During Wednesday night’s interview with Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar about their son Josh’s history of molesting his younger sisters, Fox News’ Megyn Kelley pressed the conservative couple to justify their advocacy against LGBT equality. Specifically, she asked Michelle about her robocalls against Fayetteville’s LGBT ordinance, in which she smeared transgender people as a threat to the safety of women and children. “How could you unfairly… compare transgender people to child molesters, suggest they are child molesters, knowing what you know about Josh?”
Michelle doubled down on her comments, erasing the very experience of transgender people’s identities by saying, “I think that protecting young girls and not allowing young men and men in general to go into a girls’ locker room is just common sense.”
Kelley insisted, “But this is different because you injected child molestation into it.” Jim Bob interrupted to clarify that Michelle said “pedophile,” which requires the perpetrator to be of a certain age, but Josh was younger — “a child preying on a child,” not a pedophile — so it’s not a fair comparison. Michelle then claimed that they were the ones being victimized by these charges of hypocrisy, explaining, “This is more about — there’s an agenda, and there’s people that are purposing to try to bring things out and twisting them to hurt and slander.”
What Michelle actually said last summer was that Fayetteville’s nondiscrimination order was that men — “yes, I said men!” — would be allowed into “women’s and girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas, and other areas that are designated for females only.” She referred to “males with past child predator convictions” — not “pedophiles” — who might “claim they are female” to enter women’s spaces. “We should never place the preference of an adult over the safety and innocence of a child.” A transgender woman is neither a man nor somebody with a “preference,” and there has never been an incident of gender identity protections somehow enabling or protecting such predatory behavior. Since the Duggars waited well over a year to even report Josh’s behavior and because criminal charges were never filed, he has no “past child predator convictions” for his admitted past child predation.
Kelley missed an opportunity to call out another example of hypocrisy from the Duggars’ past public statements. In 2002, when Jim Bob was running for U.S. Senate, he actually argued that rape and incest “represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital crimes.” As part of his justification for opposing abortion even in cases of rape, he suggested, “If a woman is raped, the rapist should be executed instead of the innocent unborn baby.” Despite the fact that Josh inappropriately touched multiple young girls on multiple occasions, Jim Bob has yet to advocate for his son’s execution.