COCHISE, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - "It's not hate, it's not discrimination, it's common sense."
That's what Pastor Danny Thompson wrote in a Facebook post about President Obama's decision to instruct public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their identity.
The pastor posted the video at the end of last week. On Sunday night it had 50,000 views on his Facebook page, by Tuesday night it had more than 14 million. Thompson is a pastor at Wynne Chapel in Cochise, Ariz.
"My daughter also has rights. Your sons and daughters also have rights," he continued to write.
In his video he stands outside a boys restroom and a girls restroom.
"What about my daughter's rights, and what about the rights of every other girl that goes in here. What about their rights to modesty, decency," said Thompson.
KGUN9 spoke to Thompson in person on Tuesday. He says he has nothing against the transgender community. In his video he says he would be ok if schools chose to create a separate bathroom for trans students. His concern with the federal decision regarding bathrooms is abuse of the system.
"It's not the 12th graders, it's not the transgender, my issues is not against the transgender people using the bathroom. My issue is against boys using girls bathrooms, boys exploiting it, or girls exploiting it," he said.
"Older boys who are in junior high, going into the bathroom during the basketball game or during the volleyball games, changing, goofing around, being boys in front of the 5th grade girls," he added.
Thompson hopes the millions of views on his video will help spark a conversation. He says in the past few days many people who agree and disagree with him and have reached out and he has had productive discussions with them. While there has been some hate mail he does not pay attention to it.
April Moss is president of Tucson Pride, the oldest LGBT group in Tucson. Nine On Your Side showed her the video.
"We need to go back to education. We need to stop the hate and stop the bullying," said Moss.
She says allowing kids to use the bathroom they identify with fosters inclusion, transgender kids do not want to feel singled out.
"The last thing you want to do is turn them on a path of self destruction," Moss said.
In an email statement, Associate Director of LGBTQ Initiatives at the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, Adam Ragan, said this:
"We here at SAAF think it’s great we have a president and Justice Department willing to stand up and fight for all of our kids. There is a vocal minority who continue to spread hate and lies. Who gets hurt in this? The 12 and 13 year-old kid at school who hears grownups saying such hateful things. And to have a representative of the faith community try to divide the community is unconscionable. The Pastor speaks to catering to the LGBT community: we aren’t asking to be catered to. Kids have a right to use the bathroom that corresponds to their identity. Period. It’s not controversial. It’s commonsense."
Arizona schools superintended Diane Douglas spoke against the Obama Administration's decision last week. In a statement she said the following:
"This directive is yet another example of federal overreach negatively impacting our state’s schools. Every local community across Arizona is unique, and I know that the people who live in those communities should be making the decisions when it comes to this and many other education issues."
Tucson Unified School District, the area's largest district, tells KGUN9 that they handle instances involving transgender students on a case-by-case basis.