By now, you have got to be tired of all this talk of ‘bathroom bills’ targeting the transgender community. So am I! But I never tire of putting so-called social conservatives in their place, so let’s turn this thing on its head.
Bathroom bills are a tactic used by social conservatives to keep trans individuals from using the bathroom associated with their gender identities. The argument goes that by allowing this, we’re essentially allowing predators into women’s bathrooms.
But stats show that no trans person has ever been arrested for sexual misconduct in a public bathroom in the U.S. Certain Republican lawmakers, however, cannot say the same.
NewNowNext rounded up three of these infamous politicians.
Jon Hinson, a Mississippi congressman, was arrested in 1981 for having oral sex in the House of Representatives’ bathroom with a Library of Congress clerk. It wasn’t his first brush with the law either. In 1976, he was arrested after exposing himself to an undercover agent at the Iwo Jima memorial. Still, he managed to get reelected in 1980 after blaming the incident on alcoholism. But after the bathroom mishap in 1981, he resigned. To his credit, Hinson came out as gay shortly after, living out the rest of his life as an LGBT activist. He passed away from AIDS-related illness at 53.
You couldn’t get away from this news story back in 2007. Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican senator, was arrested for lewd conduct in a men’s room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Craig famously insisted he simply had a “wide stance” after an undercover officer accused him of trying to initiate a sexual liaison. Craig eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct, but two months later he tried to withdraw his plea. What’s more, he reversed his decision to resign from the Senate. Craig would finish out his term before declining to run for re-election in 2008.
Apparently 2007 was a busy year. That’s the year Florida state Representative Bob Allen was arrested for allegedly agreeing to pay $20 so he could perform oral sex on an undercover cop. Where exactly? In the men’s room of a public park. Allen did resign later that year, but he insisted the only reason he was in the bathroom was because he was scared of the African-American men in the park. The arresting officer was one of these men. It just goes to show that for Republican politicians, it’s better to be thought of as a racist than as wanting to suck another man’s dick.
Republicans definitely have an issue with bathrooms, but it’s not the one they keep spouting off about.
It’s also worthy of noting that, according to Media Matters, there have been no reported cases of men ‘pretending’ to be trans in order to get into women’s bathrooms. “It’s a lie that is unsupported by even a shred of evidence and contradicted by years of experience in states that already have non-discrimination laws on the books.”
This year, nearly 200 anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender bills civil rights organizations are tracking across the country, a record that is about twice as many as in 2015, according to Cathryn Oakley, Senior legislative counsel for The Human Rights Campaign.