Phil Robertson has done it again.
The Duck Dynasty star blamed the LGBT community for the murder of hundreds of thousands of people during a Saturday address at Western Conservative Summit, the annual gathering of the right-wing elite. Other speakers at this year's conference, held in Denver, included Sarah Palin, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump.
Robertson, who stars on the popular A&E reality program, claimed that since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, between 6,000 and 7,000 soldiers have been killed in combat overseas. Meanwhile, 160,000 people were murdered in the United States during that same period.
“Who’s behind it?” he asks. In short, the gays.
Robertson pointed the finger at the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision on marriage equality, which legalized same-sex unions in all 50 states, and the recent battle over transgender bathroom use for America’s high murder rate.
“When you allow men to determine what’s right and what’s wrong,” Robertson said, “you get decisions like the five judges who said, ‘I may not know we have 7,000 years of history of men marrying women — a male and a female …. I know it’s been that way for 7,000 years, but we know best for what’s everybody.’”
Robertson furthered discussed the decision of states like California and Illinois to allow trans people to use the public restroom that most closely correspond with their gender identity. All of these states, as well as 17 others, have non-discrimination laws in place that provide equal access in all public accommodations — including bathrooms — on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
Trans restroom access, however, has become a topic of national discussion after North Carolina passed a law, known as House Bill 2, in March that effectively repealed nondiscrimination ordinances across the state.
In his speech, Robertson sided with states like North Carolina.
“Now there’s grown men barging in on you ladies when you’re putting your Maybelline on,” said Robertson, adding: “Here’s a newsflash, you see this. This be male. All you ladies, you will never ever catch this cat coming up in your bathroom.” While making these comments, Robertson pulled on his beard to indicate his gender.
This isn’t the first time that Robertson has said inflammatory things about the LGBT community. He was suspended from Duck Dynasty in 2013 after a GQ interview in which he stated that “homosexual behavior” would lead to bestiality and promiscuity.
“Don’t be deceived,” Robertson infamously told the men's magazine, generously paraphrasing from Corinthians. “Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
A&E suspended Robertson for nine days following his inflammatory remarks, and his most recent comments are both incendiary and inaccurate.
The trans community doesn’t pose a threat to anyone — especially in public restrooms. In the more than 200 localities that allow transgender people to use the bathroom that most closely corresponds with their gender identity, there’s never been a single reported case of a trans person attacking someone else in a public facility.
In addition, his comments on the national crime rate are extremely misleading.
In 2014, the FBI estimated that 14,249 people were murdered. That figure had fallen since the previous year and has steadily decreased over the past decade—at the same time that the LGBT movement has won unprecedented victories across the country. In 2003, the year before Massachusetts became the first state to pass marriage equality, 16,137 were the victim of a homicide.