Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is out with the first TV ad for a statewide campaign going into the November election.
The TV spot presents Forest as the face of HB2, the controversial law that rewrote discrimination protections in North Carolina last month. HB2 has drawn praise from religious groups and social conservatives, while sparking boycotts and criticism from major companies that have cost the state jobs and revenue.
“If keeping men out of women’s showers and bathrooms protects just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted then it was worth it,” Forest says in the ad. “If a corporation wanting to do business here can’t see the value of our children they’re making a grave mistake.
Forest’s campaign said the 30-second commercial will air beginning Tuesday night on three stations in the Charlotte area. It did not say how much money it was spending on the commercials. FCC records show his campaign recently spent almost $11,000 on ads airing on those three stations.
The new law requires people to use the restrooms corresponding to their sex at birth and doesn’t allow exceptions for transgender people. Supporters have said it would make it easier for sexual predators to assault victims.
PolitiFact North Carolina found three cases in the United States in the past 17 years in which a biological male dressed as a woman was convicted of committing a crime in a women’s bathroom or locker room. None of those assaults happened in cities where it would have been legal for a transgender woman to use the women’s room.
Forest is running against Democratic challenger Linda Coleman in the November election.