April 05, 2017
If Ed Gillespie is trying to win over Virginia voters, he picked the right issue to do it on. This past weekend, Gillespie, one of the three candidates to succeed Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), was blunt about the need to protect people's privacy. When he was asked about North Carolina's HB 2, Gillespie suggested the Commonwealth would be wise to pass something similar. "This isn't about bathrooms alone," he told the crowd at a GOP dinner. "It's also about compelling teenage girls to share locker rooms with teenage boys. It's about compelling teenage girls to have to stay in a hotel with a teenage boy on an overnight band trip. And the fact is, we have to make clear, that we are going to protect our children from that. We are not going to allow for that to happen."
The media seemed surprised that a self-described "moderate" would support such a policy. But maybe they haven't been paying attention to the polling, which shows that this isn't an ideological issue for most -- it's a safety issue. Liberals from everyday moms to ACLU chapter heads have spoken out forcefully against this phony attempt at tolerance. At Disney, one parent's encounter with a "burly man" in the restroom has made her an outspoken opponent of the movement.
"When the transgendered came out swinging for the right to use whatever bathroom they want to," she wrote, "some of us said this is not a good idea. And our reasons weren't that we don't want men who live as women to feel comfortable or safe but because we knew (those of us who were born women and live with the very real threat of male violence every day) that predators would take advantage of this new 'anything goes' policy and waltz into our safe spaces to violate us and no one would be able to do anything about it."
She goes on to describe one mother's horrifying encounter led her to warn every woman about the danger of being silent. With her young sons by her side, she asked herself when the man invaded the women's restroom, "'Am I the only one seeing this?' I surveyed the room and saw roughly 12 women, children in tow, staring at him with the exact same look on their faces. Everyone was visibly uncomfortable. We were all trading looks and motioning our eyes over to him...like 'What is he doing in here?' Yet every single one of us was silent. And this is the reason I wrote this blog."
If this had been 5 years ago, you bet your [life] every woman in there would've been like, 'Ummm what are you doing in here?' But in 2017? The mood has shifted. We had been culturally bullied into silence. Women were mid-changing their baby's diapers on the changing tables, and I could see them shifting to block his view. But they remained silent. I stayed silent. We all did... I saw two women leave the line with their children. Still nothing was said. An older lady said to me out loud, 'What is he doing in here?' I'm ashamed to admit I silently shrugged and mouthed, 'I don't know.' She immediately walked out from a bathroom she had every right to use without fear.
Folks, that's what this debate is all about -- the fundamental safety of our women and children. A handful of politicians may be willing to sacrifice that right on the altar of "tolerance," but thank goodness Ed Gillespie isn't one of them.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.