GOP lawmaker invokes 'Potato Head' to justify taking away trans people's rights

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Republican lawmakers have been trying to push transgender kids out of sports in multiple states.

Mississippi state Rep. Becky Currie, a Republican, invoking "Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head" on Wednesday as she introduced legislation meant to restrict the rights of transgender athletes.

The Mississippi House voted to ban transgender athletes from being a part of girls' or women's teams in universities and schools, in a measure expected to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves.

Prior to casting her vote, Currie said members of the Legislature already knew "how they're going to vote on this bill," so she was "not going to answer any questions."

"I'm not interested in getting into an argument with you on who's boys and who's girls and who thinks they're what," said Currie.

"In the age of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head aren't politically correct, I'm not going down that road," she added, referencing the Hasbro children's toy.

Currie's statement followed the announcement by the toy company that it was dropping "Mr." from the branding on their packaging to be more inclusive, which has led to days of demagoguery from conservatives on the subject.

Hasbro later noted that the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head "aren't going anywhere."

Currie has a history of anti-transgender rhetoric, including joining a group of legislators in Mississippi in 2016 who called on the state to ignore guidance from the Obama administration on allowing transgender men and women to use bathrooms or locker rooms matching their gender identity.

Republicans in state governments across the country have been rushing to enact legislation restricting the rights of transgender athletes. Those same officials have been unable to cite real-world examples of girls or women being disadvantaged by transgender participation in sports.

From a March 3 session of the Mississippi House:

BECKY CURRIE: Now everybody in here knows how they're going to vote on this bill. I'm not going to answer any questions. I'm not interested in getting into an argument with you on who's boys and who's girls and who thinks they're what.

 

In the age of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head aren't politically correct, I'm not going down that road.

 

And everyone in here knows how he or she is going to vote on this bill. I yield the podium, Mr. Speaker.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.