19 Kids and Counting matriarch Michelle Duggar is making headlines today, Aug. 19, for recording a robocall in which she speaks out against an anti-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, Ark. Audio of the call was published this week by both the Fayetteville Flyer and TMZ.
According to local news station KFSM, the ordinance in question would create a "civil rights administrator, who would be able to use the city's powers to ensure 'all persons within the city have equal access to employment, housing, and public accommodations.'" It would also prevent businesses from discriminating on the basis of things like race, age, religion, sexual orientation, and gender, as well as allow transgender individuals to use facilities consistent with their gender identity.
Duggar's issue seems to be with that last factor. In her call, she says that the ordinance "would allow men — yes, I said men — to use women's and girls' restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas, and other areas that are designated for females only." She goes on to say that she doesn't believe "the citizens of Fayetteville would want males, with past child predator convictions, that claim they are female, to have a legal right to enter private areas reserved for women and girls."
The recording continues: "I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space. We should never place the preference of an adult over the safety and innocence of a child. Parents, who do you want undressing next to your daughter at the public swimming pool's private changing area?"
Toward the end of the call, the TLC reality star urges voters to tell Fayetteville City Council members to vote "no" on the ordinance. There's also a note that the call was paid for by "freefayetteville.org," which — as the Washington Post reported today — links out to the website for the Arkansas Family Council, whose president told the Post they're "not responsible for the robocalls."
This is not the first time Duggar's beliefs have stirred up controversy. Back in July 2013, she came under fire when a reporter at a pro-life rally in Texas tweeted that she had referred to abortion as a "baby holocaust."