Christian Group Admits To Sending Men Into Women’s Bathrooms To Scare You Into Hating Trans People

Across the country, conservative groups are working to pass anti-LGBT legislation that would bar transgender people the right to use public restrooms. The faulty logic at play is that transgender people are simply dressing up as the opposite gender to gain access to young boys and girls.

This. Is. Not. Happening.

But rather than take a moment of reflection and realize that what’s really at work here is regular old transphobia and fear-mongering being used to hit back at the LGBT community for having scored a number of recent victories at the state and federal level, conservatives are trying to invent the problem to justify their barbaric solution. For an obvious example, look no further than designated hate group American Family Association, whose director of governmental affairs, Sandy Rios, just admitted that her organization has been sending men into women’s bathrooms at Target in the hopes of eliciting a reaction.

Why Target? The store recently outraged Republicans by publicly standing with the LGBT community and saying its customers can use whichever bathroom they feel most comfortable with. This set in motion the usual calls for boycotts, the usual right-wing smears, and now this… a movement to harass women in Target bathrooms so they are scared enough to demand the policy change.

“I think there’s no question that when you say that there are no barriers in the bathroom,” Rios said, “and that if men or women feel like they are men or women, the opposition of however they are equipped, and you have no restrictions, the net effect will be that people will not be stopped. We’ve already had people testing this, going into Targets and men trying to go into bathrooms. There is absolutely no barrier.

“And so the chief concern,” she continued, “even more than just, I think, trauma, certainly for little girls of having men dressed like women coming in their bathrooms, the chief concern of the American Family Association is the predators who will take advantage.”

AFA is correct in believing that having a right-wing Christian fundamentalist storm into a women’s bathroom for no discernible reason would be deeply traumatizing. Unlike other women, whether transgender or not, these AFA volunteers aren’t there to use the bathroom. They are there to scare people. It’s unclear how that translates to a need to ban transgender people. Instead, the scariest people are – yet again – the ones who are actively pushing for discrimination.

It cannot be overstated just how little evidence there is that transgender people pose a danger to young girls if they are allowed to use the gendered bathroom they identify with. No case has ever been found that demonstrates that this is a tactic child predators seriously use. It’s so non-existent, in fact, that a right-wing hate group like the American Family Association has had to get male volunteers to do it themselves.

Ironically, AFA’s efforts have done absolutely nothing to show that transgender people shouldn’t be allowed in public bathrooms. On the other hand, there seems to be mounting evidence to suggest employees of AFA should be kept as far away from Target bathrooms as possible. Who knows what they’ll do.

Listen to Rios brag about harassing women in the bathroom below, via Right Wing Watch:

Featured image via Crooks and Liars screengrab