WASHINGTON Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT ) civil rights organization, responded to the latest attack on the LGBT community by leading GOP candidate for president Ben Carson, who suggested in an interview that transgender people be required to use separate bathrooms.
"Ben Carson's hateful comments are out of touch and all candidates should immediately make clear that they disavow his dangerously transphobic views," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "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."
In that same interview, Carson again showed a fundamental misunderstanding of existing non-discrimination laws, saying he opposed "extra rights" for LGBT people. In reality, there are no explicit federal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, and a majority of states also lack non-discrimination protections. HRC's polling this year found that 63 percent of LGBT people have experienced discrimination. The Equality Act would guarantee explicit federal discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Carson has a long history of anti-LGBT rhetoric. Earlier this year Carson suggested that "prison" proves that being LGBT is a choice. He walked those comments back after HRC demanded he apologize. After that, Carson said he would "no longer" talk about LGBT issues because he was being taken out of context.
Since his self-imposed ban on LGBT issues, Cason has suggested that LGBT families are not of "equal value" and that same-sex marriage would lead to "polygamy."
For more on Carson's anti-LGBT rhetoric, visit http://www.hrc.org/2016RepublicanFacts/ben-carson.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.