Bathroom Bill Repealers Release Hard-Hitting Video

Printed from:


An organization stumping for repeal of the so-called Bathroom Bill released a provocative video Monday morning.

The two-minute video from Keep MA Safe shows a little girl using a supermarket bathroom when an adult wearing black men’s shoes comes into the stall next to hers, while the girl’s father waits outside in the hallway.

The 6-year-old in blonde pigtails, wearing a vivid yellow shirt, colorful beaded necklace, and denim skirt, is surprised when the adult drops a bag on the floor and she sees that it’s full of women’s clothing and accessories. She peeks under the stall and sees that the adult is a biological man, which terrifies her.

As the man leaves the stall with the bag and goes to the sink to wash his hands and apply lipstick, he drops a woman’s shoe on the floor. The little girl, who is wearing black shoes and white socks, with one sock bearing a yellow happy face, bends over and picks up the woman’s shoe and gives it to the adult, with a look of fear. Then she runs out of the bathroom.

A teen-age girl narrates a voiceover.

“Basic common sense is under attack. A little girl shouldn’t have to wonder why there’s a man using the women’s bathrooms,” the narrator says. “What many don’t understand is that a new law in Massachusetts makes it illegal to prevent a man from using the women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities if he identifies as a woman. In fact, you could be fined or even sent to jail for up to a year just for trying to protect your privacy in public accommodations. That’s why many are fighting to repeal this terrible law. Join them in the fight for common sense in Massachusetts.”

The video ends with a list of headlines from around the country of biological men attacking or videotaping females in women’s bathrooms, including six that mention that the offender is transgender.

In July 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in public accommodations. The statute allows people to use public bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers designed for the opposite sex if they identify with the gender that corresponds to that sex.

Supporters of the law say it ensures equality and dignity to people who identify with a gender other than the one that corresponds to their biological sex. Opponents say it threatens the safety of women and girls when they are in a vulnerable situation, because men claiming to identify as women can use transgenderism as a cover to attack them or invade their privacy.

Keep MA Safe gathered more than 50,000 signatures in 2016 to put a referendum on the November 2018 general election ballot in Massachusetts seeking to repeal the law. A Yes vote on the ballot question would keep the Bathroom Bill law, while a No vote would repeal it.

Andrew Beckwith, legal counsel of the Keep MA Safe ballot question committee, said the video shows the dangers of the gender-identity-in-public-accommodations law.

“There’s a misconception out there that this law applies only to individuals who have surgically altered their bodies. That’s simply not the case, and the video demonstrates that,” Beckwith said in a written statement. “Any man can currently access a women’s facility, as the definition of ‘gender identity’ is extremely broad and fluid. As the ad also highlights, the law imposes significant fines and penalties on individuals who question anyone’s presence in sensitive areas, regardless of their appearance.”

Beckwith, who is also president of Massachusetts Family Institute, said two girls ages 15 and 17 helped make the video because they “recently felt helpless” after privacy rights started disappearing at their school.

Chanel Prunier, chairman of Keep MA Safe, said the video is realistic.

“The Transgender Bathroom and Locker Room Law encourages this type of behavior, and discourages concerned parents from speaking out. Keep MA Safe wants to repeal the law so Massachusetts can go back to putting women’s safety ahead of political correctness,” said Prunier, who also chairs Renew MA Coalition, in a press release.

A spokesman for an organization opposing repeal of the Bathroom Bill, Freedom for All Massachusetts, could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

But late Monday afternoon, Freedom for All Massachusetts sent out an email fund-raising message based on the video, criticizing it for what the message calls “Horrific lies about transgender people. Fear-mongering about non-existent threats to safety in restrooms. Using an innocent child to scapegoat their anti-transgender agenda.”

The email message notes that state law already prohibits assault and invasion of privacy in a bathroom, adding:  “Since the law went into effect across Massachusetts, there has been no increase in public safety incidents.”

“This deceitful video is directly from the same playbook we’ve seen used in state after state to demean and dehumanize transgender people — and it’s just a taste of what’s yet to come between now and November,” says the email message, from campaign manager Phil Sherwood. “… Massachusetts is — and will always be — a beacon of civil rights. We won’t let this vocal minority roll back the clock.”

[Editor’s Note:  This story was updated at 4:21 p.m. EDT Monday, March 19 with comments from opponents of the video.]

[Editor’s Note:  New version of video published below at 9:33 a.m. EDT Thursday, March 22.]