By Stephen D. Foster, Jr. / 04.24.2016
A Fox host actually debunked a conservative talking point by doing what a real journalist does best: research.
An anti-LGBT conservative columnist appeared on Fox News Sunday to defend anti-LGBT laws that ban transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
Ben Domenech argued that such laws are necessary to protect women and children from predators whom right-wingers claim will use transgender protections to get into women’s restrooms to sexually harass and assault victims.
“That’s actually what people are concerned about,” The Federalist columnist claimed. “They’re less concerned about transgender people coming into bathrooms than they are about men using this as a way to get into locker rooms with women and to exploit that opportunity to participate in some kind of criminal act.”
Of course, predators can already do that and no law will stop them from doing it anyway if they are stupid enough to do it. Besides, sexual assault is a crime whether transgender people are protected by the law or not. So men who willfully go into women’s locker rooms and sexually assault them are going to be arrested and jailed for it.
These anti-LGBT “bathroom bills,” however, criminalize the act of going to the bathroom and have more to do with bigotry than they do with preventing crimes that haven’t even happened yet. It sounds like many of these Republicans have watched the film Minority Report one too many times.
And that’s the exact point Chris Wallace made in response to Domenech’s claim.
“We actually tried to find out whether it is a public safety issue,” Wallace said. “Whether it is a problem with transgender people misusing bathrooms to prey on others.”
Wallace then hit conservatives with a PolitiFact ruling stating that they “haven’t found any instance of criminals convicted of using transgender as cover in the United States. Neither have any left-wing groups or right-wing groups.”
Indeed, in 17 states and over 200 cities across the country that have passed transgender protections, there has not been a single example of a predator using the protections to get into a women’s bathroom.
“This seems to be a solution in search of a problem,” Wallace observed.
Fox analyst Juan Williams agreed and used the example of a North Carolina Sheriff who said that he had never dealt with this issue over the course of his entire 40 year career in law enforcement. Republicans are creating a “wedge issue,” Williams explained, so that they can court the votes of evangelicals in the same way that Republicans did by putting anti-same sex marriage initiatives on the ballot in 2004. Only this time, the transgender issue isn’t having the same power because most of the population doesn’t consider transgender people to be a problem.
Here’s the video via YouTube.
These “bathroom bills” are nothing more than a bigoted effort by Republicans to legalize discrimination against the LGBT community and states that have foolishly passed them are facing severe backlash that has resulted in corporations cancelling projects and entertainers cancelling shows. The federal government is even looking into whether federal funding in these states should be revoked over violations of federal anti-discrimination laws which could cost these states billions of dollars.
The fact is that Republicans are creating an imaginary issue to justify the passage of bigoted laws and they have brought shame and economic ruin to their states in pursuit of nods of approval from an ever-shrinking evangelical population who wish to use religion as a shield to excuse discriminating against certain groups of people.
But Fox News just shattered the bullshit claim made by conservatives to defend these bigoted laws. So the question is what excuse will they invent next?