June 12, 2021

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Newsom draws contrast with GOP challenger Caitlyn Jenner after her comments on transgender athletes – Fox News

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EXCLUSIVE: In the wake of Caitlyn Jenner’s comments against transgender athletes competing on girls’ sports teams, California Gov. Gavin Newsom emphasized his support for transgender people.

A spokesperson for Newsom told Fox News the Democratic governor believes that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause “applies to all Americans — regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” 

The spokesperson noted the governor wants to ensure “trans Californians are fully acknowledged in accordance with their gender identity while interacting with public services” but stopped short of directly addressing transgender athletes competing in sports. 

California already allows students to “participate in activities consistent with their gender identity,” according to the spokeswoman and added the state “isn’t going backwards on these issues.” 

Caitlyn Jenner attends the 28th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party Sponsored By IMDb, Neuro Drinks And Walmart on February 09, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. 
Caitlyn Jenner attends the 28th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party Sponsored By IMDb, Neuro Drinks And Walmart on February 09, 2020 in West Hollywood, California.  (Getty)

The matter of transgender athletes was put on the map once again on Saturday by Jenner, who is running as a Republican to unseat Newsom, in the upcoming recall election.  

Jenner, a former Olympic athlete who famously came out as transgender in 2015, told TMZ in an interview that she opposes allowing transgender athletes who were born male to compete on girls’ sports teams. 

“This is a question of fairness, that’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls sports in school,” Jenner said. “It just isn’t fair, and we have to protect girls sports in our schools.”

The remarks by the 71-year-old Jenner come after Florida lawmakers passed legislation that would ban transgender women and girls from competing on female sports teams. Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said last week he would sign the bill. 

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Similar bills have been enacted in recent months in Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi, while South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, also a Republican, has issued an executive order on the matter. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference in Big Sur, Calif. 
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference in Big Sur, Calif.  (AP)

Newsom’s campaign team refused to comment on a Democratic strategist who believes Jenner’s candidacy could prove a big win for Newsom. 

In a Vanity Fair article published Wednesday, California Democratic operative Michael Trujillo backed the governor’s framing of the recall as a supposed “Republican power grab” and “very Trumpy.” 

He also mocked Jenner’s entry into the race and accused her of repeating Trumpian talking points.  

“If you’re Team Newsom, it’s the gift that keeps on giving,” Trujillo said. 

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Jenner’s comments to TMZ, meanwhile, regarding the participation of transgender boys in girls sports have angered the LGBTQ community. 

Equality California, an LGBTQ civil rights organization, accused Jenner of being willing to “sacrifice the health & well-being” of transgender kids to win votes. 

On Tuesday, Jenner released her first video of the crowded recall campaign to replace Newsom. The video highlights the “American Dream” in midcentury California before blaming politicians for the state’s decline. 

Jenner enters a field of candidates that includes 2018 gubernatorial nominee John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Falconer, and former Congressman Doug Ose. 

The format of California recall elections gives candidates with high name recognition, but who may not have made it through a more traditional primary process, a more significant chance of success. If Newsom is removed from office, his replacement would only be in office for a short time before a regularly scheduled election for California governor in 2022. 

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Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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