If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
That appears to be the motto among North Carolina’s social conservatives, who have recycled an infamous anti-transgender ad to try to attack Attorney General Roy Cooper (D), who maintains a consistent but slim lead over incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R) in the upcoming gubernatorial election. The NC Values Coalition has partnered with the surprisingly-still-in-existence National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to make a last-minute ad buy before the election.
The ad, originally produced to attack the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and then repurposed by a Texas conservative group to attack Target, shows a man entering a a women’s room, inexplicably washing and drying his hands, then waiting in a stall for a little girl to enter so he can follow her into her stall. The script hasn’t changed in the newest incarnation, except that it now falsely claims that it’s “Roy Cooper’s bathroom plan” (instead of HERO or Target’s bathroom policy) that will allow “any man at any time” to enter a women’s bathroom “simply by claiming to be a woman that day.”
To see just how identical the ads are, click here to watch all three simultaneously.
The ad is clearly a reference to HB2, what NOM calls “an important common-sense law stopping men from gaining access to intimate facilities like restrooms and showers that are reserved for girls and women.” In reality, it’s the most discriminatory anti-transgender bill ever passed, which is why Cooper not only opposes it, but has refused to defend it in court. It’s painted North Carolina as an unwelcoming place internationally, costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars. HB2 has consistently polled even worse than McCrory.
NC Values Coalition claims that repealing HB2 would “expose our women and children to unnecessary risk of sexual assault and invade their privacy.” The only problem with that claim is that there is zero evidence to support it.
Ads like this one helped defeat HERO last year, and these groups clearly assume it can be just as effective in North Carolina. But North Carolinians have been at the epicenter of the bathroom debate all year and will hopefully see the ad for what it is — a baseless attack on transgender people designed to scare people into supporting discrimination.