MONTGOMERY, Al. — A lesbian lawmaker in Alabama suggested this week that the real safety threat for children is not men who identify as female using women’s restrooms, but faith leaders in churches and teachers in schools.
“Just read [the news] every morning and look at the child predators in our state. They are not transgender people. In fact, more and more are teachers, coaches and faith leaders,” wrote Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, in an op-ed for Al.com on Wednesday. “So if you really want to protect your children from child predators, don’t take them to school, public parks, church or allow them to play sports or use the internet.”
Todd has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 2006. Her latest re-election was in 2014, when she defeated two Democratic opponents. She was not challenged by a Republican candidate.
Todd currently serves as the state director of the Alabama chapter of the Human Rights Campaign, an organization co-founded by Terrance Bean, who was arrested in 2014 and spent a year dealing with sodomy charges stemming from an investigation that involved an alleged sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy. The charges were dropped after prosecution stated that the teen was unwilling to testify.
“The majority of child sexual assault occurs in locations where children gather, school, church, parks, etc.,” Todd wrote in her op-ed in discussing her thoughts regarding concerns over allowing men who identify as women in women’s restrooms.
“Instead of focusing on the facts of where sexual assault occur and who perpetrates these attacks, the right made up a problem that doesn’t actually exist according to expert studies,” she said. “The truth is that the only recorded incidents of violence in the bathrooms has been when opponents to transgender rights initiate it.”
Todd noted that mothers usually enter the restroom with their children, and asserted that some mothers bring their sons into the women’s restroom.
“Most caring parents accompany their children to public bathrooms. Some mothers bring their young male children to use the women’s bathroom. Should that be legal? Will that become illegal?” she asked.
Some responded positively to Todd’s writings, while others expressed their disagreement.
“This is a liberal’s idea of things: We already have lots of child molesters, so lets open up the women’s restrooms, locker rooms and showers to them as long as they ‘identify’ as a woman,” one commenter wrote.
“No one is saying transgenders will molest a child in the bathroom. We’re saying it gives child predator pervs a great excuse to go into the opposite sex bathroom and indecently expose themselves to those children when there is an opportunity, and then to deny it occurred intentionally,” another said.
“The majority of child sexual assault occurs in locations where children gather, school, church, parks, etc. —and now will be restrooms,” a third opined.