Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver is going beyond the debunked claim that allowing transgender people to use the restrooms matching their gender identity will enable sexual predators -- he's saying that groups pushing for such inclusive policies are actually advocates of pedophilia.
People behind these policies "have been identified, some of them that have been advocating this, as pedophiles," Staver said today on his Faith and Freedom radio program. "Some of this is being financed by those who are actively promoting pedophilia."
"Of course, Staver did not disclose which groups were identified as organizations that promote child abuse," Right Wing Watch notes.
Liberty Counsel, designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center, has been a vocal opponent of trans-inclusive public accommodations policies. Last month Staver admitted that Liberty Counsel has helped draft anti-LGBT legislation in 20 states, and it has offered to defend North Carolina's House Bill 2 in court without compensation. HB 2 repealed all LGBT-inclusive municipal civil rights ordinances in the state, and prohibits cities and counties from enacting new ones. It also bars transgender people from using the restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated facilities that match their gender identity, when those are located in government buildings -- such as public schools and state universities, highway rest areas, and police stations. The Department of Justice on Monday announced a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state for the transphobic provisions of HB 2.
Staver's wife, Anita, who is president of the anti-LGBT legal group, recently tweeted that she was going to carry a gun when she goes to Target because of the retailer's policy of letting transgender employees and customers use the restroom of their choice. A few days later, interviewed by talk-show host Alan Colmes, she couldn't provide any proof that such policies led to an increase in attacks. She advised women to carry a gun to Target just in case, then contradicted herself when Colmes challenged her, saying "Nobody is going into Target with a gun" and advising women to avoid the store.
In reality, in the more than 200 localities that have passed nondiscrimination laws across the United States -- which allow trans people equal access in all public accommodations, including bathrooms -- there hasn't been a single reported incident of a trans person harming someone else. In addition, there have been no cases of a cisgender person pretending to be transgender to gain access to opposite-sex facilities. Law enforcement officials have also universally debunked claims that trans-inclusive policies lead to an increase in sexual assault in bathrooms or any other sex-segregated spaces.
Listen to Mat Staver's pedophilia assertion below, courtesy of Right Wing Watch.
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