A GOP candidate for Burlington City Council has stated publicly that men and women are born with predetermined biological sex, yet the mere statement of scientific fact has triggered a debate on both sides of the political aisle as to whether that’s a politically correct thing to say.
“There is absolutely no such thing as a transgender gay man,” Christopher-Aaron Felker, a Burlington resident and openly gay Republican, wrote in a 2018 social media post unearthed by Seven Days.
The post has since generated other comments, such as from former Burlington GOP head Kolby LaMarche, who said in a tweet that Felker’s views expose disunity among Republicans.
RE: Chris Felker, Transphobic Comments – I’ve obtained the attached from a former colleague within the @VTGOP. The letter, written by UVM Republican Franklin Cody, showcases the disunity within the VTGOP. #vtpoli pic.twitter.com/HKBev7Eq2f
— Kolby R. LaMarche (@kolbylamarche) July 2, 2021
The Seven Days story reported that Felker believes that women and men are born with biological differences, and that he posts about the topic frequently.
“The website turned up more than 400 posts,” the report states. “… Felker used the hashtags #SexNotGender and #GenderCritical to represent his view that people are the sex that they’re assigned at birth, not the gender with which they identify.”
The report states Felker is a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”
Others have come to Felker’s support, including TV producer Bradford Broyles. Broyles shared Felker’s response to an unfriendly response by Democrats. “When trans rights conflict with women’s rights, I believe that public policy must balance these rights to arrive at a fair and equitable outcome,” Felker clarified.
Christopher has been clear about his support of the trans community, he reiterated it this morning on @NewsTalkWVMT. See attached.
The Felker campaign does not support or condone a transphobic "stickering" campaign. Period.
— Bradford Broyles (@BradfordBroyles) June 29, 2021
Broyles added in another post that “sitting city officials demanding a Burlingtonian renounce their religious beliefs in order to be eligible to enter public sphere isn’t a good look.”
Another Twitter user posted that they will use these posts to rally to defeat Felker’s campaign.
Hey #BTV, as a Sicilian, I can assure you there is nothing sweeter than the long burn of delayed revenge.
Local transphobe and trans folx harasser Christopher-Aaron Felker is running for Ward-3 #BTCC.
Let's ensure they lose and lose big. (1/3) #VTpoli
— DJ Llu (@djllu) June 27, 2021
Broyles shared more comments from Felker, including that he called for the race to refocus on issues that impact all residents.
“We need to bring focus back to what needs to get done,” Felker said. “Ward 3 residents are quietly suffering as taxes rise, infrastructure deteriorates, and their elected leaders are unable to focus on anything but polarizing social issues. It’s time to stop sidelining and start taking seriously the needs of everyone.”
The upcoming special election is in August. Felker will run against Democrat Owen Milne, the executive director of the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. The Progressives will run former Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign staffer Joe Magee.
Felker is a Navy veteran, a Catholic, and a married gay man. He says he supports libertarian ideals.
Burlington City Council has been without a Republican since former council president Kurt Wright chose not to run again in 2020.
This is not the first time that a Burlington resident has garnered negative attention from social justice activists for questioning if women can be men or vice-versa. Lesbian feminist Peggy Luhrs, who heads the organization Gender Critical Vermont, was pressured into canceling a discussion at the Fletcher Free Library on the clash between transgenderism and feminism, according to WCAX and Seven Days.
The feminist movement and the emerging transgender movement have fought frequently about their respective political views.
“We are all female,” lesbian activist Julia Beck told Tucker Carlson in 2019, “but if any man, if any male person can call himself a woman, or be legally identified as female, then predatory men will do so in order to gain access to women’s single-sex spaces, and it puts every woman and girl at risk.”