The Human Rights Campaign excoriated Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson over a report that he disparaged transgender people in meetings with staff this week.
“Ben Carson has spent his career in politics expressing disgust toward the existence of transgender people,” Alphonso David, president of the LGBTQ advocacy group, said late Thursday.
“From his comments on trans people in the military to his support for a proposal that would literally permit emergency shelters to turn away trans people who are homeless to his unqualified support for a White House that has made attacking trans people a mantra, it is hardly surprising that Ben Carson would blatantly dehumanize trans people in his official capacity,” David said.
David was responding to a Washington Post report Thursday that Carson had expressed concern about “big, hairy men” trying to use women’s bathrooms. Carson also “lamented that society no longer seemed to know the difference between men and women,” during a visit to San Francisco this week, the Post reported, citing agency staffers.
A senior HUD official disputed the account in a statement to the Post.
“The Secretary does not use derogatory language to refer to transgendered individuals. Any reporting to the contrary is false,” the official said.
Carson’s department earlier this year signaled that it would propose a rule to allow HUD-subsidized homeless shelters to consider a person’s sex or gender identification in determining whether they can be admitted.