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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) is standing by his state’s HB 2 law, which bars transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Despite the unpopularity of the law and the criticism that McCrory and North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature have received since signing the law, the governor has continued to defend the law as necessary for public safety.
In a new campaign ad, McCrory reiterates that argument about “safety,” which is based on the myth that allowing transgender people, particularly transgender women, into restrooms that correspond to their gender identity will lead sexual predators to follow suit by claiming they are women in order to commit sexual assault.
Such claims have been disproven by most fact-checkers, but have proven persuasive in other jurisdictions where transgender rights have been debated. One such example is the city of Houston, where, in 2015, voters rejected a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance specifically because of fears over bathrooms.
“You know, when we were raising average teacher pay, creating new jobs and cutting taxes, other folks were actually pushing to make our schools allow boys to use the girls’ locker rooms and showers,” McCrory says, not mincing any words.
“Does the desire to be politically correct outweigh our children’s privacy and safety?” McCrory continues. “Not on my watch. Our kids and teachers are my priority. This is North Carolina. Let’s do what’s right.”
McCrory is currently lagging behind in the polls behind his general election opponent, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper (D). The three most recent polls have Cooper earning over 50 percent of the vote, and sporting leads of 7, 9 and 6 points, respectively.
Recent polling by Monmouth University and Public Policy Polling has shown that majorities of voters believe that HB 2 has been bad for North Carolina’s reputation, and fewer than 4 in 10 voters support the law.
However, social conservatives believe they may be able to sway the opinions of undecided voters who are either uncomfortable about the prospect of transgender people in restrooms or believe that predators will use the law to their advantage.
That’s why McCrory has been airing an ad featuring a sexual assault victim saying she’s “horrified” that Cooper — and the Obama administration, which is challenging HB 2 in court — would “force children to share the same locker room, shower and restroom with someone who claims to be the opposite sex.”
Watch McCrory’s latest ad below:
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