Who is Kari Lake? Where does she stand on LGBTQ+ rights?

Anti-LGBTQ+ politician, Kari Lake, stands on stage in front of a portrait of Donald Drump and an American flag.
Photo: Shutterstock

Kari Ann Lake Halperin, known widely as Kari Lake, is a former news anchor who has emerged in Arizona politics as a far-right acolyte of former President Donald Trump. After her failed campaign for state governor, she launched a campaign for the U.S. Senate. She’s very anti-LGBTQ+, especially regarding transgender rights and LGBTQ+-inclusive school policies.

Kari Lake At a Glance:

  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Position Sought: 2024 U.S. Senate
  • Current Position: Former news anchor at Fox 10 Phoenix
  • Party Affiliation: Republican
  • Race/Ethnicity: White
  • Gender Identity: Female
  • Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
  • LGBTQ Ally: No

Social media


Born and raised in Rock Island, Illinois in 1969, Lake graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and journalism. She spent more than two decades in journalism before stepping into politics.

In her early journalism career, Lake worked for various news stations in Davenport, Iowa and Albany, New York before resuming her career in Phoenix, Arizona. There, she joined KSAZ-TV in 1999 and worked there until March 2021. During her time there, she gained a loyal fanbase and won multiple Emmy Awards for her journalistic work

Lake’s transition from journalism to politics was marked by a shift to her open support of conservative views, including conspiracy theories about education reform being a front for cannabis legalization and treatments for COVID-19.

Lake ran an unsuccessful 2022 campaign to become Arizona’s governor. She centered her campaign on former President Donald Trump’s false claim that he lost the 2020 presidential election due to an unprecedented nationwide campaign of voter fraud. When she lost in 2022, she filed multiple lawsuits, claiming election fraud — none succeeded.

She announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in October 2023. She is married to her second husband, Jeff Halperin. The couple has two children.

Kari Lake’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights

During her journalism career, Lake made several statements supporting trans youth. However, throughout her political career, Lake has become anti-trans, expressed anti-LGBTQ+ views, and made derogatory comments about the LGBTQ+ community. During her 2022 campaign, she appeared in an ad with a pastor who called LGBTQ+ people “child molesters.”

Same-sex marriage

While there are no direct quotes from Lake regarding same-sex marriage, her overall conservative stance on LGBTQ+ rights suggests she might not be fully supportive of it.

For example, in a September 2019 social media post, she posted coverage of an Arizona Supreme Court ruling in favor of Phoenix businesses being able to refuse service to same-sex couples based on religious beliefs.

Transgender access to public bathrooms

In April 2022, Lake criticized a conservative opponent’s support for trans bathroom access, accusing her and other Republicans of “surrendering to the Culture War to the left.”

A March 2022 post asked her opponent, “Why does your stadium (Robson Arena in Colorado) allow Men into the Ladies Room? Why play into the Left’s delusions?” The stadium is located at Colorado College, a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Trans participation in sports

Despite once posting support for (also conservative) Caitlyn Jenner — saying, “I am absolutely rooting for anyone who makes the difficult decision to transition” — Lake has since changed her opinion and actively tweeted in favor of anti-trans sports policies.

In a June 2022 tweet, Lake asked, “How many young girls dreams have been crushed by Men jumping into their sport?” Critics of this position have pointed out that sexism and poor funding harm women’s sports and female athletes far more than trans competitors.

Don’t say gay/LGBTQ+ discussions in schools

In a June 2022 social media post, Lake claimed drag queens were being “welcomed” into schools. She wrote, “They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens. They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow. They seek to disarm Americans and militarize our Enemies. Let’s bring back the basics: God, Guns & Glory.”

In a May 2022 tweet, Lake stated, “A child’s gender is determined by God at conception, NOT by some Woke Teacher in the 3rd grade.”

Local drag entertainer Richard Stevens called Lake a hypocrite, claiming that she had once brought her own child to one of his drag performances. Lake’s lawyer sent him a cease-and-desist later to stop airing this claim, but Stevens laughed it off.

Discrimination protections

In February 2022, Lake said she would not support legislation expanding or protecting LGBTQ+ state civil rights protections. She said her “gay friends” opposed such legislation and were “appalled” about queer and trans people being added to the LGBTQ+ acronym.

She has also signaled opposition to corporate support of the LGBTQ+ community.

During a June 2023 appearance on Newsmax‘s talk show The Balance, hosted by Eric Bolling, she said, “We are not going to sit by idly as this is thrown in our faces and thrown in our children’s faces.”

She added, “This is not an attack on gay men and women in this country but this whole push for transgenderism coming at our kids in school, coming at them through culture, coming at them when we go to the Target store…. We’ll just shut it all down.”

During the same appearance, she said people she knew would “rather die of thirst than take a sip of Bud Light,” referencing conservative backlash against the beer brand for partnering with a trans influencer.

Kari Lake’s Career

  • Graduated from University of Iowa with BA in communications and journalism.
  • News Anchor, Fox 10 Phoenix (1994-2021)
  • Candidate for Governor of Arizona (2021-2022)
  • Candidate for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat (2023-2024)

Closing Thoughts

Kari Lake has opposed the expansion and legal protection of LGBTQ+ rights and has echoed right-wing talking points about LGBTQ+-inclusive educators posing a threat to children. As such, she’s no friend to our community.

Stay informed about Kari Lake and other pro- and anti-LGBTQ+ politicians by subscribing to the LGBTQ Nation newsletter.

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