The myth that "moderate" Republicans still exist is just that, a myth. The base of the Republican Party has become so extreme that no moderate in the traditional sense of the word can secure nomination to run for office. A case in point is GOP gubernatorial candidate, Ed Gillespie. On the same day that I was receiving an "Outstanding Virginian" award from Equality Virginia,at the Amherst County GOP Dinner, the leading “moderate” GOP gubernatorial candidate, , parroted the Christofascist scare tactic against the transgender community and argued that Virginia needs a "bathroom bill" like North Carolina's heinous HB2 (which also repealed non-discrimination protections for gays and other minorities). According to Gillespie, such bills seek to stop recognition of gender identity which he described as follows:
"It's about compelling teenage girls to share locker room showers with teenage boys. It’s about compelling teenage girls to have to stay in a hotel with a teenage boy on an overnight band trip. And the fact is, we have to make clear, that we are going to protect our children from that. We are not going to allow for that to happen.”
In short, according to Gillespie, letting transgender people use the restroom or other public services aligned with their gender identity will somehow lead to sexual assaults. Never mind, the fact that there are ZERO reported instances of sexual impropriety on the part of transgender individuals in restrooms. Of course, the same cannot be said for numerous GOP elected officials at all levels of elected office. Here are highlights from GayRVA on Gillespie's foul statements:
The Amherst County GOP Dinner this past weekend played host to the state’s three GOP gubernatorial candidates and while scientifically inaccurate answers could be expected from the two trailing candidates, the leading “moderate,” , shared a similarly base-less scare tactic against the trans community.
“This isn’t about bathrooms alone,” Gillespie (top image) said in a video sent to GayRVA when asked about how Virginia should handle bathroom use by transgender people in relation to North Carolina’s HB2.
Gillespie’s parroted arguments continue the conservative right’s mantra on inclusive bathroom laws; that letting trans people use the restroom or other public services aligned with their gender identity will some how lead to sexual assaults.
If you look at the history of the topic, you’ll actually find more GOP law makers have been arrested for sexual misconduct in restrooms than trans people.
Similar attempts to legislate restrooms in Virginia over the last few GA sessions – a sign which might point to state leadership realizing the hot-button issue isn’t worth tainting the Commonwealth’s reputation over. And then there’s the economic impact, and is set to lose even more despite their half-assed attempt to repeal the law.
But there’s another argument that, should a Republican win the state’s executive seat, such a law would sail through the House and Senate and find its way to a more willing Governor’s desk. Gillespie has just exposed himself as that – a mean spirited bully who puts fear and rhetoric ahead of the lives and businesses a Governor is suppose to protect.