GOP lawmaker runs away when he finds out he was talking to an 8-year-old trans girl

State Sen. Carden Summers
State Sen. Carden Summers Photo: Campaign Facebook

A Georgia Republican elected official started to have a conversation with a little girl and vowed to protect her until he found out that she was transgender. Then he ran away.

A group of families went to the Georgia State Capitol earlier this month to discuss transgender issues with state lawmakers. A girl named Aleix – age eight – started talking to state Sen. Carden Summers (R), the lead sponsor of S.B. 438, a bill that would ban transgender students from using the facilities associated with their gender and from participating in school sports as their gender. Georgia already has a law banning trans students from participating in school sports.

Summers said hello to Aleix, according to her mother, Lena Kotler, who talked to journalist Erin Reed for the LA Blade. Her mother told Summers they were there to “talk to legislators about keeping her kids safe.”

Summers knelt down in front of Aleix and told her, “Well, you know, we’re working on that, and I’m going to protect kids like you,” according to Kotler. She said that Aleix was holding an LGBTQ+ rights sign that Summers didn’t seem to notice.

“Yeah, Aleix is trans, and she wants to be safe at school, she wants to go to the bathroom and be safe,” Kotler said.

She said that Summers immediately stood up and got nervous. “I mean, yeah, I’m going to make sure she’s safe by going to the right bathroom,” he said, according to Kotler.

She asked if her daughter would have to use the boys’ restroom and he backed away and said, “You’re attacking me.” He then turned around and walked off.

S.B. 438 is just one of eight anti-LGBTQ+ bills that the Georgia legislature is considering this year. Another bill is H.B. 1128, the so-called “Georgia Women’s Bill of Rights,” which contains no rights for women and only restricts rights for transgender people.

Summers has introduced other anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the past, including one last year that banned gender-affirming care for transgender minors. That bill was signed into law, but a federal court issued a temporary injunction to stop it from being enforced as a lawsuit against it proceeds.

Also this year, Summers co-sponsored S.B. 390, which bans government funding for libraries associated with the American Library Association. Conservatives have accused the organization of putting “sexually explicit material” in libraries, which is often a way to describe books by LGBTQ+ authors.

Kotler and her daughter eventually met with state Sens. Kim Jackson (D) and Jason Esteves (D), who both support LGBTQ+ rights.

“The senators are fighting an uphill battle, but my kids at least got to be told that they matter and that they should be able to live their identities openly and safely,” she said.

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