Transgender Law Center Condemns Threat of Violence from TN Lawmaker
State Rep. Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga) Says He Would Assault Transgender Women
Transgender Law Center, a civil rights organization advocating for equal protections for transgender individuals, condemns the vicious attack by Tennessee Representative Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga) on transgender women and calls on him to apologize for inciting violence against everyday, hardworking Tennesseans.
Rep. Floyd is the sponsor of a new bill that would make it illegal for parents to accompany their different gender children into a restroom as well as caregivers to assist different gender elderly or disabled people in restrooms. He was recently quoted in the Times Free Press insisting that he would “stomp a mudhole” into any transgender woman trying to use a women’s dressing room.
“…if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there – I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there – I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry. ”
“Representative Floyd’s threats send the message that it is ‘OK’ to attack innocent people based on their gender identity and expression,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. “This type of hate speech incites violence and fosters a dangerous and discriminatory environment for transgender people in Tennessee. It is reprehensible for any elected official to encourage violence against people who are our friends and family and who are his constituents.”
Injustice at Every Turn, a report byThe National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force illustrates the shocking levels of violence and discrimination transgender people face:
• Fifty-three percent (53%) of respondents reported being verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation, including hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and government agencies. Respondents experienced widespread abuse in the public sector, and were often abused at the hands of “helping” professionals and government officials.
• One fifth (22%) were denied equal treatment by a government agency or official; 29% reported police harassment or disrespect; and 12% had been denied equal treatment or harassed by judges or court officials.
• Sixty-three percent (63%) of participants had experienced a serious act of discrimination – events that would have a major impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to sustain themselves financially or emotionally.
“We are extremely concerned that Rep. Floyd’s hateful and bigoted comments will contribute to violence and discrimination against transgender people in Tennessee and elsewhere,” said Matt Wood, Staff Attorney with the Transgender Law Center. “If nothing else, law enforcement and community members should pay close attention to Rep. Floyd’s comments and respond immediate if they rise to the level of criminal threats.”