Liberal firebrand Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonFlorida's Darren Soto fends off Dem challenge from Alan Grayson Live results: Arizona and Florida hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report: Frustration mounts as Republicans blow up tax message MORE (D-Fla.) compared North Carolina’s controversial bathroom law to the Jim Crow era.

In a House floor speech on Friday, Grayson said the state’s law requiring people to use the restroom corresponding with their biological sex bears resemblance to racially segregated bathrooms.

“You know, we had laws like that once. We used to say that we didn’t want white people to have to be uncomfortable going to the bathroom with black people,” Grayson said.


“And then somehow or other we pulled ourselves together. We realized how ridiculous that was. Well, how is this any different?”

The lawmaker, who is in the midst of a contested Senate race, said those who are cisgender — those who identify with their biological sex from birth — and are uncomfortable with transgender individuals are akin to white racists who demanded different bathrooms from black people in the Jim Crow era.

“People who are cisgendered have no right to dictate where people who are transgendered urinate, any more than people who are white have the right to dictate where people who are black do it.”

At one point, he spoke next to a poster of two young women standing in front of urinals to demonstrate what would happen if transgender people have to use bathrooms that no longer align with their gender identities.



“So you folks in North Carolina who are obsessed with where the transgender go to the bathroom, this is the result you’ve come up with,” Grayson said. “My God, what’s wrong with you? That doesn’t make any sense at all.”

Grayson made headlines earlier this week when The Hill first reported a clash between him and Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill Kamala Harris to young Black women at conference: 'I want you to be ambitious' Obama calls filibuster 'Jim Crow relic,' backs new Voting Rights Act bill MORE (D-Nev.) during a routine meeting of liberal Democrats.

Grayson is locked in a heated Democratic primary battle against Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) for an open Florida Senate seat vacated by Republican Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioChina sanctioning Rubio, Cruz in retaliatory move over Hong Kong The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Negotiators signal relief bill stuck, not dead PPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  MORE. Reid previously called for Grayson to resign over allegations that he violated House rules by using his congressional office to boost his hedge funds. 

“Shame on you. It’s not true,” Grayson said. Reid retorted: “It is true, and I want you to lose.”

Grayson’s floor speech on Friday came after the Obama administration issued guidance on Friday urging all public schools to allow students to use the bathrooms aligning with their gender identity. Schools that don’t comply could face lawsuits or lose access to federal funds.

The Florida Democrat suggested that lawmakers should consider other issues related to gender in American society instead of bathroom issues, like wage inequity.

“If we want to talk about gender in America in the early 21st century, we could start with that,” he said.