Glenn Youngkin says he standing by Tanner Cross, an educator who claims supporting trans youth is 'abuse' and 'sinning against our God.'
The GOP's nominee for the Virginia governor's race, Glenn Youngkin, on Monday came to the defense of a transphobic high school instructor who said he would refuse to call transgender students by their preferred pronouns.
His comments came just hours before the country kicked off LGBTQ+ Pride month, which began June 1.
Tanner Cross, a teacher with Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia, said at a May 25 school board meeting that he opposes using students' preferred pronouns "because it would damage children and defile the holy image of God."
"I'm a teacher, but I serve God first, and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa, because it is against my religion, it's lying to a child, it's abuse to a child, and it is sinning against our God," Cross said.
He has since been suspended by the school board.
Appearing on Fox News Primetime on Monday, Youngkin said that Cross was being denied his constitutional rights and that he was standing up for the "best interest" of students in his district.
"What we're seeing right here, right now in Loudoun County is the liberal left waging a cultural war and the victims are our children," Youngkin said.
"As governor, I will stand for excellence in education, we will not teach critical race theory, and I will stand up for teachers and parents against these kinds of cancel culture initiatives," he added.
Youngkin said that if he is elected, "I'll have [Cross'] back" and called on the school board to reinstate Cross.
Youngkin previously expressed opposition to LGBTQ rights.
During an event in March, he expressed his opposition to transgender youth playing on sports teams matching their gender identities.
"Biological males should not be allowed to play sports in girls sports. It's just not fair," he said.
He has also joined other Republicans across the country in attacking "critical race theory," which he claimed Democrats want to add to school curricula. Youngkin also falsely claimed that Democrats "want to take accelerated math out of" schools.
Youngkin recently won the Republican nomination after several rounds of ranked-choice voting at the party's convention. The current governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, is prohibited from running for consecutive terms, and a Democratic nominee has not yet been determined. But four of Virginia's last five governors have been Democrats, and President Joe Biden easily defeated Donald Trump there in 2020.
Both the Cook Political Report and Inside Elections have rated the race as a "likely" hold for the Democratic Party.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.