National News Highlights — May 12, 2023

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Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Kelly Craft — Photo by Timothy D. Easley / AP
Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Kelly Craft — Photo by Timothy D. Easley / AP

Kentucky candidate promises no Trans kids in schools
Former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft's run for Kentucky governor was punctuated this week by her promise that if elected, "we will not have Transgenders in our school system." At the time, during a telephone town hall on Monday, she didn't have any policy details, but her campaign elaborated with a familiar right-wing fallback.

"Of course Kelly was referring to the woke ideologies being pushed in our schools," Craft's campaign said in a statement. "She had been advocating for the best for all children this entire campaign."

Chris Hartman, executive director of the Kentucky-based Fairness Campaign, called Craft's comments "desperate and disgusting."

"Her claim that she and Wise will somehow purge Transgender kids from Kentucky schools is nothing more than an unhinged political promise she can't keep," Hartman said, referring also to Craft's running mate, Sen. Max Wise.

Former Arkansas Pride venue "trying to censor clear art"
Organizers of northwest Arkansas Pride have announced that they will not, as previously planned, be holding events at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville after the center's governing board decided to drop any programming involving both drag and minors, like drag story hours.

"This decision is surprising, disappointing, and inconsistent," said Northwest Arkansas Equality in a statement. In the past, the facility has hosted shows like Tootsie and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Arkansas has restricted so-called "adult-oriented" performances since February, when Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill that actually had to be scaled back due to complaints that it was discriminatory against the LGBTQ community. The law won't take effect until late July, long after Pride festivities are over.

The arts center released a statement on Wednesday insisting that the decision about the restrictions was "made in the interest of safety concerns for performers, patrons, and staff due to the divisive political rhetoric at this time."

Northwest Arkansas Pride's director, Richard Gathright, had another take.
"They're trying to censor clear art at an arts center," he said. "We couldn't stand by and say half our stuff is OK there, but this particular performer can't perform there because of this reason."