HISTORY OF HATE: Minnesota Representative Jason Lewis called bathroom access for transgender students “an abomination”

August 9, 2018

Sue Yacka-Bible
Communications Director, GLAAD
syacka-bible@glaad.org

NEW YORK -  GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, released the following background information on Rep. Jason Lewis, currently serving as a U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 2nd congressional district.

In July, news surfaced that Rep. Lewis has a documented history of making anti-woman statements which created a media firestorm, and just this week homophobic statements surfaced, such as comparing the marriage rights of same-sex couples to criminal activity, including rape. 

Today, GLAAD released additional details of Rep. Lewis’ discriminatory record. In April of 2016 at the Minnesota Second Congressional District debate, Rep. Lewis stated that allowing transgender students to use the restroom or locker facility of their choice is an “abomination” that “no school district should adopt.”

“LGBTQ people, and especially transgender people, have been under attack by the Trump Administration on a nearly weekly basis since he took office. Those attacks – accompanied by dangerous rhetoric like that of Representative Lewis – leaves the LGBTQ community in harm’s way like we haven’t seen in recent history,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “In this climate, it is vital that the media report on the anti-LGBTQ records of both incumbent politicians and those seeking elected office.” 
 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Representative Jason Lewis’ Anti-LGBTQ Record

— Said bathroom access for trans students is “an abomination”: Now the latest is allowing transgendered [sic] students to use the restroom or locker facility of their choice. That is an abomination that no school district should adopt.”

— Compared the marriage rights of same-sex couples to criminal activity, from speeding to rape.

— Called the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision favoring marriage equality “breathtaking activism,” dismissed the California court ruling  overturning Prop 8 as “fanciful,” and justified these attacks because “the law by definition discriminates -- against smokers, drug users, loan sharks.”

— Campaigning on support for discriminatory photographers and bakers: “When an Oregon baker or a New Mexico photographer is fined for declining to participate in an event that conflicts with their religion, our First Amendment rights to conscience are at risk.”
— Cites court rulings on marriage as “backwards”: “Activist federal courts have been striking down duly enacted state laws governing abortion, marriage, education–even local transportation and housing. This is backwards and has taken from state legislatures the power of self-government under the 10th Amendment.”