Pro golfer Webb Simpson, a native and resident of North Carolina, showed his total ignorance on transgender issues when he spoke at the Masters about the state's new law that strips protections from LGBT people.
At the heart of the support of this bill, and similar ones in other states, is the absurd notion that they are needed to prevent men posing as women from using the women's restroom.
Scott Hamilton of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal asked Simpson about the law at the Masters in Augusta, Ga., which has drawn condemnation and concern from big businesses and sports organizations.
"I would never say anything against a person, but more just guarding against behavior," Simpson said shortly after playing his last two holes at 2-under on Friday to make the cut at the 80th Masters. "And not even saying they’d do anything. But, again, the potential harm that someone could abuse. A man — who is a man, who thinks of himself as a man — could go one day go in and say "Hey, I’m a woman today," and by the letter of the law he’s allowed to go into the women’s bathroom. So that’s where it gets tricky.
"As long as people focus on that people are people and that laws protect people against behavior and against people doing bad things. People just need to be careful that they say they’re not trying to discriminate against someone who is transgender, but that guy I just described who could potentially harm someone who really isn’t transgender. It seems every big organization is having to come out and say how they feel about certain things that are happening. But at the end of the day, laws are there to protect people and not change the way we define certain things."
Ugh. No law has ever been proposed anywhere in the U.S. that would allow a man to say "Hey, I'm a woman today" and use the ladies room. This anti-LGBT law in North Carolina is a "solution" to an imaginary problem, yet it has the sadly powerful effect of swaying people like Simpson. This same bigoted argument was used in Houston last fall to overturn that city's law protecting LGBT rights.
For the record, all transgender people want is the ability to use a restroom of the gender they identify with. The North Carolina law forces them to use a restroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate.
Simpson should stick to golf and not comment on social issues where he doesn't have the first idea what he's talking about. Better yet, he should reach out and talk to transgender people and maybe he'll become enlightened on the subject.