This reality star family just worked to make America a little less tolerant: The city of Fayetteville just voted to repeal their non-discrimination ordinance. What's more, they did it with the help of the reality stars/frequent reproducers of the Duggar family, including a pretty transphobic robocall by Michelle Duggar.
According to Fusion the ordinance in question was one that sounds pretty handy to have around, banning the following:
Unfair discrimination based on real or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, familial status, marital status, socioeconomic background, religion, sexual orientation, disability and veteran status.
The biggest argument opponents to the ordinance used was that the bill was bad for women because it allowed transgender people to use the restrooms of the gender they identified with. That argument is, yes, completely and utterly ignorant, considering that trans women are also, you know, women. But just you wait until you hear Michelle Duggar's robocall arguing the point — because it's even worse. Just straight-up awful, and straight-up inaccurate in more ways than the previously stated. Here's a bit of it:
Hello! This is Michelle Duggar. I'm calling to inform you of some shocking news that will affect the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children. The Fayetteville city council is voting on an ordinance this Tuesday night that would allow men — yes I said men — to use women and girls' restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas, and other areas that are designated for females only.
Oh, can you sense it? It's about to get worse:
I don't believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas reserved for women and girls. [...] We should never place the preference of an adult over the safety and innocence of a child.
Literally everything she says (you can listen to the full call here) is balls-to-the-wall ignorant bull****, if you'll pardon my french, but that bit about predators is extra bull****. As the Human Rights Campaign said in a blog post about the Duggars' involvement in repealing the ordinance (emphasis mine):
In a vicious, months-long campaign, anti-LGBT activists painted Ordinance 119 — a non-discrimination law — as something that would allow "sexual predators ... to enter gender-private areas." This is legally wrong and has never been reported by officials in 12 states with non-discrimination laws on the books from as far back as 1993.
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar also donated $10,000 to the campaigns of three of the ordinance's opponents.
My sincere condolences go out to every minority living in Northwestern Arkansas, and especially to any trans people who are living in a place that is less safe for them today.