- The Magazine
“North Carolina did something that was very strong, and they’re paying a big price and there’s a lot of problems,” Donald Trump said earlier on the Today Show. But Trump wasn’t talking about business, or immigration, or abortion — no, he was talking about LGBT rights. In particular, North Carolina’s HB2, an anti-LGBT law which, among other things, forces transgender people to use a restroom that corresponds with their birth gender.
In making his statement, Trump — in typically frank fashion — just set himself apart from many in the Republican Party, by openly supporting the right of transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.
“North Carolina, what they are going through with all of the business that’s leaving and all of the strife—and that’s on both sides. You leave it the way it is,” Trump said, responding to a question from a viewer about so-called “bathroom bills.” “There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic punishment that they’re taking.”
Trump directly echoed the same arguments used by trans activists and their allies: that transgender people are using a restroom for its intended purpose, not to spy on women and children, as many conservative politicians have been scaremongering.
Matt Lauer followed up by asking Trump if Caitlyn Jenner visited Trump Towers, would he “be fine with her using any bathroom she chooses?”
“That is correct,” Trump responded. He then attacked the notion of building separate facilities for transgender people to use. “First of all, I think that would be discriminatory in a certain way,” he said. “It would [also] be unbelievably expensive for businesses and the country. Leave it the way it is.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 21, 2016
Contrast Trump’s surprising support with Sen. Ted Cruz, who last week called North Carolina’s law “perfectly reasonable.”
“As the father of daughters, I’m not terribly excited about men being able to go alone into a bathroom with my daughters,” Cruz told a town hall hosted by MSNBC, misgendering trans women and invoking the same scaremongering as others on the conservative right.
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