Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told an MSNBC town hall Thursday that bathroom discrimination policies pushed by GOP-led legislatures are “perfectly reasonable.”
Speaking during a taping in Buffalo, New York, Cruz signaled his support for allowing state legislatures to pass anti-LGBTQ measures prohibiting transgender people from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity, claiming that “men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls.” Cruz suggested such laws are “a perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make,” according to an Associated Press report.
Cruz reportedly declined to comment on a recent North Carolina measure of this nature, claiming that he wasn’t familiar with the specifics of the GOP-backed bill.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) in late March signed HB 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. The measure blocked anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and banned transgender people from using restrooms in public facilities and schools in accordance with their gender identity. The bill came in response to a Charlotte nondiscrimination ordinance that allowed transgender people to do so.
Roe has collapsed and Texas is in chaos.
Stay up to date with The Fallout, a newsletter from our expert journalists.
McCrory has since said he would expand other protections for LGBTQ people, but the bathroom discrimination policy remained.
Though Cruz declined to speak about HB 2 during the town hall, advisers of the Republican presidential candidate reportedly played a critical role in pushing the measure through the Republican-dominated North Carolina legislature. David and Jason Benham, as well as Mark Harris, members of Cruz’s Religious Liberty Advisory Council, were at the forefront of the opposition to Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance, reported Mother Jones.
“Before the bill was passed we had already been notified by the Governor that legislative action was certain, so we simply encouraged our elected officials to listen to the voice of the people,” the Benham brothers told Mother Jones by email, referring to their involvement in helping pass HB2. “It’s common sense not to allow men in women’s restrooms. It’s also common sense not to force business owners to participate in expressive events that are against their religious beliefs.”
Law enforcement officials, anti-sexual violence advocates, and government employees have categorically debunked claims from proponents of these measures that bathroom discrimination bills are necessary to protect women and children.