Donald Trump Takes Surprisingly Moderate Stance on Transgender Bathroom Issue

April 21, 2016, 2:07 PM UTC
Photograph by MANDEL NGAN AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump has offended a lot of people during his presidential campaign; he’s upset Muslims, immigrants, and women, especially. There’s one group, though, that he is temperate on — transgender people.

Bucking the conservative orthodoxy on which bathroom transgender people should use in public places, Trump said on Thursday that a trans person should be able to use whatever bathroom they want, according to Politico.

Trump offered his views on the matter during an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “The Today Show.” The Republican frontrunner said that the state of North Carolina, which recently passed a law saying trans people had to use the bathroom that corresponded with the gender assigned to them at birth, would have been better off leaving well enough alone.


“There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate,” Trump said. “There has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic—I mean, the economic punishment that they’re taking.”

Trump has not been particularly conservative on issues relating to the LGBT community. But the candidate’s decision to not go after a minority group on public television represents an exercise in restraint. It could be a sign of the impact that strategist Paul Manafort is having on the Trump campaign. Manafort joined the campaign earlier this month, and some believe he is pulling influence away from controversial Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Manafort, unlike Lewandowski, is a veteran Republican operative. He could be advising Trump to shift to the middle on some issues to be more viable in a general election.

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