The Republican party is targeting transgender youth with a slate of proposals across a variety of states, blocking the access of trans youth from lifesaving healthcare and from participation in sports.
Republican lawmakers in Florida attempted to pass anti-trans legislation that would've let officials inspect the genitals of gender ambiguous young athletes. While the legislators backed off that specific provision, the overall bill passed the Florida legislature. Texas has proposed a bill that would designate accepting parents of transgender children as child abusers. Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey recently signed into law a bill banning trans youth from playing with teams that match their gender.
And in West Virginia, Republican Governor Jim Justice ratified legislation banning trans girls from participating in women's sports in public middle schools, high schools, and universities.
MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle took Justice to task for the legislation in a fiery interview.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a bill into law banning trans kids from sports this week. He went on TV… https://t.co/M1ioS5zwVz— Human Rights Campaign (@Human Rights Campaign) 1619797655.0
Ruhle asked Justice to name a single example of a trans child in West Virginia trying to get an unfair competitive advantage on a school sports team.
After Justice failed to provide an example, Ruhle listed off statistics regarding West Virginia and accused the Governor of failing to prioritize legislation the state needs:
"Why would you take your time to do this? Let's talk about other things that I can give you examples of in your state. According to US News and World Report, West Virginia ranks 45th in education, 47th in healthcare, 48th on the economy, and 50th in infrastructure. If you cannot name one single example for me of a child doing this, why would you make this a priority? I just named four things that would seem to me like a much bigger priority."
"Well, Stephanie, I didn't make it a priority. It wasn't my bill. It's just come to me and I have absolutely signed it because I believe, from the standpoint of a coach, I believe that girls worked so hard to obtain title ix, and I have no idea now why we are trying to disadvantage them in participating in the sport that they put so much into."
Ruhle later concluded the segment by inviting Justice to return—on one condition:
"Alright then, Sir. Thank you and please come back when — beyond anecdotal feelings as a coach — you can show me evidence where those young women are being disadvantaged in your state, because I can show you evidence about how ranking that low in education is disadvantaging young women and men in West Virginia."
The anchor's takedown was praised across social media.
Oh my word, Stephanie Ruhle just eviscerated West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice over signing an anti-trans bill. This i… https://t.co/Fd69XuCvj0— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈) 1619793284.0
More of this energy from the media, please! https://t.co/sPaEDB4KJ1— Sam Stryker (@Sam Stryker) 1619792904.0
THIS is how you interview. CALL THEM OUT https://t.co/Ygz69r1jzb— Liam Johnson (@Liam Johnson) 1619793893.0
Thank you for your passion, @SRuhle. People who pass and sign hateful, discriminatory laws targeting kids ought to… https://t.co/y0Mm1nYLGe— Ashton Pittman (@Ashton Pittman) 1619795722.0
Petition to have @SRuhle conduct all interviews of Republican “leaders” https://t.co/GyUy2PBbiq— SeanBenét Ramsey (@SeanBenét Ramsey) 1619804649.0
Hats off to Stephanie Ruhle being fully prepared for the interview and not letting him dodge the question “I can’t… https://t.co/UgnJgAQj7l— Ethan Bearman (@Ethan Bearman) 1619805352.0
Justice's attempts to defend the bigoted legislation fell flat.
Jim Justice is a moron https://t.co/HCy4FeGdsi— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1619794330.0
As an aside: Jim Justice tells Stephanie Ruhle that there are "only 12 transgender-type kids" in ALL of West Virgin… https://t.co/6s3D0U22O1— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@Holly Figueroa O'Reilly) 1619799135.0
The striking thing in the Stephanie Ruhle/Jim Justice video is how casually disengaged the West Virginia gov. seems… https://t.co/W29rB55Zgp— Tim Teeman (@Tim Teeman) 1619801016.0
The American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to sue over the legislation.