Nikki Haley Waffles on Transgenderism
A Republican presidential contender appeared to signal support for portions of the transgender agenda. According to The Daily Caller News Foundation, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley dodged a question on gender transition procedures on Sunday, but affirmed that “people can live any way they want…”
At a virtual town hall event ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Haley was asked whether a man could “transition” to become a woman. The former South Carolina governor did not directly answer the question. Instead, Haley stated that “we should not allow any gender change surgeries to anyone before the age of 18. Period.” She added, “We shouldn’t have them permanently change their body until they’re 18.” But once someone turns 18, it’s a free-for-all, according to Haley’s philosophy.
“After the age of 18, we want to make sure people can live any way they want to live,” Haley declared. “I don’t think government needs to be in control of anybody’s life. You go live the way you want to live, you should be free to live the way you want to live. And … government and everybody else should stay out of your way.”
Meg Kilgannon, a senior fellow at Family Research Council, commented to The Washington Stand, “In discussing the issue of so-called gender identity, one can see how much is lost by accepting the terminology of sexual revolutionaries.” She continued, “No one can ‘change sex.’ Mutilating and or sterilizing medical procedures designed to attempt sex changes are not health care or medically necessary even if they were possible. This is true regardless of age.”
Regarding the position Haley articulated Sunday evening, Kilgannon said, “No one familiar with Nikki Haley’s work as governor or U.N. ambassador will be surprised by her position now.” She explained, “Haley reportedly stopped a bathroom bill as governor of South Carolina, and she is not telling us she has ‘evolved.’ Haley is in fact continuing to espouse her standard globalist corporatist positions on most issues.”
Haley’s comments on Sunday echo views she stated last year regarding same-sex marriage. At an August event in Des Moines, Iowa, Haley was asked about her position on same-sex marriage. She clarified that she does not oppose it, saying, “People should live the way they want to live. I believe in freedom. I believe in making sure that people can live the way they want to live, and I believe the government needs to stay out of the way.” This position directly contradicts, not only the Republican Party Platform, but her defense 10 years prior of a South Carolina state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage.
In 2016, while serving as the governor of South Carolina, Haley refused to support legislation which would require people to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their biological sexes. Haley described the legislation as “unnecessary,” adding, “When I look at South Carolina, we look at our situations, we’re not hearing of anybody’s religious liberties that are being violated, and we’re again not hearing any citizens that feel like they’re being violated in terms of freedoms.”
Haley has also distanced herself from the Republican Party’s pro-life base. Last year, she argued against a federal abortion ban, calling instead for “consensus.” She explained that abortion up until birth is “not okay … and so we should at least decide when is it okay.” During last year’s Republican primary debates, Haley was critical of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying, “We need to stop demonizing this issue. This is talking about the fact that unelected justices didn’t need to decide something this personal.” Haley also advocated increased use of contraception as an alternative to abortion, despite the Guttmacher Institute reporting that roughly half of all women who obtain abortions were using contraception when they conceived. As governor of South Carolina, Haley did sign a 20-week abortion ban into law, but her successor almost immediately signed a six-week ban into law.
The libertarian ideology guiding Haley’s policy decisions has seemingly drawn supporters who skew moderately left-wing. According to Axios, Democrats in Iowa are temporarily registering as Republicans in order to vote for Haley in the Republican primary. A recent NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll found that nearly half of Haley’s supporters in Iowa would vote for Democrat Joe Biden over Republican Donald Trump, if the former U.N. ambassador doesn’t nab the Republican presidential nomination. Only 23% of Haley’s supporters said they’d vote for Trump, with 27% saying they’d back a third-party candidate.
Haley is currently polling in second place ahead of the Iowa caucuses, with 20% of the vote against former president Donald Trump’s 48%.
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.