GOP Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick Backs North Carolina-Style Anti-LGBT Legislation HB2 For Texas
Republican Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce a boycott of businesses that allow transgender people to use restrooms according to their gender identity.
Later, in a TV interview (above), Patrick expressed support for North Carolina's hateful anti-LGBT House Bill 2, suggesting he would back similar legislation if it's introduced in the Lone Star State next year.
Patrick's support for such laws is hardly surprising, given that he spent more than $50,000 for a disgusting TV ad opposing Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance. He also has a petition on his website, calling for people to "Say No To Men In Women's Restrooms."
But Patrick's latest tweet about the subject didn't go over too well. In fact, all of the roughly 20 responses were critical of Patrick's boycott, even though he later told NBC Channel 5 in Dallas that he believes more than 90 percent of the station's viewers support his position.
@DanPatrick then get off Twitter and Facebook bc they promote non-discrimination against LGBT people.â€” dom hernandez (@dom_solo15) April 27, 2016
In the TV interview, Patrick called the idea of allowing transgender people to use restrooms according to their gender identity "asinine," adding that business backlash over HB2 in North Carolina is "nonsense" and "big bluff and bluster."
North Carolina has lost thousands of jobs and about a billion dollars in revenue because of HB2.
"This is such an easy issue, of all the issues we deal with," Patrick said. "Asking a man not to follow you in the bathroom, I really don't think that's too much controversy."
@DanPatrick Then get the hell out of Austin. Bigots are not welcome here.â€” Clayton Strickland (@MottdeWitt) April 27, 2016
'Men Don't Want Their Women Subjected To' Transgender Women in Restrooms, Says Patrick
After reporter Julie Fine pointed out that transgender women aren't men, Patrick said it "doesn't matter," and that he shouldn't subject his mother and grandaughter to "figuring out the psychology of a man who just followed them into the restroom."
"This is not about equal rights. I'm totally in favor of equal rights," Patrick said. "I'm not prejudiced against anyone, but I don't want any man for any reason going into a woman's bathroom or a woman's locker room, and I don't think that 90 percent plus of your audience disagrees."
"Men don't want their women to be subjected to" transgender women in women's restrooms, Patrick said.
@DanPatrick waiting for the day when foster children, school funding and women's health get your attention as much as who's in the toilets.â€” me me me (@houstonpeat) April 27, 2016
In fact, Patrick is rabidly anti-LGBT. He once attacked Houston Mayor Annise Parker for marrying her longtime partner in California. He also requested an opinion from then-Attorney General Greg Abbott in 2013 about whether domestic partner benefits were legal. And the day before the 2014 GOP primary, Patrick appeared at a "Stand for Marriage" press conference in Houston, which was billed as a rally against "sodomite marriage."
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, Patrick called for county clerks and judges to be allowed to opt out of participating in them. And he recently directed lawmakers to study anti-LGBT religious freedom legislation prior to next year's session, including a proposal to bar cities from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances.
"Does a woman not have a right to be able to walk into a bathroom and feel comfortable? And the way these ordinances are written, any man could walk into a bathroom if that's the way they feel that day," Patrick told NBC 5. "This is how far we have shifted in this connote of being so politically correct. This is just asinine. This is nothing about rights of gays and lesbians and transgender people. This is about respecting women and keeping women safe."
@DanPatrick Where has this been a problem Dan? Have you found one case?â€” Kimberly Bozman (@KimberlyBozman) April 27, 2016
More than 20 anti-LGBT bills were introduced in the Texas Legislature in 2015, but none passed â€” largely due to opposition from the business community.
Steve Rudner, chair of the board of Equality Texas, responded to Patrick's comments with the following statement:
"Texans know which restroom to use; they don't need any help from the Texas Legislature. Transgender Texans have been using restrooms matching their gender identity for years. Equality Texas knows that any policies proposed as 'gender policing' are just new laws searching for a problem."
Watch Patrick's full interview above.
Image: Screenshot via NBC Channel 5