So-called “bathroom laws” have become all the rage as of late, with numerous states passing laws the require individuals to use the restroom of their assigned gender, not their gender identity.
States that have passed laws recently include Mississippi and North Carolina, which has resulted in numerous news stories about the negative business consequences for the states (i.e. lost conventions, canceled concerts, canceled corporate expansions, and more).
The debate has made its way to the Republican presidential race, with billionaire businessman Donald Trump saying he would allow anyone of any gender use the restroom that made them most comfortable. In response, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has railed against the businessman in recent ads.
But with the states passing the laws with no intent to backdown and Cruz, among others, taking the side of the states, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace decided to explore whether one of the stated reasons for the bathroom laws was accurate. The argument? Preventing transgendered individuals from using the restroom opposite their assigned gender at birth was protecting children and others from assault and other violations in restrooms by sex offenders posing as transgendered.
Upon investigation, Wallace said he debunked the claims, according to Mediaite.
“Wallace said he wanted to ‘find out whether it is a public safety issue, whether it is a problem with transgender people misusing bathrooms to prey on others.’ And, based on a PolitiFact investigation, there’s really nothing there.
“Charles Krauthammer expressed similar sentiments on Fox last week when he downplayed the idea this is an ‘epidemic.’”
Regardless of Wallace’s assertion that there was no risk in public restrooms, Ted Cruz is still running in states with upcoming primaries like Pennsylvania, and The Daily Caller reports that he takes a stand for not only the bathroom laws, but also for now-fired ESPN analyst Curt Schilling, who was recently fired for asserting that he supported the bathroom laws.
“The narrator of the Cruz ad says: ‘Curt Schilling was fired by the PC Police for suggesting that grown men shouldn’t use the bathroom with little girls. Guess who’s joined the ranks of the PC police?’” The Daily Caller reported.
The Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization advocating on behalf of the gay, lesbian, and transgender community, has come out against Cruz’s new ad, though the group has not yet responded to Wallace’s segment on Fox News Sunday this morning.
In a statement on its website, the organization railed against the Texas senator and said Cruz was peddling hate.
“Ted Cruz’s transphobic smear campaign peddles a dangerous brand of hate and ignorance,” Human Rights Campaign Communications Director Jay Brown said. “At a time when transgender women are at a disproportionately high risk for violence and assault, Ted Cruz’s reckless ad puts them at even greater risk. Moreover, what message does Ted Cruz think this sends to transgender youth across this country? We deserve a president who’ll fight to protect the rights and dignity of everyone — not a reckless, feckless politician who’ll do or say anything to score a point.”
While the fights have generally been happening at a local level, the Human Rights Campaign is trying to keep the issue alive nationally while decrying the North Carolina bathroom bill.
“HB2 also attacks minorities by blocking individuals from suing under state employment non-discrimination law on the basis of race, religion, national origin, and sex. Moreover, HB2 bars municipalities from enacting their own non-discrimination protections.
“H.B. 2 is opposed by more than 180 major businesses, entertainment and sports leaders, and a majority of North Carolinians. In fact, 61 percent say H.B. 2 has hurt the state’s image nationally and 61 percent also say the law has hurt the state’s ability to attract and retain business. A 64 percent majority of North Carolinians support LGBT nondiscrimination protections. Nationally, nearly 8 out of 10 Americans believe LGBT people are entitled to federal nondiscrimination protections.”
[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]