Ben Carson proposes transgender bathrooms, says it’s not fair ‘to make everybody else uncomfortable’


Ben Carson suggested creating transgender bathrooms in an interview Thursday with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos.

Questioned about Houston voters’ rejection of a law banning LGBT discrimination this week, Carson said: “How about we have a transgender bathroom?”

“It is not fair for them to make everybody else uncomfortable,” Carson said of transgender people. “It’s one of the things that I don’t particularly like about the [LGBT] movement. I think everybody has equal rights, but I’m not sure that anybody should have extra rights—extra rights when it comes to redefining everything for everybody else and imposing your view on everybody else.”

In Houston, voters rejected the equal rights measure on Tuesday after what many saw as a transphobic campaign that focused on which bathrooms transgender people used. The law wasn’t just about LGBT people but also prevented discrimination based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information or pregnancy.

“The way this country was designed was live and let live,” Carson said, as he sipped a tall glass of orange juice in Miami’s Moonlite Diner. “I feel, gay people, they can do anything they want.”

“But you’re against gay marriage,” Ramos pointed out.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” Carson said. “But I don’t care what somebody else thinks. They can do whatever they want. What I object to is they try to change the definitions for everybody.”

The interview was streamed live on Facebook—the first time an anchor has conducted a sit-down interview with a presidential candidate via the Facebook Live feature.

Watch the full interview here:

Update, 2:30 p.m.: The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT rights group in the country, responded to Carson’s proposal in a statement that called it “despicable.”

“Ben Carson’s hateful comments are out of touch and all candidates should immediately make clear that they disavow his dangerously transphobic views,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “Ben Carson can’t go a week without invoking reckless and irresponsible stereotypes about the LGBT community, and his suggestion that transgender people be required to use segregated bathrooms echoes an ugly past our country should never revisit.”