White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest put Texas. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on blast for transphobic comments he made on Friday, calling Patrick the "risk of electing a right-wing radio host to a statewide elected office."
Fox News host Megyn Kelly had Patrick on her show, The Kelly File, Friday, and she challenged the Gov. to defend comments he made about the Obama administration's decision to include transgender students in Title IX protections. At the Texas State Republican Convention in Dallas, Patrick told an audience on Friday, "We will not yield to blackmail by the President of the United States," regarding the Department of Education directive. In an interview with Fort Worth TV station, KXAS, he said, “This will be the beginning of the end of the public school system as we know it.”
The directive obligations include respecting the gender identity of transgender students by using the student’s preferred name and pronouns, and ensuring them access to sports teams, educational opportunities, and sex-segregated facilities that correspond with their gender identity, according to a letter sent Friday to public K-12 schools nationwide, as well as to colleges and universities that receive federal funding.
"This has nothing to do, this policy, to enhance education in our country, it won't improve reading skills or math scores. It won't help kids graduate. This will do nothing but be more disruptive to our schools," Patrick told Kelly on her program.
The Fox News host interrupted Patrick, and presented the perspective of the transgender community, saying, "This is the reality of life in 2016 in America, that we are finally getting to the point where we recognize that there are trans women, trans men, trans girls, trans boys, and that they have been stifled and tortured in a way."
Nodding his head in disagreement, Patrick said, "America is not going to stand for having teenagers shower together or go to the bathroom together in elementary school. It's not going to happen."
Kelly interrupted Patrick, asking him to explain why. "Why won't Americans stand for that?" asked The Kelly File host, once again, after Patrick ignored the question the first time around.
"This is not a partisan issue," said Patrick, referencing Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance, which had banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and 11 other characteristics in employment, housing, and public accommodation, before it was repealed in November.
"In Houston, I helped fight back an ordinance that would have allowed men in ladies rooms. We defeated that ordinance in a Democrat city, 2 to 1," he told Kelly, who corrected Patrick, saying, "Allow men in the ladies room or allow trans women in ladies rooms?"
The Lt. Gov. went on to say, "Here's what people don't understand. When you pass these ordinances and these rules, particularly in the adult sector, it says any person, any man who feels like he's a transgender, he feels like a woman can go in . . . what this creates, Kelly, is a great loophole for all the sexual predators and sex offenders."
The Fox News host shot back at the Lt. Gov. saying, "A lot of sexual offenders are men who molest men, who molest boys. Why is there an assumption that they need to sneak into the girls room?"
There is overwhelming evidence nationwide that proves there has never been a single verified report of a transgender person assaulting a cisgender (nontrans) person in a bathroom or locker room, nor has there ever been a confirmed instance of someone "pretending" to be transgender to gain access to sex-segregated spaces for nefarious purposes.
Watch the clip of Kelly and Patrick below.