GOP adds anti-trans bathroom language to platform

In a stunningly tone-deaf development, the Republican party has decided to use its party’s platform to weigh in on the transgender bathroom issue.

Or as someone on Twitter put it, the GOP is now in favor of universal bathroom checks.

The draft platform now includes language language “supporting and encouraging” use of bathrooms based on your gender at birth. NBC reports that the language is in the committee-draft — the platform has not been finished, so it’s still possible the Republicans could remove the language, but would they?

You may recall that this issue became hot this year when North Carolina passed legislation requiring people in state facilities to only use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate. The intent, and effect, is to ban transgender people from using the correct bathroom.

The North Carolina legislation, called HB2, also repeals all LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) civil rights legislation in the state, and bans municipalities from passing any such legislation in the future.

HB2 transgender bathroom backlash

The backlash against HB2 has been massive and unprecedented, especially from corporate America. The law has already cost the city of Charlotte $80 million in lost business, and the state has lost a large number of conferences, conventions and concerts. Among the companies that have spoken out against the law: American Airlines, Apple, Cisco, eBay, General Electric, IBM, Intel, LinkedIn, Microsoft, NIKE and Salesforce. More from the Independent:

High-profile music acts – Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr and Bruce Springsteen – have cancelled concerts in North Carolina. Cirque du Soleil also pulled an appearance in the state. Corporations such as Deutsche Bank and PayPal have put expansion plans on hold.

North Carolina is particularly worried about a threat from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is threatening to pull tournament games from North Caroline in 2017 and 2018,

trans bathroom

Transgender-friendly bathroom via Shutterstock.

So with all of that, what could possibly inspire Republicans to put the trans bathroom ban in their party’s platform? The GOP is enough trouble already with the nomination of Donald Trump as their presidential nominee. Now they’re wading into gay-bashing and trans-bashing?

Several companies had already pulled their support for the GOP convention out of concern of being associated with Trump’s extremism, so the convention overlords decided to become even more extreme? Even Donald Trump, as wacky has he is, refused to fully endorse the trans bathroom ban — though after initially opposing it, Trump then reversed himself and said the matter should be up to individual states.

Trans bathroom language undercuts Trump’s claim to be pro-LGBT

Interestingly, Trump has been running as a pro-LGBT candidate, and has repeatedly claimed that he’s more pro-LGBT than even Hillary Clinton. He’s not — in addition to his wishy-washiness on trans bathroom bans, Trump doesn’t support marriage equality. Nonetheless, it’s interesting that while Trump is trying to woo the gays, the party faithful are bashing them at the same time.

Donald Trump and his small hand, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump and his small hand, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

And the Republicans have another problem now — now that the platform contains language bashing transgender people, removing that language would make a statement, a pro-trans statement. So the Republicans are now damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

The irony of all of this is that party platforms generally serve one purpose: To embarrass the party when the platform becomes too extreme. Other than that, the platforms tend to have little impact on enacting actual legislation and policy. And true to form, the Republicans have used the platform to embarrass themselves yet again.

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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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21 Responses to “GOP adds anti-trans bathroom language to platform”

  1. Nicole Patchen says:

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  2. ComradeRutherford says:

    “the convention overlords decided to become even more extreme?”

    The Dems could have picked up a lot of disaffected moderates who are turned off by this extremism. But, no, they went with Hillary specifically to make sure not to attract any Republican voters. Hillary only helps Trump – and the Democratic Leadership know that.

  3. ComradeRutherford says:

    From an article this morning on Puffing Ho:

    “Can you at the very least stand up for our right not to be killed?” Hoff implored, noting her fellow members had already voted down an amendment on Monday that would have given the party a more neutral stance on gay marriage.”

    Clearly not. The Party of Life *wants* to kill LGBT.

  4. ComradeRutherford says:

    “These laws make no sense”

    That is why the GOP loves them so much.

  5. ComradeRutherford says:

    The Republicans’ reaction to nearly every issue seems to be “we need to be more extreme and intolerant, that’ll win us elections.”

    And it does. Mostly because Liberals just don’t vote. And that’s because the Democratic Leadership intentionally alienates the Democratic Voting Base to suppress turnout and help the GOP win. And that’s because the Neo-Liberals that took over the Democratic Party in the late 1980s has much more in common with the GOP’s pro-business/anti-human policies than they do with the liberal roots of the Democratic voter.

  6. ComradeRutherford says:

    “Now they’re wading into gay-bashing and trans-bashing?”

    Huh? The Republican Party ALWAYS has been the party of racism, hatred and bigotry. OF COURSE they are placing gay-bashing and trans-bashing into their official policy. Who is surprised at that?

  7. Badgerite says:

    Great idea. How about we just wait until someone actually does something wrong in a bathroom before we consider it a crime to go pee. This from the party that had Hastert as their House Speaker for 8 years. Christ.

  8. Phil in FLL says:

    You hear that same line from rightwing talking heads, whether radio, TV, blogosphere or newsprint: “If we just get crazier, we’ll win.” This in spite of the fact that opinion polls on specific policy issues point to the opposite conclusion. If Republicans put this into overdrive, I might acknowledge the slim possibility of the unthinkable: a loss of 30 Republican seats in the House.

  9. BeccaM says:

    The Republicans’ reaction to nearly every issue seems to be “we need to be more extreme and intolerant, that’ll win us elections.”

    While this attitude in the past has served them well in terms of ginning up their increasingly radicalized base, they seem incapable of realizing how it has steadily eroded their appeal to moderates and other folks in the middle of the political spectrum. Ones, for example, who still haven’t fully adjusted to this whole ‘same-sex marriage’ thing — but they have gay or lesbian relatives and so at least want to try to learn. But the GOP won’t have that. They’re so fixated on finding and exploiting fear against any potential group or minority for scapegoating, the idea of even trying to find common ground is an act of political heresy.

    This insane extreme language which, if enacted, would send even post-op transgender folks to use the public restrooms of their apparent biological gender at birth, is just one example of a whole list of anti-LGBT platform positions. I fully expect them to endorse the Federal Marriage Amendment again (outright ban on same-sex marriage), endorse only those judges and Supreme Court justices who would either curtail or overturn the Obergefell ruling, and also promote their federal law to give any person’t anti-LGBT animus precedence over and exemption from all LGBT civil rights protections.

    All I can say is that with these kinds of “we hate everybody who isn’t white, Christian, straight and conservative Republican”, and the manifestly unqualified and mentally unstable Donald Trump as their standard-bearer, this election is shaping up to be a once in a generation opportunity for the Democrats to win large Congressional majorities, as well as the White House. The real prize in this election is the Supreme Court.

  10. Octogent says:

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! People have been using the bathrooms of their choice forever.

  11. Phil in FLL says:

    There’s nothing more toxic than ,Agent Orange, aka the Drumpfster. It’s not even close.

  12. Phil in FLL says:

    Thank you. Well said.

  13. Phil in FLL says:

    The folks on the Republican platform committee seem to be going stark raving mad today. Anti-trans plank, a plank in support of an anti-marriage-equality amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a plank to teach the Bible in public schools as history… Are the Republicans trying to accomplish the seemingly impossible, which is to lose 30 House seats and flip the House?

  14. Jerry Segers says:

    It seems that the GOP may have just found a way to stop Trump. If they keep this up the entire party may just self destruct before the election.

    I agree with Gooz and I have stopped voting for the GOP many years ago. I wish it were different and I have written them many times seeking change, but I guess it all has to come crashing down before anyone even takes notice the population has already abandoned their foolishness.

    The government must be secular and support all religions equally, otherwise we will return to the very problem that help found America, religious oppression.

  15. UncleBucky says:


    VOTE BLUE or get ORANGED in 2017.

  16. 'Gooz says:

    the GOP has been taken over by the evangelical christians in an attempt to creat the first american jesus caliphate. the GOP has to go. they are not ‘conservatives’ any longer. they are christo-fascists bent on revoking the constitution and imposing a theocracy.
    vote them out!!!

  17. Sally says:

    They’ll vote Democratic.

  18. Sally says:

    What they forget is that grandparents frequently take their grand children out in public, and little kids use the bathroom..a lot. So if I’m with my 5 year old grandson, these laws mean I cannot take him with me into the ladies room, where he does his business in a stall-behind a door! As all people who use that restroom do.
    Instead, I have to send a young child ALONE into the mens’ room, where there are urinals that he may never have seen before, and grown men and teens doing THEIR business for all the world to see.
    Conversely, if my husband is with our 6 year old grand daughter, he must send her into the ladies’ room alone?
    These laws make no sense, but sure do cost us a lot of money and time that could be better spent addressing real issues, don’t you think, GOP? I hope we vote you OUT across the country. You’re a disgrace to the human race.

  19. If you are in a public restroom, who else would you like to see there? Someone who APPEARS to be the same gender as yourself, or someone who APPEARS to be of the opposite sex? Or does it matter? Will hair, clothing, and makeup be sufficient to determine someone’s DNA? Or will you demand to see their genitalia in order to be sure?

    It is my understanding that transgender people have been using their preferred restrooms for as long as there have been transgender people. If you appear to be a woman, you use the women’s restroom, and if you appear to be a man, you use the men’s restroom.

  20. Demosthenes says:

    Imagine, Mr. Aravosis, if the Donald selects Indiana Gov. Pence. This platform seems custom made for him. How will “Bernie or Bust” dead enders then react?

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