It looks like Pat McCrory’s campaign has found another wedge issue that might trip up Roy Cooper: bathrooms. Specifically, whether accommodations should be made for transgender individuals to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.
The governor wants Cooper, in his position as Attorney General, to join South Carolina in filing an amicus brief in opposition to the Obama administration and the Department of Justice, who want to force a school board in Virginia to let a transgender (female at birth) student use the men’s restroom. This would be an ideal case for proponents of “restroom equality” as I imagine male-to-female transgenders predominate and tend to elicit sharper reactions.
While it’s another potential minefield for Roy Cooper, it doesn’t look like his campaign is taking the bait. Yesterday they released a statement addressing the issue, saying: “Last week Governor McCrory was raising money off people fleeing terror but skipped out on an important security briefing. This week, he’s found another group to politicize. Adolescence is hard enough without being bullied by an elected official. Next week, who knows who’ll be the target of a governor whose only path to re-election is dividing North Carolina.”
Which is a pretty effective counter in the era of the 24-hour news cycle. It brings up McCrory’s skipping a security briefing while also expressing solidarity with the thousands of adolescents who get their heads dunked in high school toilets each day. It paints the issue as purely a distraction.
All well and good. But curiously, Cooper’s spokesman alludes to Syrian refugees “fleeing terror.” This is the language of someone who supports relocating the refugees in America, not someone who endorses a “pause.” And second, we’re left without any indication as to Cooper’s position on the issue. His office has rejected McCrory’s call to join the suit, but they haven’t explained their reasoning. To join the suit would be politically untenable as it would enrage the powerful gay lobby in the state, and nobody is expecting Cooper to do that. At the same time, it would be nice to get some clarification on the matter.
Where do you stand, Roy?
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: email@example.com.