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US anti-transgender advert features man peeping into women’s toilet

Lydia Smith September 22, 2018

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A transphobic advert has been released by a group which is seeking to repeal an anti-discrimination law in Massachusetts in the US.

The video features a scene in which a man wearing a hoodie hides in a toilet cubicle as a teenage girl walks in.

A narrator can be heard saying the new law “means any many who says he is a woman can enter a women’s locker room, dressing room, or bathroom at any time, even convicted sex offenders”.

The girl can be seen beginning to undress as the man peers out of the cubicle.

The advert was allegedly funded by the conservative Renew Massachusetts Coalition and Massachusetts Family Institute, as well as individual donors, according to local news outlet Mass Live.

Massachusetts will vote in the midterm election on 6 November and one of the questions is a veto referendum, which will allow people to vote on whether they want to repeal a state law.

The ad was released to overturn an anti-discrimination law (Mark Makela/Getty)

The law, Senate Bill 2407, prohibits discrimination in areas of public access on the basis of gender identity. It was passed in 2016.

A No vote would repeal this anti-discrimination law, while a Yes vote would keep it in place and continue protecting people who are not cisgender in Massachusetts.

The advert has been criticised as propagating damaging myths, including that sexual predators will take advantage of laws which protect trans people.

Research published in 2013 by UCLA think tank the Williams Institute found trans students can be subjected to harassment, sexual assault or violence when trying to use the toilet.

A toilet sign with the logo of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (CDU-CSU) is pictured at a party meeting on June 23, 2013 in Berlin, with120 top delegates to sign off the programme for the upcoming September 22 legislative elections.Three months before Germany goes to the polls, Angela Merkel's conservatives were set to present billions of euros worth of election pledges Sunday, June 23, 2013, sparking criticism that the European austerity champion is showering voters with costly campaign gifts. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE
The ad promotes myths about gender-neutral toilets (Getty)

Verbal harassment was reported by 68 percent of trans people who took part in the study, who said they had been questioned about their gender, ridiculed, verbally threatened or stared at.

Earlier this year, a transgender woman was forced to leave a restaurant after using the women’s bathroom.

Charlotte Clymer, who works for the Human Rights Campaign, was repeatedly asked to prove that she was female – which she did not have to do, legally – before being thrown out of Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar in Washington DC.

The incident came as trans people face increasing hostility in the US, with President Donald Trump repeatedly attempting to impose a military trans ban and various states and school districts trying to stop trans kids from using their bathroom of choice.

More: Trans, Transgender, transphobia, US

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