Michelle Duggar – best known for giving birth to 19 children and staring in TLC’s 19 children and count – recently taped a robocall that recycles transphobic myths in a bid to spark opposition to a proposed non-discrimination order in Fayetteville, Ark.
If passed, the ordinance in question would protect residents of Fayetteville from discrimination in housing, employment and public housing on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In his opposition to the bill, Duggar employs a number of completely debunked conservative talking points about transgender people.
âHello, this is Michelle Duggar,â begins the robocall. “I’m calling to let you know of shocking news that would affect the safety of women and children in Northwest Arkansas. Fayetteville City Council is voting on an ordinance this Tuesday night that would allow men – yes, I told the men – to use women and girls toilets, changing rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas reserved for women.
“I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want men who have previously been convicted of child predators who claim to be women to have the legal right to enter private spaces reserved for women and girls. I doubt that the Fayetteville parents are defending a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space. We should never place an adult’s preference on the safety and innocence of a child. Parents, who do you want to undress next to your daughter in the private changing room at the public swimming pool? “
The recording was released with the support of the Arkansas Family Council, a conservative organization that claims the bill “would infringe the rights of churches as well as religious businessmen.”
Jeremy Hooper, a family man, founder of Good that you, and LGBT activist who is part of AvocadoThe 40 under 40 winners this year have found a recording of the Duggar robocall. Listen to it below.
Fayetteville City Attorney Kit Williams released a letter debunking many of the bill’s most outlandish claims, including those featured in Duggar’s recording.
âThe claim that this ordinance would allow predators to access women’s toilets in order to assault or despise girls or women is nothing more than fear,â Williams wrote. “This order allows transgender people to use the bathroom in which they feel most comfortable and physically safe. Transgender people – who are much more likely to be victims of harassment and violence if they are forced to use a bathroom that is incompatible with their gender identity or expression – deserve to be able to use the bathroom in peace and safety. “
Duggar and his family are devout Baptists, and their faith is a central part of the popular reality show. The family frequently intervenes on political issues, having campaigned for Rick Santorum, headlined the Right-Wing Values ââVoters Summit, and even called for a boycott of Girl Scouts after it was announced that a Colorado troop authorized a 7-year-old transgender girl. years join.
The ordinance will be voted on by the eight-member Fayetteville council later today, and although supporters believe they have secured the votes necessary to pass the bill, they also expect conservative groups like the Family Council are launching an effort to overturn the ordinance by public means. referendum.