All Rights reserved
It's Election Day in Georgia for the runoff between U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat and strong LGBTQ+ ally, and Republican challenger Herschel Walker, who has run a campaign marked by anti-LGBTQ+ and specifically anti-transgender hate, along with general ignorance. As the campaign winds up, here's a look at some of Walker's worst.
He had been making anti-trans remarks as far back as the primary season in the spring, but in a campaign stop in September, he not only took a stand against trans athletes but suggested trans people won't be admitted to heaven. He appeared with Riley Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer who has fought National Collegiate Athletic Association policies that allow trans athletes to compete according to their gender identity. Walker upped the anti-trans rhetoric by saying, "Jesus may not recognize you because he made you a boy. He made you a girl."
"When I get to heaven, I want the Lord to recognize me," he continued. "Because I can tell you right now, they're telling the young kids in school, you can be a boy tomorrow even if you're a girl."
Among many other anti-trans campaign speeches, Walker delivered one November 20, the day after the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs took the lives of five people, including two trans people. In the speech, he denounced "weak leaders in Washington" who, he said, couldn't define what a woman is and said men could get pregnant. He also said that "men shouldn't be in women's sport."
He went on to condemn Warnock in a rant about the use of correct pronouns for military personnel. "Pronouns. What the heck is a pronoun?" he said. "I can tell you right now, grenades don't know nothing about no pronouns. Bullets don't know what color your skin is. But yet they talking about pronouns."
That day he also ran an anti-trans ad, again featuring Gaines. In the ad, Walker called trans women "biological males" and said it is "unfair and wrong" for them to participate in women's sports. He said Warnock is "afraid to stand up for female athletes."
Recently, Walker again went off on pronouns. "I told you early on that they said there was peace through strength, and our strength is our great military," he said in a video posted to Twitter Monday. "But now they're bringing pronouns into our military, they're bringing wokeness into our military. I don't even know what the heck is a pronoun, I can tell you that. I'm sick and tired of this pronoun stuff. What I want our military men and women to do is to be at war fighting."
\u201cHerschel Walker: \u201cWhat I want our military men and women to do is to be at war fighting.\u201d\u201d— PatriotTakes \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@PatriotTakes \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1670259277
Walker has also stated his opposition to marriage equality. At a campaign stop in May, in response to a question, he said, "Gay weddings is something that you have to work with the Congress. I think that each state gotta determine that. Not yet, but that's against stuff I believe in. So that each state can just stop all of that." His campaign staff had to do some damage control, putting out a statement that Walker was aware of the 2015 Supreme Court decision that made marriage equality the law of the land so that every state has to allow and recognize same-sex marriages.
Walker is the handpicked candidate of Donald Trump and has appeared on the campaign trail with numerous anti-LGBTQ+ extremists, including North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who has referred to LGBTQ+ people as "filth."
Among other baggage, Walker has been accused of hypocrisy by facilitating abortions for women he's been involved with, even though he opposes abortion rights. He has denied the allegations, as he has done with accusations of domestic abuse. One of his children, son Christian, has called his father a liar and a hypocrite. Christian, by the way, has been open about his relationships with men but says he's not gay.
Warnock, meanwhile, has achieved a score of 88 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Congressional Scorecard in the two years he's been in office. U.S. senators are typically elected for six-year terms, but Warnock had to run again this year because he was first elected in a special election to serve the final two years of Sen. Johnny Isakson's term after Isakson retired.
Warnock and Walker are in a runoff because neither of them won more than 50 percent of the vote November 8, as required by Georgia law. Libertarian Chase Oliver siphoned off 2.1 percent of the vote then, with Warnock winning 49.4 percent and Walker 48.5 percent. Oliver did not advance to the runoff, as only the top two candidates do.