South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles officials were right to demand that a gender-noncomforming boy remove his makeup before they’d take his driver’s license photo, says Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, mounting a defense of the DMV that basically amounts to “boys shouldn’t wear makeup.”
Tuesday’s edition of The O’Reilly Factor saw the conservative talking head discuss the case of 16-year-old Chase Culpepper with legal commentators Lis Wiehl and Kimberly Guilfoyle. Back in March, DMV officials in Anderson, S.C. reportedly ordered Culpepper, who identifies as a gender-nonconforming boy and wears makeup in his daily life, to remove his lipstick and eyeshadow before taking his driver's license photo, claiming the makeup constituted a "disguise." That was the right call, O'Reilly said, because the DMV employees “wanted to have a clean picture of you as a guy because you are a guy.” O’Reilly also argued that the DMV’s demand was justified because Culpepper “might go in the Marines.”
Guilfoyle agreed with O’Reilly, but Wiehl said she felt that Culpepper had a solid antidiscrimination case, explaining that he wasn’t disguised because women are permitted to wear similar makeup in their driver's license photos. Weihl suggested the incident was sex discrimination.
“Baloney! Baloney!” an incensed O’Reilly shouted. “He’s a boy and he goes in and he has to look like a man!” O’Reilly, did not address the fact that male television personalities wear makeup on the air.
When Wiehl pointed out that a woman could easily get her license photo taken, then put on heavy makeup afterward to alter her appearance, Guilfoyle incredulously asked if she could then similarly go into a DMV wearing a goatee and ask to have her photo taken. O'Reilly chuckled, suggesting that "I wouldn't like [that], but some people might."
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund last week announced plans to file an antidiscrimination lawsuit against the South Carolina DMV on behalf of Culpepper. “The Department of Motor Vehicles should not have forced me to remove my makeup simply because my appearance does not meet their expectations of what a boy should look like,” said the teen in a statement.“I just want the freedom to be who I am without the DMV telling me that I’m somehow not good enough.”
Watch the segment from The O’Reilly Factor below, courtesy of Media Matters.