Republican Herrell signs onto what critics call anti-transgender message

Republican candidate Yvette Herrell, who is running against Democrat Rep. Gabe Vasquez for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District seat, committed herself to a message that some say is coded anti-transgender rhetoric twisted to look like a “pro-woman” agenda.  Herrell is seeking to regain the seat in a rematch with Vasquez for what has been, historically, […]

Republican Herrell signs onto what critics call anti-transgender message

Republican candidate Yvette Herrell, who is running against Democrat Rep. Gabe Vasquez for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District seat, committed herself to a message that some say is coded anti-transgender rhetoric twisted to look like a “pro-woman” agenda. 

Herrell is seeking to regain the seat in a rematch with Vasquez for what has been, historically, one of the hottest congressional races in the nation the last few election cycles. When Herrell won the seat from former Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in 2020, she won by a thin margin. When Vasquez defeated Herrell in 2022, he also won by a thin margin. 

Herrell signed onto a Stand With Women Commitment, as part of a group called Independent Women’s Voice, a conservative group. The group has what it calls a Hope Agenda.

The agenda would “fortify the definitions of sex-based terms, like ‘woman’ and ‘man’ used in state law.”

The group says in a news release that the Stand with Women Commitment “lets constituents know who is pro-woman, pro-science, and will fight for policies such as the Women’s Bill of Rights that prevent sex discrimination and preserve women’s rights, safety and opportunities.”

The move comes at a time when some conservative-led states are challenging President Joe Biden’s recent Title IX rule that expanded protections for LGBTQ students by protecting against discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

Related: Biden administration rolls back Title IX restrictions put in place by Trump

Herrell said in a statement emailed to NM Political Report that “being pro-woman is in no way anti-LGBT.”

“I believe only biological females should compete in girl’s and women’s sports, and that only biological females should be able to access private spaces meant for girls and women. My opponent Gabe Vasquez is the true radical on these issues: supporting males playing in female sports, allowing men in private female facilities, and even backing gender reassignment surgeries for minor children,” Herrell said through email. 

But Marshall Martinez, executive director of Equality New Mexico, said the message “conflates women’s rights with an anti-trans message.” He also said the tactic is not new.

“We’ve seen it over the last few years. It has really been used to frame transphobia as support for women. It is shocking but not surprising. And not at all surprising that Yvette Herrell has signed onto these folks’ agenda,” Martinez said. 

Martinez said that reframing the language to appear as a “pro-woman’s” agenda “codes the language so as to not look hateful.”

Martinez said Herrell has, in the past, always been up front about her anti-LGBTQ stance and, in the 2022 race, Vasquez was “open about his support for LGBTQ people and pretty publicly supportive of trans people when he ran,” in 2022.

Martinez said feminism is “about changing systems, so women are given the same amount of opportunity as men.”

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Legislators pass disaster assistance funding, end special session quickly

Legislators pass disaster assistance funding, end special session quickly

The two issues passed were only a fraction of what Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham had on her special session agenda.
House votes to pass bill for fire relief, behavioral health treatments

House votes to pass bill for fire relief, behavioral health treatments

The House voted overwhelmingly to pass HB 1, the appropriations bill that provides funding for the special session, fire relief and behavioral health court…
Senate Democrats criticize bills and process, GOP introduces bills

Senate Democrats criticize bills and process, GOP introduces bills

The special session began with Democrats criticizing Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s agenda and Republicans applauding it, while Senators introduced 16 pieces of legislation. The…
Downwinders continue to seek justice 79 years after the Trinity Test

Downwinders continue to seek justice 79 years after the Trinity Test

For most of his life, Paul Pino believed his community had dodged the bullet when it came to nuclear fallout. It wasn’t until he’d…
Fight continues over San Juan Generating Station replacement resources

Fight continues over San Juan Generating Station replacement resources

As the San Juan Generating Station closed in 2022, the Central Consolidated School District noted a significant increase in homelessness among its students. At…
Group says WQCC member has conflicts of interest

Group says WQCC member has conflicts of interest

New Energy Economy and other environmental advocates renewed a call for a member of the Water Quality Control Commission to recuse herself from hearing…
Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury secured $8.3 million for childhood development and youth services in the 1st congressional district through federal community project funding. Stansbury,…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Some mental health issues on the rise in New Mexico

Some mental health issues on the rise in New Mexico

A recent report by KFF, a foundation that provides health policy analysis, found mental health issues on the rise and disparities in mental health…
Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf answered questions about the safety of human milk formula and mifepristone on Wednesday. Sen. Martin…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Heinrich files amendment to protect reproductive rights for the military

Heinrich files amendment to protect reproductive rights for the military

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich filed an amendment on Tuesday to codify a rule protecting veteran access to abortion in the case of rape, incest…
Supreme Court upends environmental and reproductive rights protections

Supreme Court upends environmental and reproductive rights protections

Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the high court overturned another long-standing precedent on Friday that could undue both…
Supreme Court dismisses abortion case, advocates say it keeps legal questions open

Supreme Court dismisses abortion case, advocates say it keeps legal questions open

The Supreme Court punted on Thursday on a second abortion decision it heard this term, leaving open the question of whether a federal law…
Supreme Court upends environmental and reproductive rights protections

Supreme Court upends environmental and reproductive rights protections

Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the high court overturned another long-standing precedent on Friday that could undue both…
Supreme Court dismisses abortion case, advocates say it keeps legal questions open

Supreme Court dismisses abortion case, advocates say it keeps legal questions open

The Supreme Court punted on Thursday on a second abortion decision it heard this term, leaving open the question of whether a federal law…
Biden will protect reproductive access, Health Secretary says during a multi-state reproductive access tour 

Biden will protect reproductive access, Health Secretary says during a multi-state reproductive access tour 

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said at a Planned Parenthood space for LGBTQ youth in Albuquerque that if President Joe Biden…
Politics Newsletter: Should Biden stay or should he go?

Politics Newsletter: Should Biden stay or should he go?

Note: This newsletter was written prior to the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump on Saturday. Hello fellow political junkies! While most people…
NM delegation votes against bill they say will disenfranchise voters

NM delegation votes against bill they say will disenfranchise voters

The House passed a bill that opponents of the bill, including all three members of New Mexico’s delegation, say would suppress voting. The Safeguard…
Leger Fernàndez votes against voter ID bill

Leger Fernàndez votes against voter ID bill

The Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act seeks to require proof of United States citizenship to register to vote in federal elections, but opponents say…
Heinrich, Vasquez call on Biden to withdraw from campaign

Heinrich, Vasquez call on Biden to withdraw from campaign

The U.S. Senator and congressman each said Joe Biden should step aside for a new candidate. Meanwhile, another of the state's representatives backed Biden.
Legislators pass disaster assistance funding, end special session quickly

Legislators pass disaster assistance funding, end special session quickly

The two issues passed were only a fraction of what Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham had on her special session agenda.
Special session to start, despite legislative opposition

Special session to start, despite legislative opposition

“We’re asking lawmakers to do right by New Mexico, to do right by all of our cities and counties and to create the kind…

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report