Opinion | Why the G.O.P.’s Attack on Trans Rights Could Destroy the Party

Hosted by Lulu Garcia-Navarro

Produced by Sophia Alvarez Boyd and Derek Arthur

Edited by Anabel Bacon and Kaari Pitkin

Engineered by Carole Sabouraud

Original music by Isaac Jones, Sonia Herrero, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud

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When Daniel Thatcher was sworn in to the Utah State Senate in 2011, he had no plans to get involved in L.G.B.T.Q. advocacy. He’s a Republican, and he believed that your sexuality and gender identity are none of the government’s business.

But in the past seven years, anti-trans legislation has become an animating issue for the G.O.P. In 2023 alone, dozens of bills have been introduced in statehouses across the country, targeting everything from access to gender-affirming health care for transgender youth to restricting their participation in school sports. And Utah is no exception.

But while a majority of his colleagues have fallen in line behind the party agenda, Thatcher hasn’t. He has repeatedly voted against anti-trans bills when they’ve been introduced, arguing that they are an unconstitutional threat to trans kids’ health and that supporting them would be a violation of his conservative principles.

Note: This episode contains explicit language.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected] Follow Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Twitter: @lourdesgnavarro

“First Person” was produced this week by Sophia Alvarez Boyd with help from Derek Arthur. It was edited by Anabel Bacon and Kaari Pitkin. Mixing by Carole Sabouraud. Original music by Isaac Jones, Sonia Herrero, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud. Fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker, Michelle Harris and Kate Sinclair. The rest of the “First Person” team includes Stephanie Joyce, Olivia Natt, Rhiannon Corby, Wyatt Orme and Jillian Weinberger. Special thanks to Kristina Samulewski, Shannon Busta, Allison Benedikt, Annie-Rose Strasser and Katie Kingsbury.

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