PNS Daily Newscast - February 26, 2020 

Seven Democrats debate in South Carolina. And helping kelp forests off the West coast.

2020Talks - February 25, 2020 

Tonight's the last debate before the South Carolina primaries, but it's also the last before Super Tuesday, which includes California and its 494 delegates.

Trans Rights Commercial to Air During RNC

Twelve percent of transgender people were harassed, attacked or sexually assaulted in public bathrooms in the past year. (
Twelve percent of transgender people were harassed, attacked or sexually assaulted in public bathrooms in the past year. (
July 14, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A national television ad depicting transgender discrimination is set to air on Fox News during the Republican National Convention next week.

In the ad, a restaurant manager blocks a transgender woman from using the women's restroom.

Mara Keisling, who heads the National Center for Transgender Equality, says anti-LGBT extremists hoping to score political points started a conversation with America based on misinformation and fear.

"We are determined, therefore, to have a conversation but to have it using facts, using actual trans people,” she stresses. “This is saying, 'Hey, America, here are the decent, good people this is happening to.’”

The ad campaign coincides with the release of new data on the impact of the public restroom issue on transgender people, including harassment and physical assaults.

According to Keisling, a nationwide survey of 28,000 transgender people found that almost 60 percent had avoided using a public restroom out of fear of harassment.

"And 1 in 10, or 12 percent, reported being harassed, attacked or sexually assaulted in the bathroom during the last year," she states.

Eighteen states now have laws banning discrimination based on gender identity or expression, and four others, including New York and Pennsylvania, have instituted bans by executive order.

Still, 54 specifically anti-transgender bills, most banning access to bathrooms, were introduced in state legislatures during their 2016 sessions.

But Keisling notes that only two passed and North Carolina's bill is the only one that's gone into effect.

"It's not fair, it's not safe, it's not helpful and it's economically devastating for any jurisdiction that tries to score political points using transgender people," she stresses.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that North Carolina's transgender bathroom bill eventually could cost the state $500 billion in federal funding and business investments alone.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA