NewsStateState-Kentucky

Actions

LGBTQ+ community reacts to Kelly Craft's comment that Kentucky 'will not have transgenders' in school system

Kelly Craft
Posted at 11:03 PM, May 10, 2023

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. — Some Kentuckians said Kelly Craft's comments at a town hall Monday night make them feel like they are not welcome in the commonwealth.

Craft said Kentucky "will not have transgenders in our school system" if she is elected governor. She did not specify what policy actions she would take involving transgender students, but Wednesday her campaign said she "was referring to the woke ideologies being pushed in our schools."

"She has been advocating for the best for all children this entire campaign," Craft's campaign said in a statement.

Parent Kim Chamber said she thinks Craft and others are not thinking about people like her two transgender daughters.

"It scares me that some of the people in Kentucky want to see, this is what some of the people in Kentucky support," Chamber said. "I know most people in Kentucky aren't like that, but it scares me."

Nicki Chambers, a freshman in high school, said the language — "not (having) transgenders" — made her laugh.

"Like how are you going to do that?" Nicki Chambers said.

Just this year, Kentucky lawmakers have worked on legislation that restricts the rights of LGBTQ+ people, including bills targeting trans athletes, gender-affirming care and drag performances. Kim Chambers said her family considered moving out of Kentucky, but said her daughters wanted to stay to support other kids in the same situation.

"Just really angry and scared like afraid for our lives mainly," said her seventh grader Gabriella Quinn Chamber.

Craft's comments come just days before voters decide which Republican candidate will run against incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear in the November election. The latest polls have Craft trailing Daniel Cameron, who is considered the front-runner in the GOP field.

Chris Hartman, executive director for the Fairness Campaign of Kentucky, said Craft is "just grasping for whatever political straws are left."

"The idea that somehow she and Max Wise in an administration could eliminate or eradicate trans kids from Kentucky schools is an unhinged political promise that she cannot possibly keep," Hartman said. "She's just throwing spaghetti at the wall right now to see what could possibly stick and using trans kids as political pawns for the cheapest political points available is really frustrating, it is sad, it's disgusting and again it's not going to get her where she needs to be."

READ MORE
A closer look at political ads in Kentucky's GOP primary for governor
'We will not have transgenders in our school system:' Comment on transgender issue roils Ky. governor race
Kentucky bill would prohibit businesses that host drag shows from being near schools, residences