Ted Cruz’s tour de transphobia, launched last week to capitalize on Donald Trump’s criticism of North Carolina’s anti-transgender law, has embraced a new extreme position. Speaking to reporters this weekend in Indiana, he actually admitted that he doesn’t believe transgender people should be allowed to use any restroom except the ones in the privacy of their own home.
“Every one of us has the right to live our lives as we wish,” he said. “If any one of us wants to dress up as a woman or man and wants to live as woman or man and believes that we might be something other than what we were born, God has made each of us with free will and the ability to choose to do that if man to wants to dress as a woman, and live as a woman, and have a bathroom at home.”
A reporter sought clarification on the remark: “So then they shouldn’t use the bathroom out in public?”
Cruz then confirmed just that. “You don’t have a right to intrude upon the rights of others because whether or not a man believes he’s a woman, there are a lot of women who would like to be able to use a public restroom in peace without having a man there — and when there are children involved, you don’t have a right to impose your lifestyle on others.”
The comments follow an escalation in his rhetoric in recent days. After releasing his fear-mongering “it’s not appropriate, it’s not safe” ad about transgender people in restrooms on Friday, he began incorporating an anti-trans joke targeting Donald Trump into his stump speech.
Again supporting North Carolina’s law with its strict restrictions on which restrooms transgender people may use, Cruz thought he had an analogy to help people understand how it works. “Let me make this real real simple for folks in the media who find this conversation very confusing,” he said. “If Donald Trump dresses up as Hillary Clinton, he still can’t go to the girls’ bathroom!”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 24, 2016
This weekend, he also called transgender protections “political correctness on steroids.”
Though Cruz has a long history of opposing LGBT equality and transgender rights specifically, the daily rhetoric represents an uptick in transphobia at a time when the controversy in North Carolina has already helped escalate such sentiments.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post rated Cruz’s claim that President Obama’s policies “let teenage boys shower with teenage girls” with “Two Pinocchios” because of the way it erases who transgender people are.