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Saturday, March 26, 2016

" With trans visibility growing year by year, so too are bathroom bills. Republicans aiming to capture or retain Congressional seats in this year's election are particularly focused on promoting such bills in their home states. These lawmakers, known for campaigning on "values" platforms, are appealing to a deeply conservative base, and they're set to do real damage to the trans community. (It should be noted that Gov. Daugaard didn't veto the South Dakota bill out of concern for transgender rights — he was worried the bill might expose the state to litigation.)
Conservatives have been at the forefront of conversations about such legislation, rabidly opposing greater civil rights protections while promoting bills that would limit them, warning that "men" will be in the bathroom with little girls and raising the specter of rape and assault in women's bathrooms in transmisogynistic moves that deny the humanity of trans women, reducing them to a "men in dresses" stereotype. To date, there have been no cases in which a transgender person has committed assault in a bathroom — but 70 percent of trans people have experienced harassment and assault when trying to pee.
There's a reason bathroom bills are exploding right now. It's not just about trans visibility and a growing sense of transphobia in conservative communities as they're forced to come to grips with the existence of the trans community. It's also closely associated with the 2016 presidential election, in which Republicans want to maintain their stranglehold on Congress. For them, opposing trans rights dovetails neatly with the interests of the right, allowing candidates to come out swinging against civil rights to appeal to conservative voters. Moreover, reintroducing constant fear brings voters out for downticket races, as right-leaning voters will turn out in force to prevent state houses from passing inclusive legislation and they'll also vote for Republican Congress members. "
- -S. E. Smith…/why-conservatives-increasingl…
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