In early May, the Department of Justice and the Obama Administration released guidance for public schools on best accommodating the needs of transgender students. Despite this historic moment for transgender rights, some conservatives are continuing to peddle discrimination. One such member of the GOP is Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who is looking to defy the new guidelines. The DOJ found that anti-LGBT legislation is in violation of multiple federal civil rights laws and has the right to withhold funding if states continue to push these measures, a fact Patrick has chosen to ignore. Thankfully, Megyn Kelly confronted Patrick on transgender rights, becoming an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community.
The Lt. Governor came on Kelly's show to defend his discriminatory and false position on transgender individuals, saying that the DOJ's guidelines that allow transgender students to use public school facilities that correspond to their gender identity could open the pathway to sexual assault. When, in fact, there has never been a documented instance of a transgender person assaulting someone in a restroom. Conversely, transgender people are disproportionately at risk of being the victims of assault themselves.
Kelly clearly wasn't having it and quickly laid into Patrick, who had been attempting to dominate the interview with his discriminatory rhetoric.
The Fox News host was quick to point out transgender rights activists' positioning, stating that:
This is the reality, this is the reality of life in 2016 America. That we are now finally getting to the point where we recognize that there are trans women, trans men, trans girls, trans boys and that they have been stifled and tortured in a way for so long. That yes, there may be some disruption in mainstreaming these kids and getting things to a place where they're accepted, but it's for the greater good.
Patrick attempted to counter with the same tired myths about privacy and safety. The Fox News host reminded Patrick that allowing transgender women in women's restrooms is not the same as allowing men, to which the Lt. Governor said she was missing the point. "I don't think I'm missing anything," Kelly fired back.
The fact that Patrick's anti-transgender stance fell on deaf ears with Kelly is telling of the majority of Americans — 6 in 10 oppose bills that limit transgender individuals equal access to public accommodations.
Having a voice in conservative media representing that majority is a win for transgender individuals and allies who simply want to be given the equal rights that they deserve.