Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address late Tuesday night, beginning by asking her audience to “forgive me for not believing much of anything I heard tonight from President Biden.”
“I’m the first woman to lead my state,” Sanders said, while Biden is “the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob that can’t even tell you what a woman is.”
Referring to this line in her speech, trans activist and Minneapolis City Councilwoman Andrea Jenkins tweeted: “The governor and Republicans all across this country continue to attack transgender people and especially our trans youth to score political points with their base.”
“It is time to stop these mean-spirited attacks on the transgender community,” Jenkins added.
Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson, who attended the State of the Union as a guest of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), released a statement following Sanders’ speech.
“It’s just plain despicable that she used her platform tonight to sow division by demonizing the LGBTQ+ community, especially transgender and nonbinary people,” Robinson said.
“Transgender kids just want to grow up feeling loved, respected and valued for who they are. But politicians like Gov. Huckabee Sanders are making that nearly impossible with their neverending attacks on these kids.”
Robinson also noted the Arkansas Senate is poised to send Sanders a bill that would bar trans youth from using school restrooms and facilities that align with their gender identities.
The state has already passed measures prohibiting trans minors from participating in school athletics programs and accessing guideline directed gender affirming healthcare, laws that were stayed pending the conclusion of litigated challenges.
Sanders served as White House press secretary under former President Donald Trump’s administration from 2017-2019. Her father, Mike Huckabee, was governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007.