A real estate broker assisting LGBT Americans leaving Republican-dominated states received considerable criticism online after comparing the effort to Black residents escaping slavery. Realtor Bob McCranie spoke on the project, dubbed the “rainbow Underground Railroad.”
McCranie discussed the expanding effort with local media this week.
The realtor said that he was aiding “LGBTQIA+ citizens” in states such as his native Texas who “feel at risk.”
“Current laws are highly discriminatory against trans youth and their families,” he said. “Our marriages, our families and even our safety are at risk.”
McCranie said that should LGBT individuals desire to leave a Republican state, he would help “connect you with an LGBTQIA+ or ally agent in a better location of your choice.”
He added that the organization had affiliates in all 50 states.
NOT THE BEE: Dallas realtor creates "rainbow Underground Railroad" to help LGBT people "escape" Texas, other free states 🤣 https://t.co/S9uw9d0LF4
— Not the Bee (@Not_the_Bee) June 16, 2023
McCranie’s comments come as Texas passed several major changes related to transgender athletes and youth gender transitions.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill into law this week that would only allow college athletes to compete with other members of their birth gender.
Earlier this month Abbott also signed a bill which barred gender change treatment for Texan minors. Texas’ new law also follows more than a dozen states which have barred or otherwise limited such treatments for youths, including puberty blockers.
The Republican-led efforts have also seen a variety of court challenges, including part of an Indiana treatment ban paused by a federal judge.
The efforts in Texas also come as other locations plan to provide gender change sanctuaries for youths.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) signed an executive order this week which would prohibit the city’s government from preventing non-residents from receiving gender change treatment.
Adams described the effort as “standing up for justice and against discrimination,”
“To LGBTQ+ people across the nation feeling hurt, isolated or threatened, we have a clear message for you,” the mayor said. “New York City has and will always be a welcoming home for you.”