Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke to the issue of transgender identity while speaking on the June 7 edition of CNN’s “State of the Union” program. When asked about the sex change undertaken by former Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner, Graham said “If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be safe and have a prosperous economy, vote for me.” Jenner, following a months long process of appearing in women’s clothing and making other changes now wishes to known as Caitlyn Jenner.
Sympathizing with Jenner, the Republican senator said “I have not walked in her shoes,” adding, “I don’t have all the answers to the mysteries of life. I can only imagine the torment that Bruce Jenner went through.” While saying that he has not changed fundamentals of his conservative religious beliefs, Graham said that he hoped that Jenner had found “peace.”
A long-shot Republican presidential candidate, Graham has taken hawkish stances on foreign policy issues, including U.S. relations toward Israel. He said that he wants the Republican party to grow, and accept transgender individuals. Speaking about his conservative values, Graham said “I’m a pro-life, traditional marriage kind of guy, but I’m running to be president of the United States. If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be a Republican, she is welcome in my party,” said Graham. “Understanding what you are getting with Lindsey Graham: I am pro-life. I believe in traditional marriage without animosity.”
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