he holds back on other areas of transgender rights including athletics, claiming “biological males should not be allowed to participate against biological females.”
Other GOP candidates who have supported anti-trans laws and ideas.
Doug Burgum, the current Governor of North Dakota, has already signed into law multiple anti-trans bills and is open to bringing these laws to a federal level.
Asa Hutchinson, the former Governor of Arkansas, vetoed a bill banning gender-affirming care, but has supported bans on the use of public funds for transition care, and other anti-trans laws.
Nikki Haley. According to the NYT, has “framed transgender rights as a threat to women and has signed a pledge declaring ‘sex is a binary.’”
Vivek Ramaswamy, an American entrepreneur, is so staunchly against trans identities he said “Transgenderism, especially in kids, is a mental health disorder.” He also describes himself as “anti-woke.”
Perry Johnson, businessman and author, stated: “When I’m elected president, there are three things that I’d like to do immediately. Number one, I want to start a program where we balance the budget to stop inflation. Number two, never again will we allow transition therapy for minors. It is child abuse,” according to The GLAAD Acountability Project.
Larry Elder, a conservative talk show host, has backed some far right concepts like eliminating the minimum wage, but he supports same-sex marriage and the right for same-sex couples to adopt. He rejects the idea of transgender athletes participating in competitive sports against others in their identified gender.
Tim Scott, a Senator from South Carolina, has argued that Democrats are wrong about the persistence of structural racism in the U.S. and has also spoken out against transgender athletes’ participation in competitive sports.
The only GOP candidates who supported trans rights, Will Hurd and Francis Suarez, have dropped out of the race.