North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said on Tuesday that Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman, would need to shower with men if she visits a state university.
"She is going to use the men's shower," McCrory said in a gubernatorial debate recorded by the News & Observer.
McCrory was defending a state law that he signed in the spring banning transgender people from using single-sex restrooms that match their sex in government-run facilities. The law defines sex by the gender marker on a person's birth certificate.
However, McCrory's comments underscored just how awkward that law is in practical terms — and forced him to argue that a woman and man should share intimate facilities, the very activity the law sought to prohibit.
North Carolina lawmakers passed House Bill 2 after the city of Charlotte approved an LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance; state officials said the ordinance posed a threat by allowing "men in women's restrooms." McCrory has repeatedly said the state law blocking Charlotte's ordinance was common sense.
Yet his comment Tuesday put him in in the odd position of acknowledging that a woman — using Jenner's female pronoun — should use a male facility.
"If she is using the shower facility at UNC Chapel Hill after running around the track, she's going to use the men's shower," he said.
McCrory did not say on Tuesday whether transgender men should use women's facilities — as required by the law — which would be endorsing "men in women's restrooms."
Dominic Holden is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Dominic Holden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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