Louisiana governor's race ad takes aim at transgender rights

Republican candidate Ralph Abraham has released a new TV spot in which he targets abortion rights and the transgender community.
Image: Gubernatorial candidate Ralph Abraham arrives at the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office to register for the upcoming election in Baton Rouge on Aug. 6, 2019.
Gubernatorial candidate Ralph Abraham arrives at the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office to register for the upcoming election in Baton Rouge on Aug. 6, 2019.Michael Democker / AP file
By The Associated Press and Tim Fitzsimons

BATON ROUGE, La. — Republican candidate for Louisiana governor Ralph Abraham has released a new TV ad that takes aim at abortion rights and the transgender community as he works to draw attention for his campaign.

In the 30-second spot launched Thursday, the three-term congressman looks directly into the camera to establish what he calls "the truth."

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The conservative hits several points in quick succession, declaring that "life begins at conception," taxes are too high and he supports President Donald Trump.

With a chuckle, he wraps up with a swipe at the LGBTQ community: "And as a doctor, I can assure you there are only two genders."

Ivy Gibson-Hill, the community health programs director at the Campaign for Southern Equality, called the video "irresponsible" and said "Abraham’s claim that 'there are only two genders' is not only untrue, but it also perpetuates dangerous ideas about both the transgender and intersex communities."

"According to Free & Equal United Nations, it is actually more common to be intersex than it is to have red hair," Gibson-Hill said. "Even if we subscribe to the lines we have drawn on science in terms of sex, an estimated 1.7 percent of the population is intersex. Independently, an estimated 1.4 million adults in the U.S. identify as transgender or gender-nonconforming. Neither of these systems of classification are binary."

Abraham is one of two major GOP contenders challenging Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards on the Oct. 12 ballot, along with businessman Eddie Rispone.

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