Let’s talk Nikki Haley and suicide

Hands hold yellow ribbon. Concept of suicide problems and their prevention.
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Unless something happens along the road to the Republican National Convention, it is clear Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. But what happens if something does happen? It has been my belief for some time now that the Republican nomination for President would go to Nikki Haley. She is a step up from Donald Trump, but no fan of the LGBTQ+ community.  

I’m not new to this position. Here’s what I wrote in this very column in October 2018:

“The Haley LGBT scorecard:

2010: Stated marriage is between one man and one woman.

2012: As governor, she supported upholding a ban on same-sex marriage.

2015: In the middle of transphobia hitting America, she pleaded with Americans to respect religious liberty — code words or a dog whistle for legalized discrimination against the LGBT community.

2016: She accepted Trump’s offer to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations. 

2017: She voted against a United Nations resolution condemning the death penalty as a punishment for same-sex couples.”

Want to know what her excuse was for that last one? “The resolution also condemns the death penalty all together, no matter the circumstances, and advocates for its abolition.” And then she added this: “They explicitly stated that, of course, the U.S. does not support the death penalty for gays.”

So here we are five years later. Has her position changed? No. In fact, she has taken on a distinctive turn to the far right wing. When asked about these issues and her past statements, she does a political trick where she turns the subject to another Republican red-meat issue. That issue is trans rights.  

Nikki Haley pivots repeatedly and states, “The idea that we have biological boys playing in girls’ sports, it is the women’s issue of our time” or “How are we supposed to get our girls used to the fact that biological boys are in their locker room?” 

Then she invented an issue where she linked transgender athletes to a rise in teen girls’ suicide by stating.  “And then they wonder why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year. We should be growing strong girls; confident girls.”

As we’ve repeatedly stated, Republicans can’t use lesbians or gay men any longer to frighten the voting public, so they’ve turned to the trans community as their new weapon. And Haley wants to be the Transphobe In Chief. She’s not only using the current hate the right wing is spewing. She’s inventing new issues to toss out to the minions. It’s red meat to the lions.  

So here’s the question: Does she really believe what she’s saying, or does she feel it’s a winning issue to use at this time? Either is dangerous. Haven’t we learned how dangerous language like this is?  

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. This language causes young trans people to harm themselves. Maybe Nikki Haley should change her line to “And then we wonder why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year. We should be growing strong girls; confident girls; not frighten our trans girls and boys from being their true authentic selves.” Otherwise, Nikki, your words could leave blood on your hands.