The Republicans are at it again with a well-funded series of bigoted advertisements targeting LGBTQ+ candidates. Their latest effort is a misleading, transphobic ad against Gina Ortiz Jones, who is running to represent the Texas 23rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The ad from the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) attacks the former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer and lesbian Filipina who served during the Iraq War, saying she is “too liberal” and “doesn’t care about Texas” because of her support for trans service members.
“The national fundraising arm of the Republican Party has declared war on LGBTQ candidates this election cycle – and homophobia and transphobia are their weapon of choice,” Mayor Annise Parker, president and chief executive officer of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement decrying the spot. “It is despicable that Republicans would attack a military veteran simply because she believes the trans soldiers who risked their lives beside her deserve fair treatment when they return home.”
The LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national group dedicated to electing LGBTQ+ candidates, also called out the NRCC for their appeal to outside groups last August urging attacks against Jones because of her sexual orientation. The NRCC posted a photo of Jones’s partner on their website, and her Republican opponent, cryptologist and Navy veteran Tony Gonzales, has accused her of having a “transgender agenda” in a thinly veiled transphobic talking point. The NRCC was also behind a homophobic TV ad in Michigan against incumbent U.S. Representative Fred Upton’s gay Democrat opponent, Jon Hoadley.
Parker said the NRCC should “think beyond November” and instead recognize the damage they are causing by “alienating an entire generation of LGBTQ people and their allies.” She called out the candidates who refuse to denounce the ads run in support of their campaigns, specifically naming Gonzales and Upton.
“The candidates refusing to denounce the homophobic and transphobic attack ads launched in their name – especially Tony Gonzales and U.S. Representative Fred Upton – must know their silence is as destructive as the ads themselves,” Parker said, warning that “bigotry for a perceived political gain is a reflection on their character and will not be forgotten.”