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Elizabeth Warren Suggests Ben Carson Resign Over Anti-Trans Comments

Elizabeth Warren Suggests Ben Carson Resign Over Anti-Trans Comments

Julián Castro, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris also had strong words for the HUD Secretary.

Transphobia has no place in the White House, according to Elizabeth Warren.

Warren had strong words for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson following reports that he referred to transgender women as "big, hairy men" during a White House meeting. According to the Washington Post, he also claimed that trans people are "trying to infiltrate" women's homeless shelters but did not state for what purpose they would wish to do so.

The Massachusetts Senator suggested that someone with Carson's viewpoints is not fit to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, calling the comments "unacceptable."

"Trans women who experience homelessness are already disproportionately more likely to face violence," she said in a series of tweets. "If Secretary Carson is not willing to do his job and protect all Americans experiencing housing insecurity, then he shouldn't have his job."

In addition to facing elevated rates of discrimination and physical abuse, trans individuals are twice as likely to be homeless as the average American and four times as likely to live under the poverty line. According to a 2015 survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality, 30 percent of trans people have been homeless at some point in their lifetimes.

Despite those realities, Carson has routinely rolled back policies which seek to meet the needs of the U.S. homeless population and protect them from discrimination at shelters.

Warren, who is one of nearly two dozen people running for president, wasn't the only 2020 candidate with strong words for Carson. Cory Booker told USA Todaythe remarks were "vile and disgusting," while Kamala Harris called them "harmful to the LGBTQ+ community and just downright cruel" in a tweet.

Among the most pointed responses, however, came from Julian Castro, Carson's predecessor in the HUD office. With nearly 20 transgender people killed so far this year, the former Secretary under Barack Obama claimed that only Carson's remarks only serve to further "normalize violence" against trans individuals.

"As HUD Secretary, I protected trans people," Castro tweeted. "I didn't denigrate them."

Carson has claimed his remarks were subjected to "blatant mischaracterizations" by the media, saying that he was referencing "the fact that [he] had heard from many women's groups about the difficulty they were having with women's shelters because sometimes men would claim to be women."

"This made many of the women feel unsafe, and one of the groups described a situation to me in which 'big hairy men' would come in and have to be accepted into the women's shelter even though it made the women in the facility very uncomfortable," he told HUD staff in an email obtained by Politico. "My point was that we have to permit policies that take into consideration the rights of everybody, including those women."

But according to the Post, even HUD staffers interpreted his remarks as denigrating trans women. The paper reports that "one woman [walked out] in protest," while several others were "shocked and upset."

As Out previously reported, Carson has a long history of denigrating transgender people. Prior to being tapped to Donald Trump's Cabinet, the former Johns Hopkins surgeon referred to trans individuals as "abnormal" and "the height of absurdity" and suggested they should be forced to use separate bathrooms from everyone else.

RELATED | Ben Carson Defends 'Big, Hairy Men' Comments

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