Christian leaders and conservative commentators denounced Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's support for allowing children as young as 8 years old to self-identify as transgender.
At an ABC News town hall Thursday night, the former vice president was asked a question by a mother who claimed one of her children identified as transgender and wanted to know Biden's views on the subject.
"The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides to, 'You know, I decided that I want to be transgender, that's what I think I'd like to be, it would make my life a lot easier.' There should be zero discrimination," he said.
He added that there should be no right denied to the questioner's trans-identified child that would be otherwise given to her other child who does not identify as transgender.
In recent years, parents and students have opposed allowing students who identify as trans to enter bathrooms, locker rooms and showers designated for the opposite sex. LGBT activist groups have pushed school districts to give students who identify as transgender access to all facilities, regardless of sex designation.
"Joe Biden thinks 8-year-olds, have the capacity to make a life-altering decision to change their gender and says for someone to deny them that right (I assume parents included) is discrimination! Either he is pandering for votes or he's totally lost it," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins commented on Twitter Friday.
Theologian and Boyce College professor Denny Burk also rebuked Biden's advice, writing on Twitter: "No, no, no. If you have a child with gender conflicted feelings, you aren’t helping them by encouraging them to embrace body-denying propaganda. Their body isn’t lying to them about maleness/femaleness. Don’t lie and tell them that it is."
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Pastor Jack Graham Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, was aghast.
"In the Name of Jesus....how could you vote for this perversion," he tweeted Thursday in response to Biden's comments.
Andrew Walker, professor of ethics and theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, took the opportunity to poke evangelical Christians who spurn President Trump for his demeanor and some of his policies but have publicly and enthusiastically voiced support for Biden.
"Don’t worry, everyone, Evangelicals for Biden and their concern for public witness, ethical consistency, and character integrity will, I’m sure, speak prophetically against VP Biden approving of young children choosing to undergo gender transitions. Because principles and such," Walker said, added in a subsequent tweet that he was being facetious.
"'Public witness' has more or less become a shibboleth to pacify progressive scorn on evangelicals who refuse to concede certain principles while asymmetrically deflecting the consistency of public witness away from one's self, which really only works to reify progressive order," he added.
Following the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, transgender ideology has accelerated and has largely become the primary focus within LGBT activism.
"10 years ago most people didn’t even know the term 'transgender.' Today we have a Democratic presidential nominee saying 8 year olds (!!) being transgender is perfectly fine. Just a reminder that it’s not conservatives who have become radical," commented conservative commentator and host of the Relatable podcast Allie Beth Stuckey on Twitter Friday.