Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) responded to the latest attack on the LGBT community by leading GOP candidate for president Ben Carson. In an interview today with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, Carson suggested creating transgender bathrooms.
Questioned about Houston voters’ rejection of a law banning LGBT discrimination this week, Carson said: “How about we have a transgender bathroom?”
“It is not fair for them to make everybody else uncomfortable,” Carson said of transgender people. “It’s one of the things that I don’t particularly like about the [LGBT] 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.”
Condemning he comments HRC President Chad Griffin said, “Ben Carson’s hateful comments are out of touch and all candidates should immediately make clear that they disavow his dangerously transphobic views. Ben Carson can’t go a week without invoking reckless and irresponsible stereotypes about the LGBT community, and his suggestion that transgender people be required to use segregated bathrooms echoes an ugly past our country should never revisit.”
In that same interview, Carson again showed a fundamental misunderstanding of existing non-discrimination laws, saying he opposed “extra rights” for LGBT people. In reality, there are no explicit federal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, and a majority of states also lack non-discrimination protections. HRC’s polling this year found that 63 percent of LGBT people have experienced discrimination. The Equality Act would guarantee explicit federal discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Carson has a long history of anti-LGBT rhetoric. Earlier this year Carson suggested that “prison” proves that being LGBT is a choice. He walked those comments back after HRC demanded he apologize. After that, Carson said he would “no longer” talk about LGBT issues because he was being taken out of context.