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Second Republican Presidential Debate Addresses Title IX Issues

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Second Republican Presidential Debate Addresses Title IX Issues

By Betsy Armstrong

October 5, 2023

The second presidential debate was held on September 27, 2023. There were 33 questions over a two-hour period between three moderators and seven candidates. The questions and answers pertaining to Title IX focused on transgenderism, parental rights, and discrimination.

Question # 18 came early in the second hour of the debate, posed by Dana Perrino, a Fox News host, to businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, then also asked of North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. The question concerned the 10.7 million students in over one thousand public schools nationwide that have the ability to change their identity without parental notification. Would the candidates pass a federal law to protect parental rights?

Mr. Ramaswamy’s remarks were blunt and to the point: “Transgenderism, especially in kids, is a mental health disorder. We have to acknowledge the truth of that for what it is. … Parents have the right to know. …  The very people who claim that this increases the risk of suicide, are also the ones saying parents don’t have the right to know about that increased risk of suicide. And I’m sorry, it is not compassionate to affirm a kid’s confusion. That is not compassion, that is cruelty. … I will ban genital mutilation or chemical castration. … states absolutely have to follow through to stand for parental rights, yes.

Gov. Burgum’s remarks strayed away from the question after his initial answer: “I think that this is a states’ issue …  There are certain things that government is supposed to do. It’s not the Department of Education that needs to be assembled, we’ve got to move it back to the states.”

Question 19 was asked by Univision anchor Ilia Calderón of Vice President Pence that in light of the Department of Homeland Security warnings that violence against LGBTQ+ people is on the rise and intensifying, how would he protect those communities from violent attacks and discrimination?

Vice President Pence answered: “I’ll stand up for the safety and civil liberties of every American from every background. …  the Linn-Mar schools in Iowa had a policy where you had to have a permission slip from your parents to get a Tylenol but you could get a gender transition plan without notifying your parents. … That’s not bad policy, that’s crazy. We’re going to stand up for the rights of parents and we’re going to pass a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical/surgery anywhere in the country. We’ve got to protect our kids from this radical gender ideology agenda.”