Bathroom Privacy Issue Confronts Hoosiers in Political Campaigns
Indiana has not seen an election year like this since the 2008 battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In reality, the intensity of this presidential primary has not truly occurred since 1976 when Governor Ronald Reagan took his challenge to President Gerald Ford all the way to the Republican convention in Kansas City.
Hoosiers are not very used to their state counting in the Presidential race. Usually, by May, the races for party nominations are wrapped up long before we vote. Rarely do issues or events come into play in determining outcomes this late in the game.
This is not the case for 2016. . . and it isn’t just the Presidential race in which events may shape outcomes.
A firestorm has erupted in one 24-hour news cycle that may have a lot of Hoosier families worried. On Thursday, April 21st Presidential candidate Donald Trump surprised many when he said on NBC’s Today Show that people should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice. He stated that North Carolina’s action to protect gender specific bathrooms was a mistake. In typical Trump fashion, he also phrased it in a vernacular that would make headlines. It did when he said, Caitlyn Jenner could use whatever bathroom she wanted in his Trump tower. (Caitlyn Jenner is still anatomically Bruce Jenner, in spite of the synthetic hormones, women’s clothing and make up.)
To make this issue even bigger, just hours later, news broke that the retail chain Target would not prohibit men from entering women’s restrooms. This set off a firestorm from concerned parents and customers. By Monday, half a million Americans had signed a “Boycott Target” pledge from the national American Family Association. That pledge can be found here: https://www.afa.net/action-alerts/sign-the-boycott-target-pledge/
The Ted Cruz campaign has responded with an ad about bathroom privacy and safety on You Tube. It may or may not appear on Hoosier’s TV sets.
Will this issue get traction and resonate with voters down the ballot into other Indiana races?
Bathroom safety was an issue before the Indiana General Assembly this spring with Senate Bill 100 and 344 that sought to grant special protections for sexual behaviors. While those two bills failed to pass the full Senate, any Indiana cities have passed similar ordinances. Those laws can single out and punish Hoosiers on the basis of their peaceably held beliefs.
One group, Indiana Family Action, recently purchased radio airtime with an advertisement on the bathroom issue at the state level. It concerns State Senator David Long, SB 100 and SB 344.
In just a few days, the May 3rd primary will be here and gone, any many Hoosiers will be glad that it is over. We will see if exit polls or results can be attributed to this issue of bathroom access. The issue may settle some after this primary, but with the mass sexual and moral confusion that seems to be griping our nation, don’t expect it to disappear as quickly as the candidates and their ads.