Steven Colbert Mocks NC Transgender Bathroom Bill, Boycott Target Campaign

Late Night host Stephen Colbert talking about North Carolina's transgender bathroom law, April 2016.
Late Night host Stephen Colbert talking about North Carolina's transgender bathroom law, April 2016. | (Photo: Screenshot/CBS

"Late Night" host Stephen Colbert took aim at North Carolina's bathroom law and mentioned American Family Association's online boycott petition against Target, which has been signed by more than 1 million people.

North Carolina's bathroom law requires people to use gender-specific restrooms and changing facilities in government and school buildings that match their birth sex, not their gender identity. Private businesses, however, have the right to set their own bathroom and changing room policies.

On his show, Colbert mocked the bill that's widely been criticized by liberal groups as keeping transgender people out of the bathrooms they want to go into, and citied AFA's online boycot of Target for allowing men who identify as female to use women's bathrooms and fitting rooms.  

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AFA's online #BoycottTarget pledge was launched on April 20 after Target announced, "We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity."

More than 1 million people have already signed the pledge.

"Here's the thing. I don't care if you're male or female, what sex or gender identity someone is," Colbert said in his monologue. "I, and I mean this sincerely, do not want to share a bathroom with anyone. For two reasons: number one and number two.

"When I am forced to use a public bathroom — which is infrequently, thank God — I go in there with blinders on," Colbert went on. "I don't know who's next to me. It could be a centaur next to me for all I know. I don't even like to look at myself in the mirror afterwards. I know what I did. I'm there for a surgical strike — get in, get out, minimal casualties," the host joked.

"I'm not there to make friends. If we've just come out of a movie and you're standing next to me, I don't want to talk about how irreplaceable Robert Downey Jr. is as 'Iron Man.' I don't care if you're Robert Downey Jr. yourself," Colbert added. "Second, if you're a fan of mine — that's wonderful. Please don't try to shake my hand in there. Because I know what you just shook. Also, if there are a bunch of open stalls, don't take the one next to me. It's not the buddy system."

About the North Carolina law, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, often known as HB2, Colbert went on to say, "All those lawmakers out there who are so obsessed with who's using what bathroom and what plumbing they got downtown, newsflash: You're the weirdos."

The AFA petition notes, "This means a man can simply say he 'feels like a woman today' and enter the women's restroom ... even if young girls or women are already in there. … Target's policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?"

"We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public," AFA President Tim Wildmon clarified in a statement. "Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there."

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