The following editorial appeared in the Fayetteville Observer:
Phil Berger ought to be ashamed. But we doubt that he is. Playing to people’s worst fears and prejudices is working out pretty well for him. Why stop now?
The state Senate leader jumped on a story from Charlotte last week, about a woman who went into a restaurant bathroom and found a man in the next stall, apparently doing lewd things. She and her husband alerted building security officers and the man was later arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
That should have been the end of the story, and it would have been, save for resolution of the case in court.
Never miss a local story.
But Berger had his press aide launch a release that said this is the kind of behavior Attorney General Roy Cooper and Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts are encouraging by opposing House Bill 2 and by backing measures that would let transgender people use the restrooms of their choice.
Never mind that the man in the stall was dressed in running shoes, shorts and a T-shirt, was clearly living his life as a male, was definitely not transgender and was arrested under the appropriate statute.
But, hey, what are a few little details when you can rile people up – and gain support for a misbegotten law – by pandering to irrational fears and ignorance?
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