State Watch

Michigan congressional candidate sends fundraiser with claim ‘your child’ is receiving gender-affirming surgery

An early version of a fundraiser message for Michigan state Sen. Tom Barrett (R) was sent out via text message with the message telling prospective donors “your child” is receiving gender-affirming surgery.

The fundraiser message now appearing online does not contain the claim, but a screenshot of the original message sent via text was obtained by Michigan Advance. According to the outlet, Barrett, who is running for the state’s 7th Congressional District, says in the message that “Your child” will receive “Gender Reassignment Surgery Tomorrow at 9 AM.”

The message then reads: “If you would like to CANCEL this appointment because you do not believe in teaching young children about dangerous transgender ideologies, please sign your name NOW.” 

The Hill has reached out to Barrett’s campaign for comment.

Barrett, a 20-year Army veteran and two-term state senator, will likely face off against incumbent Elissa Slotkin (D) in the congressional election.

In a response to The Hill, a spokesperson for Barrett did not answer a direct question about the fundraising message.

The spokesperson, however, pointed out the Biden Administration has outlined support for gender-affirming surgery for children, and said Slotkin has also supported transgender rights.

“Elissa Slotkin herself has advocated transgenderism to children ages 4-8 but has yet to take a public position on gender reassignment surgery for children,” the spokesperson added.

When he announced his run in November, Barrett said he was running to “reverse the woke indoctrination of our troops” and “put an end to this invasion of our constitutional rights.”

“I’m running to give our kids an America worth fighting for,” he said in his campaign announcement video.

The current fundraiser message accuses Democrats of pushing transgender “ideology” and plays off a topic now taking root in some conservative circles.

Rights for transgender and LGBTQ youth have become a controversial topic after new policies targeting trans children were passed this year in red states like Florida and Texas.

Texas is wrapped up in litigation after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered state officials to investigate the parents of trans children who are receiving gender-affirming care, while Florida passed a law prohibiting discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through third grade.

In Barrett’s fundraising message, the state senator and congressional candidate accused President Biden of “forcing 5-year-olds to learn about gender reassignment surgeries, gender identities, and other radical ideas.”

“Every American needs to step up TODAY and stop this sick and twisted ideology from poisoning our children,” the message says.

The news follows a fundraising email from one of Barrett’s colleagues in the state senate, Lana Theis (R), who accused three Democratic colleagues of grooming and sexualizing LGBTQ children.

State Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D), who was one of the three named by Theis, blasted the email, saying she was simply standing up for LGBTQ rights.

“Hate wins when people like me stand by and let it happen,” McMorrow said. “I won’t.”

Updated 4:48 p.m.

Tags 2022 midterms Elissa Slotkin LGBTQ rights Michigan Michigan Tom Barrett Tom Barrett trans rights

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