Bills recently introduced in Florida, Kentucky, and Texas unfairly target transgender and gender nonconforming people, as well as employers and business owners, all to address a problem that doesn’t exist. These bills would make it illegal for transgender people simply to use the public restrooms consistent with their gender identity by imposing a fine or even criminalizing both transgender people who access public restrooms and the building owners who allow them to. The bills are unenforceable and the fears behind them unfounded: non-discrimination laws protecting transgender people have successfully been implemented in 18 states and for all federal workers without incident.
Using the bathroom is a basic human need that is intertwined with every aspect of daily life. Prohibiting transgender people from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity will ultimately have devastating effects by effectively denying them access to institutions ranging from schools to jobs to doctor’s offices to participation in public life. Transgender people are already experiencing high rates of harassment and violence in public spaces, including restrooms.
These laws would disproportionately impact the most vulnerable parts of our community who are unable to change identity documents because of systemic employment and health care discrimination.
These bills, if passed, would place all transgender people – and anyone who does not conform with gender stereotypes – at serious risk of harassment and violence.
Take action today!
- The bill: Under HB 583, transgender people would be criminalized and given a misdemeanor of the first degree if they use a restroom inconsistent with their “biological” sex. It compels employers to discriminate against their own employees, invalidates the internal human resource policies of public and private companies, and places undue burden on business by laying the groundwork for costly litigation. It would also give non-transgender people a right to sue if they used a bathroom with a transgender person.
- Take action: Eemail your state senator and representative about 5 important bills Equality Florida is focused on this session – including the shameful Transgender Discrimination Bill (#HB583). It’s important for legislators to know pro-equality supporters across the state are watching what they do this session. Please SHARE and send an email by clicking here: http://bit.ly/18DdCJY #Lobby4Equality
- The bill: SB 76 would mandate bathroom use based on “biological” sex and encourage harassment of transgender students: it incentivizes students to monitor where transgender classmates use the restroom by offering what amounts to a $2,500 bounty.
- Take action: Tell legislators you want statewide fairness in Kentucky! Call legislators and tell them to oppose SB 76. If you live in Kentucky, you can look up your legislators here: Tinyurl.com/kyleglookup. Or call: 1.800.372.7181.
- For more information: Visit http://www.fairness.org/
- The bills: HB 1748 would require access to public facilities based on an individual’s chromosomes. Not only would a transgender person be criminalized with a Class A misdemeanor for using a restroom, but the bill would also criminalize a building owner with a felony for allowing a transgender person to use a restroom that doesn’t match their chromosomes. HB 2801 would apply to students and would mandate bathroom use based on “biological” sex and encourage harassment of transgender youth: it incentivizes students to monitor where transgender classmates use the restroom by offering what amounts to a $2,000 bounty.
- Take action: Join or support the TransTexas 2015 Caucus and Lobby Day. Find more resources at http://www.equalitytexas.org/ and http://transtexas.org/.