By MichaelMH Published Feb 16, 2023
"On February 16th, 2023, the former Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, protested the school gender affirmation policy during a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It's worth noting that Pence's political action committee, Advancing American Freedom, organized the rally. What's peculiar is that Pence uses the words "American Freedom" while actively working to strip minority groups of their rights, particularly the LGBTQ+ community. It's as if he expects the LGBTQ+ community to give up their rights for the benefit of conservatives. The rally was a response to a lawsuit against the Linn-Mar Community School District over policies aimed at accommodating students who are transitioning genders.
The school gender affirmation policy aims to provide a safe and inclusive environment for students who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming, which includes preferred pronouns, gender-neutral restrooms, and participation in gender-aligned sports teams and activities. However, conservative groups, such as Pence and his band of merry men, criticize the policy as leftist propaganda to brainwash innocent children .
During his Cedar Rapids rally, Pence accused left-wing activists of "force-feeding" their beliefs to children, creating a culture war in public schools. It's no surprise that Pence holds these views with his conservative values and devout Christian faith. As Vice President, he endorsed policies that limited transgender rights, including the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. When Pence was governor of Indiana, he even allowed "pray the gay away camps" to torture children into "conversion therapy." Many of these camps were shut down by a federal judge. Pence still refuses to turn over AOL emails he exchanged with camp operators, citing executive privilege.
On the other hand, supporters of gender affirmation policies argue that they are crucial to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all students, including those who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming. Pence's stance is seen as a misconception of gender identity and harmful to transgender individuals. According to a 2019 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, denying transgender individuals access to gender-affirming policies and healthcare is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. For example, transgender youth who were denied access to gender-affirming healthcare had a 4 times higher odds of experiencing suicidal idealization compared to those who received gender-affirming care .
In a Nut-Shell, the topic of gender affirmation policies in schools remains a divisive issue, with strong opinions on both sides. While some, like Pence, view these policies as indoctrination, others believe they're necessary to create a safe and inclusive environment. We hope this article enlightens readers on the issue and who knows, maybe even Pence himself. Let's keep our fingers crossed!