Outgoing Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) said Friday on CNN’s “New Day” that Republicans needed to “tone down” their transphobic rhetoric talking about pedophilia and grooming.
Guest host Brianna Keilar said, “I do want to ask you, in light of this shooting at the LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, do you think that members of your party needed to tone down some of their transphobic language? We’ve heard officials talking about pedophilia, grooming, demonizing trans people?”
Hutchinson said, “Well, in all of our society, we need to tone down harsh rhetoric that causes others to hate. That’s not what our society should be about. And that is horrific, what happened in that nightclub. Our hearts go out there, as it should. And hopefully, it will cause us all to be more reflective about what we say, how we say it, and how we might stigmatize certain elements of our population, which is not good.”
Keilar said, “Can I ask you, governor, specifically, just about those kinds of comments that I was highlighting because we are talking specifically about a situation here with the suspect facing hate crime charges? Specifically, is there room in your belief for that kind of language in the Republican Party?”
Hutchinson asked, “You mean harsh language in reference to the trans community?”
Keilar said, “Yes.”
Hutchinson said, “I think that we need to show compassion for all elements. There is a debate we had this in Arkansas as to what you do with trans children that are struggling with gender identity and how you handle the medications and things like that. Those are fair points of discussion in the policy arena. But you don’t have to translate that into hate or harshness that again stigmatizes. So, again, it’s very important whether you are Republican or Democrat, I know you’re talking about Republicans, that we use rhetoric and words that try to bring people together and not divide us, and it’s true whether you’re talking about race or whether you’re talking about, you know, sexual identity, you don’t want to say things that’s going to cause others to hate more, and they might respond with violence. That is not what we need. We need to suppress that every chance we get.”
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