Carson dismisses outrage over ‘big hairy men’ comment on women’s shelters
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary Dr. Ben Carson continues to hold firm against Democrats hounding him over comments about gender-confused men seeking access to women’s shelters, telling his critics their grievance is both juvenile and destructive.
HUD proposed a rule in May guaranteeing that HUD-funded entities with “single-sex or sex-segregated facilities” such as restrooms, showers, and sleeping quarters may consider “privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs,” and an “individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents” when determining what sex to categorize users as.
The new rule would be a reversal from Obama-era changes that forced such shelters to place “transgender” men claiming to be women with actual women, including abuse and assault victims, without regard to appearance, anatomy, or the “complaints of other shelter residents.”
Last month, unnamed HUD staffers leaked to the press comments made by Carson during a private meeting that “transgender people should get the same rights as everyone else, but they don’t get to change things for everybody else” and that shelter operators and women’s groups had told him they didn’t want “big, hairy men” entering these shelters.
The staffers were reportedly surprised and dismayed by the phrasing. An unnamed HUD senior official responded that Carson “does not use derogatory language to refer to transgendered individuals” and was referring to men who feign transgender status to gain access to vulnerable women. Carson has rejected the criticism, for which House Democrats have called him “transphobic.”
Carson again addressed his critics Tuesday during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, Fox News reports. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) took the opportunity to, in her words, “give [Carson] a chance to apologize,” which he declined.
Today I gave @SecretaryCarson the opportunity to apologize for his remarks slurring transgender women as, "big, hairy men."— Rep. Jennifer Wexton (@RepWexton) October 22, 2019
Regrettably, he declined that opportunity.
Hateful words translate into discriminatory policy—and Secretary Carson has demonstrated that time and again. pic.twitter.com/W1p7QGfGl2
“Well, first of all, I didn’t describe transgender women that way,” he said. “I was relating a story that a women’s group told me about big hairy men — who are not transgender women, by the way — coming into your facility and having to be accepted because of the rules that were in place.”
It is unclear what Carson meant by “transgender women.” The term is often used to describe men who think or call themselves women.
“I think this whole concept of political correctness, ‘you can say this, you can’t say that, you can’t repeat what someone said,’ is total foolishness,” Carson added, “and is going to destroy our nation, and we need to be more mature than that.”
Wexton later tweeted that Carson was guilty of using “hateful words,” which “translate into discriminatory policy.”
As LifeSiteNews covered when former president Barack Obama changed the rules in 2016, the danger of diluting sex-segregated facilities by allowing potential predators to get close to vulnerable women by claiming trans status is not theoretical.
In 2012, Christopher Hambrook assaulted multiple women at a Toronto shelter by claiming to be transgendered. “One of the guests at a rescue mission overheard someone on the street saying, ‘Dude, if you go down to the rescue mission and tell them you’re transgender, you can sleep in the women’s dorm and even shower with them,’” John Ashmen, president of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, told LifeSiteNews at the time.