Ted Cruz accuses Donald Trump of 'political correctness' over transgender bathroom controversy

A debate is raging across the US about permitting transgender people choose the lavatory they want to use

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Friday 22 April 2016 15:01

You could say it is the first proper bathroom brawl of the campaign.

Senator Ted Cruz has accused Donald Trump of pandering to political correctness after the tycoon said he believed transgender people should use the lavatory they wish to.

Amid a national controversy that has seen a number of states pass laws that seek to restrict transgender people to using the bathroom that corresponds to the gender they were born, Mr Trump said he believed such legislation was wrong.

He specifically mentioned North Carolina, which has faced a broad backlash after it sought to impose legislation considered discriminatory towards the LBGT community.

“There have been very few complaints the way it is,” Mr Trump told NBC. “People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble, and the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic punishment that they’re taking. So I would say that’s probably the best way.”

In March, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a sweeping law that ended anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays and bisexuals. It also stopped transgender people from using lavatories that do not match the gender they were born with.

Mr Trump is looking to tie up the nomination before the party's convention this summer

The legislation was introduced after the city of Charlotte earlier passed its own bill to permit transgender people to use public toilets that correspond with their gender identity, rather than their gender at birth.

The move has sparked widespread dismay and criticism, from businesses, activists, celebrities and musicians. Bruce Springsteen was among several performers who cancelled events to protest what they considered discriminatory laws.

On Thursday evening, Mr Cruz said Mr Trump pandering to political correctness. The Texas senator has posted a video on his twitter feed, with subtitles that read: “Should a grown man pretending to be a woman, be allowed to use the women’s restroom? Donald Trump thinks so.”

Campaigning in Frederick ahead the Maryland primary nextTuesday, Mr said Mr. Trump exposed himself as a fake conservative by caving on core principles to appease liberals

“He said he thought men should be able to go into the girls’ bathroom if they want,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

“Let me ask you, have we gone stark-raving mad? This is political correctness. This is nonsense.”

He mocked Mr Trump by saying he expected the Republican frontrunner to change his slogan from “Make America Great Again” to “Make America PC Again.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments