Council member calls Yakima Pride president ‘an idiot’ after facing criticism over anti-transgender Facebook post
YAKIMA, Wash. — Yakima City Council member Jason White is facing public criticism by local LGBTQ advocates after publicly announcing his support of anti-transgender legislation in a Facebook post.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Yakima Pride officials said White used his public social media platform to discriminate against transgender people in a way that violated the city council’s code of conduct.
“Councilman White’s public post has now placed many LGBTQ constituents in fear of the lack of safety, support and unbiased representation by an elected official here in Yakima,” Yakima Pride President Cristina Ortega said in a statement.
KAPP-KVEW asked White to comment on the statement made by Yakima Pride, to which he replied: “Christina Ortega is an idiot. That’s all I have to say.”
In White’s post Tuesday morning, he shared an article titled, “Idaho governor signs into law anti-transgender legislation,” which references two laws enacted Monday.
The first law made it illegal to change one’s gender marker on their birth certificate, which advocates note is a necessity for many transgender people; the other law bans transgender girls and women from competing in womens’ sports.
“The sports-related bill would require high school girls to prove their gender to participate in high school sports through a genital exam, DNA test, or testosterone levels test,” the article reads.
White posted the following statement along with the article:
“Thank you Idaho for having the wearwithall to stand up and not allow boys to compete against girls. I’m all for identifying how ever you please. Heck, my hybrid Honda identifies as a Pruis and I’m okay with that, but it’s still a Honda.”
Additionally, White shared Yakima Pride’s statement in a public post, along with this message:
“Christina Ortega is an idiot and is making the entire LGBTQ community look irrational. I stand behind the decision Idaho took to protect little girls. Identify as you may, but you will not impose you’re radical ideology on the rest of us.”
Yakima Pride officials said the post constituted a violation of the principles of conduct for Yakima City Council members.
“He has shown his LGBTQ constituents that he does not respect nor care about them or their safety,” the statement said.
In its statement, Yakima Pride took particular issue with the timing on the post, which coincided with International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day which is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of the discrimination they face.
“With his statement he has truly minimized the lived experiences that our Transgender brothers and sisters have endured, making light or a joke out of a subject that has, and continues, to cost Transgender individuals their lives,” Yakima Pride said in the statement.
The organization is asking the mayor and White’s fellow council members to respond to their concerns.
“We, the LGBTQ constituents of Yakima, demand a response to this hurtful and discriminatory behavior that has been displayed by Councilman White,” Yakima Pride said in its post.
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