The Senate debate on whether to override U.S Governor Spencer Cox’s veto of the bill banning transgender girls from high school sports has featured many unfortunate statements against the trans rights movements.
However, a glimmer of hope in the shape of a Republican lawmaker shone among the four Republicans who had gone against their values opposing the ban of trans girls from high school sports. It would have been the best course of political action for Thatcher to vote for the override, as even voting against it would not have changed the outcome.
Other Republican lawmakers opposed the ban but did not speak against the bill to save their political careers. Despite the possibility of his statement setting his political race ablaze, Senator Daniel Thatcher defended the fight for trans rights by making an impassioned speech against the infamous bill. It bears repetition that Senator Daniel Thatcher had, realistically, a lot to lose and very little to gain from being outspoken.
Nonetheless, he was very factual with the arguments he provided to defend against the bill. He mentioned how it would hurt transgender even if they played sports or not.
Thatcher advocates for suicide prevention and intelligently said how it hurts the integrity of trans kids to have a group of people who don’t know a thing about them and much less empathize with them, arguing about their fundamental rights. “We want to protect our girls, but this bill hurts our girls… It hurts the trans community; I think it violates the constitution. And I think it wastes money,” he said. “It’s political theatre.”
Senator Thatcher couldn’t vote for the bill because, as advised by former Senate President Michael Waddoups, the first time someone votes against their conscience is the first of many. Rarely does one go back after doing so. Thatcher prioritized his values and beliefs in democracy over his race. He said, “In my world, conservative doesn’t mean turning your back on your principles.”
Thatcher also mentioned how he has seen lawmakers listen to their conscience instead of the potential political consequences that ignoring them would cause and calls this one that would stick with him. He praised the courage shown by transgender kids every day just to face the hatred thrown at them and repeated how it is essential for them to know they have allies and friends willing to fight for their rights even if it means facing the consequences society has placed on them.