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A GOP gubernatorial candidate in Alabama has launched a campaign advert branding trans swimmer Lia Thomas ‘a man in a bathing suit.’
Tim James’ controversial slot has also been blasted after he went on to target an LGBT-friendly charter school in the state, calling it ‘the first transgender public school in the south.
The school in question, Magic City Acceptance Academy in Homewood, says it has been forced to hire security as a result of the blowback.
James’ 30-second spot, released earlier this month, begins with him saying: ‘There is a war going on between common sense and crazy,’ before cutting to a clip of Supreme Court Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing in which she refused to define what a woman is.
‘That’s Biden’s choice for the Supreme Court,’ James explains, before the ad cuts to a newscast about transgender swimmer Lia Thomas winning a national championship, to which James says: ‘Come on, that’s a man in a woman’s bathing suit.’
Thomas’s wins have sparked allegations that going through puberty as a boy has given her an unfair advantage, which has seen her smash multiple records.
GOP Alabama gubernatorial candidate Tim James, pictured, has released a controversial advert blasting transgender swimmer Lia Thomas and an LGBT-friendly school
James’ then decries taxpayer dollars being used for a charter school that’s mission statement includes its intention of fostering a ‘brave learning environment and LGBTQ affirming culture for all.’
‘And now, right here in Alabama, millions of your taxpayer dollars are paying for the first transgender public school in the South,’ James claimed.
‘Enough of this foolishness,’ he said. ‘I’m Tim James. Male and female – He created them. It’s time to fight back.’
The ad also included a picture of some students and faculty at the Magic City Acceptance Academy attending a drag show fundraiser last month.
That prompted concerned parents and LGBTQ activists to call for the ad to be taken down out of fear it would cause violence against the students.
But so far, James has just doubled down on his criticism of the public charter school.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James released a commercial on Friday calling out transgender swimmer Lia Thomas as a ‘man in a woman’s bathing suit’
James labeled the Magic City Acceptance Academy the ‘first transgender public school’
The ad also included a picture of students and staff at the school attending a drag queen fundraiser for the school’s history quiz bowl
In a press release accompanying the release of the ad, Yellow Hammer News reports, James asserted that President Joe Biden and the ‘radical left’ were actively promoting ‘transgenderism’ on the nation’s youth.
‘I wish that part of the title of this press release and the subject of our new TV ad were an April Fool’s joke,’ he said in a statement, noting: ‘Joe Biden and the radical left have abandoned objective truth and scientific reality.
‘They have lost the ability to make basic moral statements or choose between right and wrong. They nominated a woman for the Supreme Court who refuses to say what a woman is. They celebrate and push transgenderism on our youth without hesitation.
‘But we cannot view this as being a national problem only,’ James continued. ‘The culture war has come to Alabama.
‘Last year, our Public Charter School Commission approved the first LGBTQ public school in the South, where just last week, the faculty scheduled and participated in a drag queen show fundraiser for the students.
‘Two million dollars of taxpayer money is being used to fund this school,’ he added, noting: ‘I cannot believe that Gov. Ivey and the Alabama legislature have permitted this to happen.
‘Caving to the radical LGBTQ agenda must stop,’ he concluded. ‘It’s time to fight back.’
Transgender athlete Lia Thomas has caused a stir nationwide after she broke women’s swimming records after competing for three years on the men’s team
The Magic City Acceptance Academy School was founded last year as an ‘LGBTQ affirming brave space’
The Magic City Acceptance Academy launched in 2021 after its charter application was approved in November 2020 by a 7-2 vote of the Alabama Public Charter School Commission following a lengthy process.
The Birmingham City School Board originally denied the school’s charter in early 2020, according to Al.com, and the state commission voted three times to deny the school’s formation until principal Michael Wilson and others convinced enough commissioners that the academy accepted all students, and not just LGBTQ students.
It is, however, the first in the United States to include within its mission statement that it is a ‘LGBTQ affirming brave space.’
Around 10 per cent of children who attend are estimated to be LGBT, with those youngsters traditionally at higher-risk of bullying than their peers.
The school now serves around 240 students in grades six through 12, and last month, a senior at the school suggested they organize the drag queen fundraiser to help the school’s history quiz bowl attend a competition in DC, according to WWLP.
The fundraiser was successful, and raised enough money to help the students attend the competition. The school then posted photos of the event online, which James used for his ad.
Principal Michael Wilson hit back against the claims in the video, calling them lies and saying that James’ rhetoric caused anxiety amongst the students
In a Facebook post, Wilson said the drag show ‘was no different than shows done in schools all over the country by different titles’
A photo from the event, depicting students and staff at the fundraiser, was included in James’ commercial last week and showed at least one student without her face blurred.
‘I didn’t process it immediately,’ the unnamed senior, who identifies as queer, told WWLP.
‘My initial reaction was to laugh because it’s such a ridiculous concept to attack a school that’s purpose is to avoid bullying for something they cannot control.’
Her mother, Kimberley Fasking, asked the campaign to pull the ad, to which the James’ campaign said they would ‘obstruct’ the student’s face but would continue to air it.
Principal Michael Wilson also said he tried to get the video taken down, telling the news station: ‘The Tim James ad is nothing short of an adult bullying children.
‘It’s causing more anxiety,’ he explained, noting: ‘You are talking about kids who are four times more likely than their straight counterparts [to have] suicidal ideation.’
He has compared the drag queen fundraiser to other fundraisers at schools throughout the country, comparing it to a ‘womanless beauty pageant’ and the Powder Puff flag football game in which girls play flag football while the boys perform as cheerleaders.
‘Our agenda is not to “convert” anyone,’ Wilson wrote. ‘We are a school with an incredibly talented and dedicated faculty and staff who teach and care for our students, most of whom have been traumatized due to situations in their former educational settings.
‘You are still telling LIES,’ he wrote of James.
And since the video was released, school officials claim, there have been two apparent security threats.
At one point, Wilson said, a car drove by the school with its occupants yelling slurs at the students outside.
And on another occasion, a woman approached the school, filming its exterior as a person waited in a car nearby.
When students noticed her, the woman ran away, according to WWLP.
Teachers are now on guard and are looking out for any strange vehicles that may drive by, Wilson said, noting that the school is also heavily secured with security cameras and is located near the Homewood Police Department Headquarters.
Meanwhile, James has doubled down on his criticism of the school, releasing another video ad entitled ‘Exploitation, and radio ads featuring MCAA.
The campaign also released a statement following Wilson’s criticism saying: ‘We find it unconscionable to use the concept of protecting kids as an opportunity to expose them to drag queen shows and normalize perversion.
‘For a public school like Magic City Acceptance Academy to use $2 million of our state tax dollars to host drag queen shows for kids should anger every parent, grandparent and taxpayer in Alabama.
‘This school needs to have its charter revoked and be shut down – not because of the children, but because of the faculty.’
And Elizabet Jordan, the communications director for James’ campaign, wrote to WWLP that if the student’s mother was ‘truly concerned about her child, she would remove her from the Magic City Acceptance Academy, period.
‘The principal, Michael Wilson, seems to have an affinity for drag queens and for prancing around in drag himself in front of minor students at the school.
‘This kind of interactions with children are not education. It is exploitation.’
James noted that ‘as governor, I will use all my power to protect these children who are struggling with this identity crisis.
‘I will also show the principal and his faculty no mercy for the indoctrination they are pushing on these kids.’
James is currently trailing incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey, according to Al.com, but a poll from last month shows he has a shot at pushing Ivey into a runoff election following the May 24 primary.