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The Guardians of Democracy

The Guardians of Democracy

Ben Carson Tells Lawmakers Transgender People In Homeless Shelters Make Others ‘Not Comfortable’


Ben Carson Tells Lawmakers Transgender People In Homeless Shelters Make Others ‘Not Comfortable’

When asked by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) about a move to take away training materials meant to prevent LGBT discrimination in homeless shelters, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said that some women have said they are “not comfortable” being in a homeless shelter with “somebody who had a very different anatomy,” CNN reported.

“Remember it is complex,” Carson said in response to Quigley.

“We obviously believe in equal rights for everybody, including the LGBT community. But we also believe in equal rights for the women in the shelters, and shelters where there are men, and their equal rights. So, we want to look at things that really provide for everybody and doesn’t impede the rights of one for the sake of the other.”

He was then asked how enforcing protections for transgender people would impede on the rights of others.

“There are some women who said they were not comfortable with the idea of being in a shelter, being in a shower, and somebody who had a very different anatomy,” he said.

LGBT advocacy groups such as GLAAD condemned Carson’s “blatant and factually inaccurate anti-transgender rhetoric.”

“It is because of derogatory myths like this, which have been debunked time and time again, that the transgender community faces disproportionate levels of discrimination and homelessness.” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement.

“Today’s blatant and factually inaccurate anti-transgender rhetoric is the latest in a long line of uninformed and biased statements about LGBTQ people that make Dr. Carson unfit to be the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

The Hill added:

When pressed a little further by Quigley, Carson said that HUD’s general counsel would help in negotiating protections and would be available to discuss them with members of the LGBT community.

Earlier this month, top civil rights groups called on Carson to preserve language in the HUD mission statement that promises to create “conclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.”

The Huffington Post reported that HUD would remove the language from its mission statement and would replace it with language centered on “self-sufficiency.”



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