Republican candidate may face investigation for trans harassment

Republican Congressional candidate Jazmina Saavedra, who came to national attention for following a transgender woman into a bathroom in an L.A.-area Denny’s, may face legal consequences, sources said.

Saavedra, a self-proclaimed Trump supporter, livestreamed her confrontation with the transgender woman. During her encounter, Saavedra misgendered and verbally harassed the woman–all while recording the incident on Facebook Live.

The video has been removed from the site.

Saavedra, who is running for the seat in the 44th Congressional District, initiated the confrontation earlier this month. In the video, Saavedra repeated the claim that she had pepper spray and would use it, if necessary.

Following a public backlash, several prominent rights organizations, such as Human Rights Campaign and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, have asked the Attorney General of California to begin an investigation of the candidate.

In a statement, HRC said “Jazmina Saavedra’s actions are dangerous. She invaded a woman’s privacy while harassing and misgendering the victim,” said the organization’s president Chad Griffin.

According to Gay Star News, a 2015 survey revealed that 59% of “trans and non-binary people say they avoid public restrooms.” A quarter have been questioned about such usage, and one in eight said they have been attacked (verbally, physically, or sexually) for using a restroom that agrees with their gender identity.