During the fourth Republican presidential debate in Alabama, hosted by NewsNation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis strongly criticized former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over his stance on parental rights concerning transgender treatments for minors. The debate intensified following a question from co-moderator Megyn Kelly about Christie’s actions as governor in 2017.
Kelly questioned Christie about a law he signed requiring schools to follow new guidelines for transgender students. These guidelines, as she pointed out, allowed schools to accept a child’s preferred gender identity without parental consent and kept it a secret from parents if a child changed their gender identity. She challenged Christie on how these actions were pro-parental.
Christie defended his record, claiming the guidelines were regulated after he left office in 2018 and asserting his support for parental rights in decisions concerning their minor children. However, DeSantis countered forcefully, arguing that parents do not have the right to abuse their children through irreversible transgender treatments, such as genital mutilation.
DeSantis highlighted his legislative actions in Florida, where he banned the mutilation of minors, citing it as damaging and irreversible. He noted that other countries, like Sweden, reversed similar practices after witnessing their harmful impacts. DeSantis also criticized Christie and Nikki Haley, another presidential candidate, for their positions on these issues. He pointed out Haley’s opposition to his bill banning transgender treatments for minors and her actions in South Carolina, where she prevented a bill restricting men from entering girls’ bathrooms.
DeSantis’s remarks on protecting minors from transgender treatments and keeping men out of girls’ bathrooms received significant applause from the audience, indicating strong support for his stance on these contentious issues.