Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz took his anti-trans rhetoric a step further over the weekend by indicating transgender women should only use restrooms at home and avoid public facilities.
Cruz, who’s made made anti-LGBT positions a cornerstone of his campaign and said North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law is “perfectly reasonable,” made the remarks Saturday during an appearance in Plainfield, Ind., that was captured on video by the progressive group American Bridge 21st Century.
“Every one of us has the right to live our lives as we wish,” Cruz said. “If any one of us wants to dress up as a woman or man and wants to live as woman or man and believes that we might be something other than what we were born, God has made each of us with free will and the ability to choose to do that if man to wants to dress as a woman, and live as a woman, and have a bathroom at home.”
Asked if those remarks mean a transgender woman shouldn’t be able to use the restroom in public, Cruz indicated that was in fact the case.
“You don’t have a right to intrude upon the rights of others because whether or not a man believes he’s a woman, there are a lot of women who would like to be able to use a public restroom in peace without having a man there,” Cruz said. “And when there are children involved, you don’t have a right to impose your lifestyle on others.”
As Cruz concludes his comments, an onlooker can be heard on the video shouting out, “Amen!”
Following Donald Trump’s (now reversed) comments against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law, Cruz has sought to capitalize on the comments by condemning his rival for suggesting trans people should be able to use whichever bathroom they wish. Last week, a transgender teen was expelled from a Cruz rally in Maryland.
JoDee Winterhof, vice president for policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, condemned Cruz for the remarks, which she associated with the mentality behind North Carolina’s House Bill 2.
“Ted Cruz’s ignorance is outrageous and dangerous,” Winterhof said. “His recent attacks on LGBT people, specifically his vicious attacks on the dignity of transgender people, show there is no limit to how low he will go to score a political point. Over the last few days, he has made vile statements that underscore how much is at stake in this election. Cruz and everyone associated with his campaign should be ashamed of his attacks on LGBT people and renounce them immediately. And North Carolina leaders should ask themselves whether they want to go down in history with the likes of Ted Cruz — or with the bipartisan majority of voters who support LGBT equality.”