Legislators in three states — Texas, Virginia and Kentucky — will consider bills similar to North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” which requires people in government-owned buildings to use bathrooms aligning with the actually genitalia they currently possess.
In Texas, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced Senate Bill 6, dubbed the “Women’s Privacy Act,” earlier this month.
If passed, the bill will force transgender individuals to use bathrooms in public schools, in government buildings and on public university campuses according to their genitalia — not the way they feel about their gender identity or to the way they are dressed.
The bill would also preempt any city ordinances which allow transgender individuals and various other cross-dressers to choose the bathroom they prefer to use.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick described the bill as a way to prevent sexual predators from preying on women while in the bathroom.
“We know it’s going to be a tough fight,” Patrick said, according to The Texas Tribune. “But we know we’re on the right side of the issue. We’re on the right side of history. You can mark today as the day Texas is drawing a line in the sand and saying no.”
A lobbying group representing Texas business owners has criticized the proposed transgender bathroom legislation, citing fear of losing business.
In Virginia, meanwhile, socially conservative Republican lawmaker Robert G. Marshall filed a January 2017 bill which would compel everyone to use the bathroom consistent with the sex listed on their birth certificates.
The bill would cover all government buildings as well as school buildings and public university buildings.
Marshall’s bill, the “Physical Privacy Act,” would also force taxpayer-funded school principals to alert parents whenever there is a student at school who wants to be “treated as the opposite sex.”
“To let boys or guys without anything else just claim they’re transgendered is to really put women in harm’s way,” Marshall told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“I guess common sense is not so common anymore,” he added.
“If the Republicans aren’t willing to stand up, the voters may just take a walk in November.”
In Kentucky, Democratic Rep. Rick Nelson filed House Bill 106 earlier this month.
The bill would force people to use bathrooms “based on their biological sex” in government buildings, public school buildings and public university buildings, according to The Courier-Journal, the main newspaper out of Louisville.
Nelson noted that Republicans have been downplaying the transgender bathroom issue in the last few months.
“I just want to make sure those bills are out there in case the other side decides not to do them,” Nelson told The Courier-Journal. “I support them and think they’re pretty good.”
In 2014, the principal at a taxpayer-funded high school in Louisville ignored the protestations of female students and allowed a male freshman student to use changing areas in a girls’ locker room — and one of two girls’ bathrooms — because the student really wanted to be a girl.
North Carolina already has a state transgender bathroom law — commonly called House Bill 2 (HB2) — which requires people to use public bathrooms aligning with the genitalia they actually possess.
North Carolina lawmakers debated the repeal of the bathroom law after during a special session last month in response to considerable protests. PayPal refused to bring approximately 400 jobs to the state in response to the law. The NBA threatened to pull its 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina.
However, the special session resulted in no repeal because Republican legislators and North Carolina’s new governor, Roy Cooper, were unable to reach an agreement.
For months after passing the law in March 2016, North Carolina Republicans had said they passed the bill in reaction to a Charlotte city ordinance that allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.
In July, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that, forthwith, all cities and college campuses seeking to host NCAA championship events must correctly fill out a lengthy, seven-page questionnaire about whether men can waltz into women’s locker rooms to take showers and can use women’s bathrooms.
The NCAA adopted the new rule just after North Carolina passed its bathroom law.
It’s not clear if all NCAA championship events will also be banned from Texas, Virginia and Kentucky should those states pass legislation requiring government bathroom to be segregated based on genitalia.
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