Donald Trump says North Carolina made a mistake passing its anti-transgender bathroom law.
The Republican front-runner for president said the state self-inflicted “economic punishment” when it passed House Bill 2, which not only banned local governments from including sexual orientation and gender identity in anti-discrimination ordinances, but also required transgender people to use the public bathrooms and locker rooms that don’t match their identity.
When asked about the law during a town hall on the Today show, Trump said there was nothing wrong with the way things were working before HB 2 was passed. “Leave it the way it is,” he repeatedly said is the best policy.
"There have been very few complaints the way it is,” he said, according to a report by Politico. “People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic — I mean, the economic punishment that they're taking."
Going even further, Trump said he’d let Caitlyn Jenner use whichever bathroom she wanted when visiting one of his properties.
The state has faced a huge backlash after passing HB 2 through the legislature and having the governor sign it all in less than a 24-hour span. Gov. Pat McCrory, who is facing reelection this year, has gone on Meet the Press to defend the state’s new law, which has led companies to cancel several job expansions there, performers canceling shows, and more.
Even today, McCrory’s campaign was once again playing defense, this time versus Trump.
"Governor McCrory has always said that North Carolina was getting along fine before the Charlotte city council passed its unneeded and overreaching ordinance,” said McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz in a statement sent to media, and reported by Talking Points Memo. “Now that it has been overturned, businesses can adopt their own policies — like Target has — instead of being mandated to allow men into women's restrooms by government.”
That’s been the McCrory argument, that the state's goal was reversing Charlotte’s antidiscrimination ordinance that included gender identity. In reversing the Charlotte ordinance, lawmakers made it illegal to use the correct public bathroom or other public facilities, at least in government buildings, including public schools.
Among many businesses opposing the law, Target said this week it would let its trans employees and customers use the restrooms and fitting rooms that match their gender identity.
This isn’t the first time Trump has supported being inclusive of transgender people. As the owner of the Miss Universe pageant, he changed policies to allow Jenna Talackova to compete in Canada, and she went on to secure a top-12 finalist spot while also sharing the title of Miss Congeniality. At the time, in 2012, GLAAD praised Trump for responding with a policy change “swiftly and appropriately.”