In perhaps one of the more deplorable moves from a man accused of abusing and threatening to kill his exes, Herschel Walker, Georgia’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, on Tuesday said trans kids won’t get into heaven. “Jesus may not recognize you. Because he made you a boy. He made you a girl,” Walker told crowds at a rally alongside Riley Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer who rose to fame for her fight against the NCAA’s trans-inclusive policies.
“When I get to heaven, I want the Lord to recognize me,” Walker said. “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.” Seems like Walker sure meant it last week when he said he’s “not that smart”!
Another anti-trans Republican is hardly surprising at this point, but Walker’s comments are especially sickening. He’s not just targeting trans kids—who are at greater risk of suicide and mental health struggles because of transphobia and increasingly fucked up state-level policies—he’s saying trans people are going to hell.
It’s a stance that’s in pretty stark contrast with his opponent, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is a literal preacher. “As a pastor I believe in the dignity of all human beings. And as a parent I love my children and I’m sure other people love their children and they want to make sure their children are safe from hatred,” Warnock said in explaining his opposition to policies that ban youth gender-affirming care or force trans kids out of sports. “I will remain focused on all of our young people and at the same time, trying to create opportunities.”
Walker’s comments come as trans kids have increasingly become the subject of terrifying, dehumanizing political battles. In states like Texas, Alabama, and Florida, parents and doctors can be investigated for child abuse for seeking or providing gender-affirming care for trans kids. State laws are also increasingly forcing trans kids out of team sports. Walker held the joint rally with Gaines specifically because she is famous and beloved among conservatives for trying to force trans women—like the swimmer Lia Thomas—out of women’s swimming. “Let’s get men out of women’s sports!” Walker declared at the Tuesday rally.
If Gaines wants to win her races, she should simply swim faster. And as for Walker, who’s currently neck-and-neck with Warnock, here’s hoping he loses his own race.