This Texas Activist Destroys One Of The Biggest Lies About LGBT Rights (VIDEO)

Over the past few years we’ve watched the right throw up argument after argument against equal rights for LGBT Americans. One of the favorite claims is that somehow, “transgender” equals “sexual predator.” That claim was most famously made by Michelle Duggar, of 19 Kids and Counting, who argued against an equal rights law that was being proposed in Arkansas, saying that men with a history of sexual crimes could claim to be transgender and use women’s restrooms to prey on women and children.

In July, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Houston’s anti-discrimination law, known as HERO, had to be repealed, or put on the ballot for voter approval. This has resulted in opponents of the ordinance repeating the same claim made by Duggar and others, about transgender men in women’s bathrooms.

Texas LGBT rights advocate Noel Freeman shot down the argument that the Houston anti-discrimination law would somehow permit males to enter female bathrooms, commit sexual acts, then claim protection because they were transgender, on a local television show. On August 2, Freeman sat down for an interview on City View, a local program produced by the city’s ABC affiliate. Host Art Rascon tells Freeman that he is going to play a sort of devil’s advocate with his questions.

Rascon starts by asking Freeman why the ordinance is important for Houston. Freeman replies that the law protects a variety of Houston residents and observes that over half of the complaints made under the law involved racial discrimination:

“Only four percent of those complaints were related to sexual orientation or gender identity,” he says. “This ordinance protects everybody in the city of Houston. That’s why it’s so important.”

“OK, but let’s talk about what’s really at issue here,” Rascon replies, “and that is the transgender question. Those against it are saying…we don’t want a transgender picking which bathroom to walk in.”

Of course, that statement is silly on its face. A transgender person who identifies as male will use the men’s room and a transgender person who identifies as female will use the women’s bathroom. But opponents of LGBT rights seem to have this vision of a man with 5-o’clock shadow, wearing a dress that reveals his hairy legs and sporting an ill-fitting wig, going into the women’s room to spy on women and little girls. It’s a vision straight out of cartoon land.

Freeman could have responded something to that effect. But his response was much better. He says:

“Non-discrimination ordinances that are LGBT-inclusive have existed in the United States for more than 40 years. And in those 40 years across the entire country, zero, zero times has somebody committed an act in a bathroom and claimed a non-discrimination law as a defense.”

There it is. The claim that laws protecting transgender rights will be abused by sexual predators, shot down in five seconds. Freeman names several other Texas cities with anti-discrimination ordinances where the same claim was made: Plano, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin. And, he points out, the bathroom issue hasn’t happened in any of them.

But we’re going to keep hearing this claim, thanks to the well oiled media machine on the right. You would think that eventually, conservatives would be tired of being wrong all of the time. But apparently that’s not a concern as long as they can keep getting attention, and making money by making these outlandish claims.

Here’s the video, via Media Matters:

Featured image via Intel Free Press/Flickr