Democrat Keith Ellison is using his support for transgender children as one of his closing arguments in his bid for Minnesota attorney general.
A current representative in the U.S. House, Ellison’s campaign ran a TV ad in late October featuring parents of an 8-year-old biological boy who identifies as a girl. The couple, Dave and Hannah Edwards, warn viewers that Ellison’s opponent, Republican Doug Wardlow, opposed allowing biological boys and biological girls to use the same restrooms and locker rooms in schools. Wardlow at the time was affiliated with the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which the Edwards call a “hate group.”
“When we worked to make our schools more inclusive for LGBTQ students, extremist attorney general candidate Doug Wardlow personally testified against kids like our daughter,” Dave Edwards says in the ad.
The Ellison campaign also released a longer video of the Edwards discussing their children and their support for Ellison. Hannah Edwards says, “Keith Ellison has been an unapologetic ally and defender of public policies that support LGBTQ people and their families.”
The race between Ellison and Wardlow is expected to be tight.
In 2017 Wardlow and ADF sent a letter to all Minnesota public schools, urging them not to adopt guidelines that would allow biological boys to use girls’ restrooms, and vice versa. Boys and girls, the letter said, are biologically different in ways that matter.
“School districts have the duty and discretion to create policies that safeguard the privacy and safety of all students as well as the rights of parents,” Wardlow said, adding that no law “requires schools or school districts to allow students into changing areas of the opposite sex, or to share overnight accommodations with members of the opposite sex.”
Michael Foust is a freelance write. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com
Photo courtesy: Pexels/Marta Branco
Video courtesy: Kieth Ellison for Attorney General