Gay-rights activists are calling Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson “transphobic” for suggesting that transgender individuals have their own bathrooms.
In an interview Thursday with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, Carson gave his suggestion for solving concerns about people using restrooms based on gender identity: “How about we have a transgender bathroom?”
“It is not fair for them to make everybody else uncomfortable,” Carson said of transgender people. “It’s one of the things that I don’t particularly like about the [LGBT] movement. I think everybody has equal rights, but I’m not sure that anybody should have extra rights—extra rights when it comes to redefining everything for everybody else and imposing your view on everybody else.”
“The way this country was designed was live and let live. I feel, gay people, they can do anything they want.”
Carson said he defines marriage as between a man and a woman, “but I don’t care what somebody else believes. They can do whatever they want. What I object to is they try to change the definitions for everybody.”
The Human Rights Campaign fired back that Carson has “a fundamental misunderstanding of existing non-discrimination laws,” citing their own polling this year with 63 percent of LGBT respondents saying they have experienced discrimination.
“Ben Carson’s hateful comments are out of touch and all candidates should immediately make clear that they disavow his dangerously transphobic views,” HRC president Chad Griffin said in a statement. “Ben Carson can’t go a week without invoking reckless and irresponsible stereotypes about the LGBT community, and his suggestion that transgender people be required to use segregated bathrooms echoes an ugly past our country should never revisit.”