On an episode of “Washington Watch” last week, North Carolina Lt. Gov. and staunch Republican Dan Forest made an appearance to discuss his state’s new law that bans transgender people from using the public restroom that aligns with the gender with which they identify. As you can probably guess, things got transphobic on the show, and quickly.
All the controversy started when the city of Charlotte, NC, tried to enforce an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in public places, such as bathrooms. The rest of the state was against Charlotte’s progressive thinking and implemented a law, HB2, that would block this ordinance. Things have been bad since, with several big business criticizing the bill, along with the mayor of San Francisco banning non-essential travel to North Carolina and Rob Reiner refusing to work in the state until the bill is repealed.
Despite all this backlash, North Carolina Republicans are sticking to their guns. In Forest’s backwards mind, all this backlash is misguided. He even had the nerve to opine that Charlotte was actually discriminating against cis-gendered women and girls with this ordinance intended to protect LGBT people. In his own words:
‘Nobody likes discrimination. We don’t like discrimination and that’s why we passed an anti-discrimination law, that’s what HB2 was. Nobody likes discrimination, so it’s easy to stand up and say, ‘We don’t like anybody being discriminated against.’ Well, our bill does not discriminate against anybody. In fact, the Charlotte ordinance was amazingly discriminatory against especially women and girls who no longer had the freedom to walk into a restroom and know that they would be safe and secure in that restroom without a man walking in or a pedophile or a predator walking into that bathroom. That’s really discriminatory if you want to talk about discrimination.’
It’s funny, Republicans don’t seem to care one bit about women, as their willingness to defund organizations like Planned Parenthood illustrate. However, when they can use women being discriminated against as an excuse to continue discriminating against LGBT people, suddenly they’re all about protecting women.
Despite Forest’s attempts to prove that, by protecting LGBT people, cities like Charlotte are making it easier for predators and pedophiles to prey on cis-gendered women and girls, evidence proves otherwise. The spokesman for the Des Moines Police Department said regarding these types of claims in response to Iowa’s own anti-discrimination ordinance, “We have not seen that. I doubt that’s gonna encourage the behavior. If the behavior’s there, [sexual predators are] gonna behave as they’re gonna behave no matter what the laws are.”
Forest definitely has facts working against him. Unfortunately, when it comes to the GOP, facts don’t usually matter much. Listen to Forest’s interview on “Washington Watch” below via Sound Cloud.