North Carolina State Senator Buck Newton on Monday delivered a speech in which he made a call to “keep our state straight.”
Newton is currently campaigning to be the state's next attorney general.
Supporters and opponents of the state's controversial House Bill 2 clashed on Monday, holding competing rallies as lawmakers returned to work.
At a rally in support of the measure, which prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice at public institutions and blocks cities from enacting LGBT protections, Newton repeated the unsubstantiated claims of supporters.
“We all know folks that had a difficult time. Whether folks are struggling with drugs or struggling with their marriages, figuring out what it is that they're supposed to be doing in life, we can all have sympathy for that,” Newton is seen telling the crowd in a video recorded by Progress North Carolina Action. “But that does not mean that we should expose our wives and our sisters and our children to the sexual predators in the bathrooms. We must say no. We must say no.”
“Go home, tell your friends and family who had to work today what this is all about and how hard we had to fight to keep our state straight,” he later added.
State Democrats have called on Newton to apologize.
“One of the Republican sponsors of HB 2 just admitted the real purpose of the law: to make North Carolina unwelcoming to LGBT people,” said a spokesman for the North Carolina Democratic Party.