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Fox News host Tucker Carlson spoke on Thursday with senior advisor for the Democratic National Committee Zac Petkanas about the controversial move by President Donald Trump to rescind the public school transgender bathroom guidance issued by former President Barack Obama in May of 2016.
Carlson opened the segment by questioning Petkanas about his declaration on social media that the White House administration officials were a bunch of "monsters" for their decision. "I woke up feeling so sick to my stomach about the Trump White House's attacks on vulnerable LGBT kids," Petkanas tweeted. "These people are monsters."
Sticking to his guns, Petkanas defended his claim, telling Carlson that Trump took away guidance that public schools had originally asked for from the government to avoid lawsuits. "He took away practical guidance to school administrators and principals who were looking to create a safe environment and were looking to not get sued for Title IX violations," Petkanas said.
When Carlson mentioned that it took Obama seven straight years in office before he made any move to issue this guidance and asked Petkanas if he would condemn Obama for taking so long to take action, Petkanas asserted the opposite. "I'm giving Obama extraordinary praise for taking decisive action to protect these vulnerable kids, and I'm saying that Donald Trump is not only a monster, but he's a coward," he said.
Stifling his laugher, Carlson then shifted from a political argument to a scientific argument, asking Petkanas what criteria can be used to determine whether someone is male or female if biology is irrelevant. "My obvious question to you is: how do I know if a person is male or female, is there some absolute standard that people have to meet to be male or female other than what they say?"
"One's gender identity is enough to show what gender they are, and so if you're confused about that then I leave that to your level of enlightenment," Petkanas began before Carlson interrupted, reminding him that the question wasn't about "moral status," again pressing Petkanas to answer the question.
"There are massive implications of this that everyone is either too dumb or too embarrassed to explore, but let’s do so now,” Carlson began. “If your sex is what you say it is, then what prevents me from playing on a women’s field hockey team? What prevents me from getting convicted of a felony and demanding to go to a women’s prison? It’s a real question."
Petkanas attempted to brush off his statement, claiming it wasn't a real question, but Carlson continued. "I want to know if you're a man or a woman, I'm a scientist," he asked as a hypothetical statement, "how do I find out?"
"Your gender identity determines your gender, period," said Petkanas.
"Is there science behind this... I want you to name a single scientist, just one, who says you can determine your own sex just by saying so. Can you name one scientist who says that,” Carlson said before taking the argument a step further. "What’s the science exactly? That you are what you say you are? Can I change my race too?"
Carlson continued, "What if I said I'm another race, who are you to say I'm not?"
Petkanas, fumbling over his words, didn't quite have an answer for him.
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Sara Gonzales is the host of “The News & Why It Matters.”