Last night, Travis Weber of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council and Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan of E! network’s “I am Cait” debated transgender bathroom rights in America on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews.
Poor Travis was not prepared for the most basic question of transgender rights these days: If a transgender woman shouldn’t use the ladies room, what bathroom SHOULD they use?
The FRC spokesman was literally tongue-tied. Matthews, pointing out the obvious, said again and again, “You’re dodging the question.”
Excerpt from the transcript via Media Matters:
CHRIS MATTHEWS (HOST): Travis, tell Jenny what bathroom she should use.
TRAVIS WEBER: Well —
MATTHEWS: Which one should she use?
WEBER: Yeah, I mean I’m not sure, um —
MATTHEWS: Well just answer that question.
WEBER: I think people should be —
MATTHEWS: She said she would not be comfortable or not cause such problem if she walked into a men’s room. Should she walk into a men’s room?
WEBER: I think we can do things the way we’ve done them for decades, and people could use bathrooms according to biological sex with specific accommodation made for people who have a genuine issue. If we look at the North Carolina law, it made an accommodation. People are not happy with that, however. And now the Obama administration —
MATTHEWS: Let’s just talk about transgender people. What should a transgender person who identifies as a woman do? What bathroom should they go to? Just keep it simple.
WEBER: Yeah well there’s an issue of privacy concerns.
MATTHEWS: See no, you can’t answer the question, can you? What should they do?
WEBER: They can use the bathroom of their biological sex, except when there’s a genuine issue and an accommodation can be made.
Matthews did not let it go, though. He went back to Weber more than once,: “What should Jenny do if she was visiting North Carolina right now? Should she go to the men’s room? Should she? You’re dodging the toughest question, which is what do you want people to behave like?” He then asked, “Can you answer the question? Should Jenny go to the men’s room or the ladies room?”
Weber had nothing.
Again, Matthews asked the question Weber couldn’t answer: “It just seems odd to me that you’d want Jenny to show up in men’s room you go to. You think that would be appropriate? You think that would be appropriate? It’s a simple question, should Jenny go to your men’s room? Yes or no.” When Weber again did not answer the question, Matthews said, “See, you’re dodging this question.”
See, the haters can mock and belittle transgender folks when it’s through a press release or talking on Fox News, but when you have a transgender woman on air with you – who CLEARLY should not be using the men’s room – you got nothing. Just your moralistic fear and hate.
Professor Boylan, much to her credit, handled the segment without raising her voice or yelling. She was quite persuasive.