For Republicans, there seems to be debate over the value of political points to be scored by making transgender rights a key talking point. Red-state conservatives have largely applauded as many state legislatures have worked to curtail gender-manipulation medical procedures and female-identifying males on girls' sports teams.
But will these moves resonate with swing voters in the same way in 2024?
Peter Thiel, a billionaire Republican donor who is also gay, recently said he doesn't plan to back any candidate in next year's GOP primary or the general election. Once a Donald Trump supporter, Thiel told friends at the end of 2022 that he was tired of the chaos that follows the former president.
A source close to Thiel told Reuters that Thiel believes Republicans are spending too much time talking about issues like abortion and transgender students instead of inflation and the China threat. In contrast, some inside the party have suggested Republicans should go so far as to embrace the transgender movement if they want to win elections.
Allen West, however, isn't one of those. The retired Army lieutenant colonel (pictured below) was once a U.S. House member from Florida and later the chair of Texas Republicans. Now he's a political commentator, as well as executive director of the American Constitutional Rights Union and ACRU Action Fund.
"When history comes along thousands of years from now and they dig us up and look at our bones, the bones will say either you are male or female. It's not going to say anything else," West said on American Family Radio Thursday.
Two ways to look at trans support
One can look at transgender support two ways, West told show host Jenna Ellis.
"You start off, God created Adam and Eve, a male and female, man and woman. I mean that pretty much settles that from a biblical perspective," he said. "And if you want to now look at it from a secular perspective, anyone who is confused about who they are and how they were born, that is called 'gender dysphoria.' That's a mental condition."
Republican leaders at the state and national level talk about the need to protect young people. It's all caught the attention of trans supporters.
"Across the community, there's a broad array of reactions," said Imara Jones, the founder and chief executive of TransLash Media told The Hill in for a story in March. "Some people are afraid, others are motivated, others are angry, others are fighting back."
Jones told The Hill the GOP's push against the trans community is the result of a "decades-long" strategy. She singled out the efforts of The Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council.
Christians don't have to get in the sandbox
West said Christians should pray that those suffering with gender dysphoria will receive the necessary help – but argued they shouldn't feel compelled to sacrifice their beliefs. "It is not incumbent upon us to play in the sandbox of delusion of others," he said.
And it's wrong, he added, for human beings to believe they can reverse what God did by trying to redefine their gender.
"The snake of Satan, when he told Adam and Eve 'Here, take the fruit from this tree and you can eat and you can be … a god. You can have all the knowledge and you can be just like God himself.' That's a falsity; that's a lie.
"I do not believe that we need to embrace a mental condition in order to expand a voter base. I think we need to stick to our fundamental principles and values."
A constitutional conservative, West urged Americans to read the U.S. Constitution so they really understand how the federal government is overstepping its bounds when it uses taxpayer dollars for access to abortion or to provide drag queens on Navy ships or in public libraries.
"The Constitution really does restrict the involvement and the engagement of the federal government," he stated. "That's why the 10th Amendment is so important. But if we don't understand these things, then we cede more power over to the federal government – and they become the rulers of our lives. That's now how it was intended to be."