Youngkin meeting with Virginia lawmakers interrupted by heated exchange over transgender policy
A heated exchange between Virginia Reps. Bob Good (R) and Abigail Spanberger (D) over Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) recent policy on transgender students interrupted a meeting between the governor and the state’s congressional delegation, according to aides.
A few aides who attended the meeting or heard about it afterwards told The Washington Post anonymously that the two lawmakers engaged in a skirmish over whether the new policy protects or endangers children.
Good said that children are being “forced” to undergo transgender surgeries, which he called the “mutilation of children,” he confirmed to Punchbowl News.
“This is the party that believes not only in grooming and encouraging gender confusion of elementary and middle school students – which is up some 4,000 percent from just a couple years ago because of what is happening in our schools — but this is also the party that supports the surgical procedures on minor children. Irreversible, harmful procedures,” Good claimed that he told the delegation.
The aides told the Post that he added: “The fact that these kids are killing themselves is because of grooming.”
“That’s not f*cking true,” Spanberger allegedly said.
Youngkin’s rule, released this weekend, requires transgender students to use facilities like bathrooms and participate in activities including sports that correspond to their sex assigned at birth, issues that have created sharp divisions between Democrats and Republicans across the country.
The policy also requires Virginia’s school districts to obtain parental permission before making official changes to children’s names or pronouns.
Reps. Jennifer Wexton and Don Beyer backed Spanberger in her opposition to the new rule, according to aides. The congress members questioned its constitutionality and raised concerns about its effects on children’s mental health.
Youngkin allegedly defended his policy as a statement on parental rights in education, a hot-button issue for his party.
A spokesperson for Spanberger told The Hill that the congresswoman “always appreciates the opportunity to have a candid conversation with the Governor about the issues facing Virginia’s Seventh District.”
“In Tuesday’s meeting, she brought up her concerns about emergency preparedness in the Commonwealth, her conservation priorities related to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and her perspective as a parent related to recent education policy announcements made by the Governor’s administration,” the statement from Spanberger’s office said.
“Separately, she will always stand up against QAnon conspiracy theories that harm or attack Virginia’s students, their parents, and their educators — as was the case when one of her congressional colleagues did just that.”
The Hill has reached out to Good and Youngkin for comment on the incident.