On the May 13th edition of The Kelly File, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tried to explain how allowing trans people to use the bathroom of their choosing would usher in a wave of improper interaction between the sexes, from naked fraternizing in middle-school locker rooms to shielding pedophiles who want to sneak into girls' bathrooms.
Host Megyn Kelly wasn't having it, especially in light of the widespread criticism recently hurled at the state of North Carolina for passing a law requiring that people use the bathroom matching the gender on their birth certificate (as well as a host of other anti-LGBT provisions). During a testy exchange on the show, she took Patrick to task hard.
"We have a tough enough time with boys in the locker room," Patrick began, later noting, "When you start bringing in 14-year-old boys with 14-year-old girls to shower together, 7-year-old children co-mixing in the bathroom, it's gonna be chaos in our schools."
"This is what the other side says, this is the reality," Kelly shot back. "This is the reality of life in 2016 America, that we are now finally getting to the point where we recognize that there are trans women, trans men, trans girls, trans boys. And that they have been stifled and tortured in a way for so long that, yes, there may be some disruption in mainstreaming these kids and getting things to a place where they're accepted ... It's for the greater good."
Patrick responded by saying schools already make accommodations for trans students, and said parents won't "stand for it."
"It goes against common sense, common decency, privacy, comfort, safety, the value system of people, and by the way, Megyn, this is not a partisan issue," Patrick said, referring to the defeat of an ordinance establishing LGBT people as a protected class in Houston. He argued laws allowing trans people to use whichever bathroom they prefer could allow men to simply say they are trans to gain access to women's facilities.
It's a "great loophole for all the sexual predators and sex offenders that, [if] anyone Googles in their neighborhood, they'll be shocked at how many live in their area," he added.
"A lot of sex offenders are men who molest men, little boys," Kelly replied. "Why is there an assumption that they need to sneak into the girls' room? ... The point is, is this a problem, with men intentionally donning women's clothing so that they can sneak in?"
As Patrick launched into an explanation of how it would become a problem in the wake of the law, he didn't cite any statistics — probably because Patrick's position is not, as Kelly hinted, supported by the evidence. There aren't any recorded instances of any such incidents happening, and as Time's Katy Steinmetz noted, evidence of any kind tying protections for transgender people to rates of increased sexual violence is lacking.
In fact, the opposite is likely true. Activists say allowing trans people to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable with helps protect them from encountering violence there.