Donald Trump says he now supports anti-transgender law in North Carolina

Donald Trump has thrown his support behind North Carolina’s anti-transgender law – despite initially holding the opposite view.

The state’s Republican-backed HB 2 rolled back anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people earlier this year, also introducing regulations to ban transgender women from using the female bathroom on purported ‘safety’ grounds.

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump had initially broken with his party’s official stance, claiming earlier this year that trans people should be allowed to use the bathroom that they want.

Asked in April if he would be fine with Caitlyn Jenner using the women’s bathroom, he had replied: “That is correct”.

But as he bids to win over the Republican mainstream, Trump has shifted rapidly towards party line – first insisting he would leave the issue should be left up to states, before today weighing in against trans equality.

Speaking to the Raleigh News & Observer today, Trump said he had “looked into” the issue and agreed with North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory who has defended the law.

He said: “I’m going with the state. They know what’s going on, they’ve seen what’s happening.

“I’ve spoken to your Governor, I’ve spoken to a number of different people, and I’m going with the state.”

The candidate had demonstrated his flop-flopping on the issue previously, when he backed down from his pro-trans stance and claimed “it’s a new issue and right now I just don’t have an opinion”.

JoDee Winterhof of the Human Rights Campaign said: “Let’s be clear, Donald Trump just gave one of the nation’s worst laws for LGBTQ people a full-throated endorsement.

“By buddying up with Governor Pat McCrory on the deeply discriminatory HB2, Donald Trump is unabashedly embracing a dangerous law that takes away the civil rights of LGBTQ people and has cost North Carolina not only its reputation but millions of dollars in economic losses.”

Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro said: “Donald Trump’s garbled comments on HB2, the worst anti-LGBT law in the nation, show that he does not grasp the issues critical to the state of North Carolina.

“Over and over, he has shown himself to be unqualified as a Presidential candidate, and no friend to gay and transgender people. We must resoundly reject his ill-informed discrimination in November.”

Despite his rapidly changing stance, transgender conservative Caitlyn Jenner claimed last month that Trump was “very much” supportive of LGBT rights.

She said at the time: “Trump seems to be very much for women. He seems very much behind the LGBT community because of what happened in North Carolina with the bathroom issue. He backed the LGBT community.”