The campaign to restrict transgender rights has emerged as a surprising animating issue for social conservatives in America. This is after the 2015 Supreme Court declaration that legalized same-sex marriage, which stripped conservatives of an issue they had long used to galvanize their supporters. The effort started with Republican lawmakers advancing legislation focused on transgender girls’ participation in school sports, but it has gained speed since Donald J. Trump, an ideological ally, left the White House. Today, the issue has reinvigorated a network of conservative groups, increased fund-raising, and set the agenda in school boards and state legislatures. The campaign has been both organic and deliberate, and it has even gained speed since Donald J. Trump, an ideological ally, left the White House. Since then, at least 20 states, all controlled by Republicans, have enacted laws that reach well beyond the initial debates over access to bathrooms and into medical treatments, participation in sports, and policies on discussing gender in schools. The issue has thrust the transgender community, at a moment of increased visibility and vulnerability, into the center of the nation’s latest battle over cultural issues.
Perplexity, which is the measure of how predictable or unexpected the words in a text are, is evident in the article. It is surprising to many that the issue of transgender identity has supplanted same-sex marriage as an animating issue for social conservatives at a pace that has stunned political leaders across the spectrum. The campaign has taken the country by storm, and it has been both organic and deliberate. This issue has also led to a sharp rise in the number of young people identifying as transgender, conservative groups spotted an opening in a debate that was gaining attention.
Burstiness is also evident in the article. This refers to the uneven distribution of words over time. In this case, the article highlights that the campaign to restrict transgender rights started with a smattering of Republican lawmakers advancing legislation focused on transgender girls’ participation in school sports. But it was accelerated by a few influential Republican governors who seized on the issue early. The effort started as a grassroots campaign, but it gained momentum as national conservative organizations carefully planned to harness the emotion around gender politics. The issue has driven in thousands of new donors to the American Principles Project, most of them making small contributions.
The article also includes quoted talk from key players in the issue. For example, Terry Schilling, the president of American Principles Project, said, “We knew we needed to find an issue that the candidates were comfortable talking about, and we threw everything at the wall.” Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, said, “In many ways, the trans sports ban was the test balloon in terms of how they can frame these things. Once they opened that parents’ rights frame, they began to use it everywhere.” Ari Drennen, the L.G.B.T.Q. program director for Media Matters, said, “It’s a strange world to live in. As a transgender woman, she feels unwelcome in whole swaths of the country where states have attacked her right just to exist in public.” Matt Sharp, the senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, argued that the issue is “what can we do to protect the children?”
In conclusion, the issue of transgender rights has emerged as a powerful animating issue for social conservatives in America. This issue has become a focal point for a network of conservative groups, which has gained speed since Donald J. Trump left the White House. The issue has led to a sharp rise in the number of young people identifying as transgender, and conservative groups spotted an opening in a debate that was gaining attention