North Carolina’s recently-passed law mandating that citizens across the state use bathrooms that correspond to the gender stated on their birth certificate, instead of their gender identity — a clear swipe at transgender people — is apparently too much for even Donald Trump.
Asked about the law on the Today show, Trump said that while the law was very “strong,” North Carolina is “paying a big price. There’s a lot of problems.”
He went on to argue that North Carolina should just “leave it the way it is [was],” since “There have been very few complaints…People go; they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble.”
Asked if Caitlyn Jenner, or any of Trump’s trans employees, would be able to use the bathrooms they’d feel most comfortable in in Trump Tower, Trump said yes. It’s worth noting that New York City has a non-discrimination ordinance on the books that requires Trump to let people use the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
Trump also dismissed the would-be compromise of constructing gender neutral bathrooms everywhere, saying that the cost isn’t justified since, again, there’s no real problem to solve.
Here’s the video of the exchange, via ThinkProgress:
There are a few possibilities here. The first and most simple one is that North Carolina’s law is so blatantly discriminatory that even Republican presidential candidates feel safe opposing it. The second possibility is that Trump doesn’t yet know that opposing trans equality is a core GOP position, and we’re a day or two from seeing a full reversal here.
Either way, Ted Cruz is not impressed. Cruz defended North Carolina’s law earlier in the week, saying “As the father of daughters, I’m not terribly excited about men being able to go alone into a bathroom with my daughters, and I think that’s a perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make.” He has already gone after Trump over North Carolina’s law on Twitter, and we should expect to see it in attacks ads coming soon to an upcoming primary state near you.
Which means that the Republican primary race heading into the next week of voting could hinge on trans equality. Ten bucks to whoever saw that coming.