“Ted Cruz’s transphobic smear campaign peddles a dangerous brand of hate and ignorance,” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “At a time when transgender women are at a disproportionately high risk for violence and assault, Ted Cruz’s reckless ad puts them at even greater risk. Moreover, what message does Ted Cruz think this sends to transgender youth across this country? We deserve a president who’ll fight to protect the rights and dignity of everyone — not a reckless, feckless politician who’ll do or say anything to score a point.”
Today, transgender Americans face an epidemic of bias-motivated violence — particularly transgender women of colour. Cruz’s video exacerbates an environment where already four in 10 transgender young people report being bullied by their peers, according to an HRC youth survey.
Ted Cruz has made anti-transgender rhetoric an integral part of his bid for the White House. Just this week, his campaign threw a transgender teenager out of a campaign event. During a prior campaign stop in Iowa, he turned a simple question on education into a bigoted rant against the Obama Administration’s decision to support a transgender student, falsely accusing officials of forcing the school to “let a little boy take showers with junior high girls.” Previously, Cruz made equally offensive comments during an interview with conservative radio host Steven Crowder.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Cruz has decried efforts to lift the ban prohibiting transgender Americans from serving openly in the military, even though the American Medical Association approved a resolution earlier last year that said, there is “no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals from service in the U.S. military.”
Ted Cruz’s ad highlights his support for North Carolina’s HB2, an anti-LGBT law that forces transgender North Carolinians to use restroom facilities in schools and on publicly-owned property inconsistent with their gender identity. HB2 also attacks minorities by blocking individuals from suing under state employment non-discrimination law on the basis of race, religion, national origin, and sex. Moreover, HB2 bars municipalities from enacting their own non-discrimination protections.
H.B. 2 is opposed by more than 180 major businesses, entertainment and sports leaders, and a majority of North Carolinians. In fact, 61 percent say H.B. 2 has hurt the state’s image nationally and 61 percent also say the law has hurt the state’s ability to attract and retain business. A 64 percent majority of North Carolinians support LGBT nondiscrimination protections. Nationally, nearly 8 out of 10 Americans believe LGBT people are entitled to federal nondiscrimination protections.
Photo By United States Senate (Office of Senator Ted Cruz) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons