Sen. Ted Cruz, who has denounced the accomodations given to transgender students as "lunacy," cemented his transphobic position with supporters in Iowa Wednesday, saying that allowing a trans student to use a faculty restroom amounts to "inflicting" the student on teachers.
But according to NBC News, he told prospective caucus voters that is a better alternative than "sticking him in the shower with the teenage girls."
"Look, my 5-year-old daughter, Catherine, she knows the difference between boys and girls,” Cruz told supporters at a campaign stop in Spirit Lake, Iowa. As he has done throughout his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, he attacked the Obama administration for going too far on LGBT rights and criticized the federal Department of Education for "trying to force a junior high to let a teenage boy shower with the teenage girls."
“Oh, my," said someone in the small crowd, and Cruz asked his audience to imagine what they would do if their local school board allowed a teenage boy to shower with girls.
Implicit in his question is that Cruz does not recognize the gender identity of transgender students as valid, and clearly considers a transgender female a male, in his repeated use of the word “boy.”
During his talk, one woman interrupted Cruz to tell him that Spirit Lake’s local high school actually has a transgender girl enrolled who uses the bathroom in the teachers' lounge rather than the girls’ restroom.
NBC News reported the woman declined to give her name or share any other information about this trans student. Officials at Spirit Lake schools were unavailable to comment at press time, but they did confirm that a trans student attends the high school. And Cruz admitted he wasn’t aware of that case:
"Look, I don't know the facts of that, but I'll say that inflicting, inflicting him on the teachers is probably better than sticking him in the shower with the teenage girls,” a line that drew laughter and applause from the crowd.
The Iowa caucuses are next month.
Watch the video from NBC News below.