This week, the New York primary guaranteed that it will be impossible for Ted Cruz to secure the Republican presidential nomination on the first ballot of the convention, and the candidate responded by reminding voters just how eager he is to discriminate against transgender people.
Two different incidents prompted Cruz’s latest trans-bashing campaign: Donald Trump’s remarks condemning North Carolina’s HB2, a law that bans transgender people from using the appropriately gendered restrooms in schools and public buildings, and ESPN firing analyst Curt Schilling after the former MLB pitcher promoted an anti-trans meme on his Facebook page.
Cruz’s reaction to Trump’s comment Thursday morning was swift. “He thought that men should be able to go into the girls’ bathroom if they want to,” Cruz said in a comment. “Now let me ask you: Have we gone stark-raving nuts?” He joked that Trump was proving “he could be the most politically correct person on Earth” and that he should get new hats that say “Make PC Great Again.”
Then Thursday afternoon, Cruz joined Glenn Beck’s radio show to rail against ESPN. “ESPN fired Curt Schilling for making the rather obvious point that we shouldn’t allow grown male adult strangers alone in a bathroom with little girls, he told Beck. “That’s a point anyone who is rational should understand.” The likes of Sarah Palin and the Family Research Council have also come to Schilling’s defense.
Friday morning, the Cruz campaign released a brand new ad again attacking Trump. Like the fearmongering ads used to overturn the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance this past fall, it contains creepy music and images of women’s bathrooms and little girls.
“Should a grown man pretending to be a woman be allowed to use the women’s restroom?” the ad asks. “The same restroom used by your daughter? Your wife? Donald Trump thinks so. It’s not appropriate. It’s not safe. It’s PC nonsense that’s destroying America. Donald Trump won’t take on the PC police. He’s one of them.”
Cruz’s position is hardly new; his history of rejecting LGBT equality — and transgender rights in particular — certainly precedes this week. But his claim that gender identity protections are “not safe” is factually untrue; indeed, cities and states across the country have had such protections for years and it has never resulted in any harm to women or children.