Mike Pence group to launch ads attacking trans children in Iowa ahead of primaries

Mike Pence, First Baptist Dallas, Robert Jeffress, coronavirus
Mike Pence Photo: Shutterstock

A conservative advocacy group founded by former Vice President Mike Pence is launching a campaign attacking transgender-inclusive policies in Iowa schools.

The AP reports that Advancing America Freedom, which Pence formed in 2021 and is financed by his supporters, plans to pump $1 million into its efforts. The campaign will reportedly include digital ads, rallies, canvassing, and potentially radio and television spots.

According to The Hill, the campaign will specifically target a policy adopted last year by the Linn-Mar Community School District near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The policy, which has been challenged in federal court by a group representing parents, allows trans students to request support to help them socially transition at school without their parents’ permission.

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“The strength of our nation is tied to the strength of our families, and we cannot stand idly by as the radical left attempts to indoctrinate our children behind parents’ backs,” Pence said in a statement. “Advancing American Freedom will not rest until parental rights are restored in Iowa and across the nation.”

The push for so-called “parental rights” in schools has become a key issue on the right. It is frequently a dog-whistle for advocating anti-LGBTQ+ policies, including book bans, restrictions on teaching LGBTQ+ topics, and denying trans rights.

Iowa is an early-voting state in the Republican presidential primary. Pence is set to appear at an event next week in Cedar Rapids, and the move by Advancing American Freedom is likely an opening salvo in the former VP’s expected 2024 presidential campaign.

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