The Religious Right’s Pro-Trump Anti-transgender Hypocrisy


When it comes to letting transgender people simply using the restroom, religious conservatives are quick to warn that any accommodations pose a massive threat to women’s “safety and privacy.” But after newly discovered tapes of the Republican nominee for president bragging about sexually assaulting women were published last week, many of those same conservatives are still standing by their endorsements.

Almost all of the campaigns against transgender equality have been focused on painting transgender women as “male” predators looking to access women’s spaces in order to violate them. The messaging was first used in 2012 to oppose LGBT protections in Anchorage, then again last year to oppose the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, and it has been the defense of North Carolina’s odious HB2. Women who were survivors of sexual assault were even the face of the failed campaign to overturn transgender protections in Washington state, even though there is zero evidence that respecting trans identities makes bathrooms or locker rooms any less safe.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is actually a man who has openly bragged about sexually assaulting women and been accused of such assaults on multiple occasions. He also admitted to walking around backstage at one of the beauty pageants he owns while the female contestants were naked and changing. Here’s a look at people who think someone who likes to “grab them by the pussy” is still a vote-worthy candidate for president, paired with statements the same people have made about whether transgender people should be allowed to pee in peace.

Gov. Mike Pence

On transgender protections: “Policies regarding the security and privacy of students in our schools should be in the hands of Hoosier parents and local schools, not bureaucrats in Washington, DC. The federal government has no business getting involved in issues of this nature. I am confident that parents, teachers and administrators will continue to resolve these matters without federal mandates and in a manner that reflects the common sense and compassion of our state.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “It’s absolutely false to suggest that at any point in time we considered dropping off this ticket… He said last night very clearly that that was talk, not actions. And I believe him and I think the contrast between that and what the Clintons were involved in 20 years ago — the four women that were present last night — was pretty dramatic.”

Ben Carson

CREDIT: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

On transgender protections: “How about we have a transgender bathroom? It is not fair for them to make everybody else uncomfortable. It’s one of the things that I don’t particularly like about the movement. I think everybody has equal rights, but I’m not sure that anybody should have extra rights — extra rights when it comes to redefining everything for everybody else and imposing your view on everybody else.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “Those of us who do not want to see America fundamentally devolve into something worse must be wise enough to recognize the scheme that is being played out here. We must demand not only that the issues be discussed but also that we make our decisions based on issues and not on personalities or decade old statements and behavior by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.”

Mike Huckabee

On transgender protections: “Now I wish somebody had told me when I was in high school, that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in P.E. I’m pretty sure I would’ve found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.’”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “I certainly don’t condone what he said in what he thought was a private moment 11 years ago, but here’s a good reminder that in these times of ubiquitous microphones and cameras, there are no private moments. I can truly hope he’s genuinely contrite and has outgrown it and that he himself is as repulsed by it as are those who view it.”

Gov. Chris Christie

On transgender protections: “Men go to men’s rooms, women go to women’s rooms and there really shouldn’t be a whole lot of confusion about that — public accommodations. And I don’t think we should be making life more confusing for our children… The fact though is that we want our kids not to have to decide which bathroom they get to go in. And not to be subject to peer pressure about which one to go in. And not to be subject to the embarrassment that could come with going in a bathroom where somebody maybe doesn’t agree that they should be in there or not.”

Sen. Ted Cruz

On transgender protections: “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 — and when there are children involved, you don’t have a right to impose your lifestyle on others.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “I am supporting the Republican nominee because I think Hillary Clinton is an absolute disaster. Now my differences with Donald, I have articulated at great length during the campaign. And I tried all my might. I got to tell you, it was an amazing journey.”

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “As I have made clear, my support for Donald Trump in the general election was never based upon shared values rather it was built upon shared concerns… At this point in the political process, because of our lack of engagement and involvement as Christians, not just in this election but in the government and culture as a whole, we are left with a choice of voting for the one who will do the least damage to our freedoms.”

Ralph Reed, Faith and Freedom Coalition

On transgender protections:

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “I just don’t think an audiotape of an 11-year-old private conversation with an entertainment talk show host on a tour bus, for which the candidate has apologized profusely, is likely to rank high on the hierarchy of concerns of those faith-based voters.”

James Dobson

On transgender protections: “If you are a married man with any gumption, surely you will defend your wife’s privacy and security in restroom facilities. Would you remain passive after knowing that a strange-looking man, dressed like a woman, has been peering over toilet cubicles to watch your wife in a private moment? What should be done to the pervert who was using mirrors to watch women and girls in their stalls?”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “The comments Mr. Trump made 11 years ago were deplorable and I condemn them entirely. I also find Hillary Clinton’s support of partial birth abortion criminal and her opinion of evangelicals to be bigoted. There really is only one difference between the two. Mr. Trump promises to support religious liberty and the dignity of the unborn. Mrs. Clinton promises she will not.”

Gary Bauer, American Values

On transgender protections: “This is yet another example of the Obama administration’s bizarre obsession to force women to be unwilling participants in a radical social experiment… Now Obama’s HUD bureaucrats are putting those women at risk for abuse and worse by men claiming to be women.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “ The comments are obviously disgusting and unfortunate. But Donald Trump did not run as a evangelical or as somebody who ran the kind of campaign that a Pat Robertson would run. We’ll still support him, still work hard for him. His policies are 100% better than Hillary clinton’s for the country. I don’t see how any values voter that is sensible would take a tape from 11 years ago with totally inappropriate language and says somehow that leads me as a voter to stay home or vote for Hillary Clinton or throw your vote away on a third party candidate.”

Robert Jeffress, First Baptist Church in Dallas

CREDIT: Facebook/Robert Jeffress

On transgender protections: “Gender is an absolute, just like age is an absolute, and just because some hairy-legged man feels confused about his gender, doesn’t mean he gets to come in and shower with my daughter in a shower room.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “It was lewd, obscene, indefensible — but not enough to make me want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I might not choose this man to be a Sunday school teacher at my church, but that’s not what this election is about.”


Michele Bachmann

On transgender protections: “What we have seen happen since this discussion started, are men of varying ages going into women’s bathrooms and trying to videotape women unawares. Now that’s a real problem. And I think we need to be very clear that women, girls, older women are vulnerable and are deserving of protection.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “This is bad boy talk, and of course that’s what [Hillary Clinton] wants everybody to talk about… If anybody understands bad boy talk, Hillary Clinton understands bad boy talk. She engages in a certain amount of it herself I think.”

Pat Robertson

On transgender protections: “We don’t want men going into women’s bathrooms, we don’t want predators going out where little girls are, we don’t want voyeurs having free access to the women’s locker rooms during games when they’re changing clothes.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “ “A guy does something 11 years ago, it was a conversation in Hollywood where he’s trying to look like he’s macho. And 11 years after that they surface it from The Washington Post or whatever, bring it out within 30 days or so of the election and this is supposed to be the death blow and everybody writes him off… They think he’s dead, he’s come back. And he came back strong. So, he won that debate.”

Pat McCrory (R), North Carolina governor

On transgender protections: “Does the desire to be politically correct outweigh our children’s privacy and safety? Not on my watch.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the comments made by Donald Trump regarding women. I find them disgusting.” [But McCrory did not withdraw his endorsement of Trump.]

Dan Patrick, Texas lieutenant governor

On transgender protections: “It is clear that the Obama administration is trying to force an ill-advised, eleventh-hour bathroom edict on Texas and all American schools that ignores both common sense and common decency. Obama’s bathroom policy, which applies to grades K-12, creates a problem where none existed. It will disrupt schools across Texas, creating potentially embarrassing and unsafe situations for girls who would be forced, under his order, to share bathrooms, locker rooms and showers with boys.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks:

hil Robertson, Duck Dynasty

On transgender protections: “Men should use the men’s bathroom and women should use the women’s bathroom. Just because a man may ‘feel’ like a woman doesn’t mean he should be able to share a bathroom with my daughter, or yours. That used to be called common sense. Now it’s called bigoted.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “I would say [evangelical leaders] need to lighten up, start going out and preaching the gospel to different people, including Donald Trump, and give him some time to think about spiritual matters, and work with him, and not condemn anybody.”

Alveda King

On transgender protections: “In other words, by turning a blind eye to the dearth of perversion within our communities — the sex traffickers, child molesters, adulterers and fornicators, racists, and so many other sin sick souls — and suggesting that allowing everyone to use the same public bathrooms will solve America’s problems, the current government administration, no matter how well intended or ill advised they are, is headed for disaster.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “ While writing, saying and doing much, Mr. Trump is apologizing for his past sins. He’s walking away from supporting abortion, hurling insults and more. Now, America needs to follow suit and apologize for the scourge of legal abortion that has left millions of empty cradles, wombs barren, women’s health damaged, and families broken. As Americans, we all need to follow Mr. Trump’s lead and ask God for forgiveness for the sins of our nation, and yes, for ourselves.”