Ten states pursuing their own bills requiring people to use public bathrooms of their born gender
North Carolina’s decision to pass its notorious “bathroom bill” last year has prompted several other states to consider their own rules about how people can access public bathrooms.
The North Carolina bill was in response to a local ordinance in Charlotte that allowed transgender people to use the restroom facility that lines up with their gender identity, regardless of their biological sex.
The statewide legislation, House Bill 2, required transgender people use the bathroom that matched their birth gender, a move that sparked a national conversation and consideration of the same idea in other states.
In 2016, at least 19 states considered legislation regarding transgender bathroom use, but only North Carolina enacted anything. South Dakota passed a bill in both chambers, but Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed it.
In 2017, 10 states are at it again:
The Alabama Privacy Act is set to be introduced into the state Senate next month, according to Republican Sen. Phil Williams.
The legislation states that “bathroom, or changing facilities that are designed to be used by multiple persons” must either be only for “persons of the same gender,” or open to people “irrespective of their gender” with attendants present.
According to Williams, the bill is to guard against crimes such as molestation, assault and battery in mixed-gender public bathrooms.
“Bathroom, or changing facilities that are designed to be used by multiple persons at once, irrespective of their gender, that are staffed by an attendant stationed at the door of each rest room to monitor the appropriate use of the rest room and answer any questions or concerns posed by users,” the bill stated.
If a public institution were to leave a bathroom unattended, it could be hit with a fine ranging from $2,000 to $3,5000, and could also be sued. The bill will be voted on by the Alabama judiciary committee next month.
Republican Rep. John Whitmer plans to introduce a bill that would require transgender students in public schools to use the bathroom facility that corresponds with their birth gender.
The legislation would also apply to locker rooms and accommodations for students on overnight trips, but would not apply to private schools or higher education.
The bathroom legislation filed in the Kentucky House earlier this month was filed by a Democrat.
Rep. Rick Nelson, from Middlesboro, filed the bill that would require public schools, state universities, state government and local governments to designate that bathrooms they control “only be used by persons based on their biological sex.”
Gov. Matt Bevin — a Republican — said he and the legislature’s GOP majority would be focusing on jobs and economy bills because bathroom bills address something that isn’t an issue in Kentucky.
House File 41 was introduced in the beginning of the month, and would require “all school restrooms, locker rooms, shower rooms, and changing rooms for use by multiple students be designated for and used by male or female students only.”
The legislation also “defines sex as being determined by chromosomes and sex assigned at birth,” and would only allow schools to provide separate accommodations such as single-stall facilities or faculty facilities in “special circumstances.”
There are two bills in the Missouri legislature, Senate Bill 98 and House Bill 202.
The bill from Ed Emery, a Republican Senator representing parts of southwestern Missouri, would require “all school restrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms accessible for use by multiple students be designated for and used by male or female students only.”
It would also provide for alternative accommodations for students that assert their gender identity is not the same as their birth gender.
House Bill 202, sponsored by GOP Rep. Jeff Pogue, would require “all public restrooms, other than single occupancy restrooms, to be gender-divided.”
The two bills are similar to SB 720 and HB 2303, both of which failed to pass in 2016.
A bill in this state would designate bathroom use by “biological sex.”
It would also prohibit local governments from passing ordinances like Charlotte did last year.
Last week, Texas Republicans unveiled Senate Bill 6, which Lt. Gov., Dan Patrick said is a legislative priority this year. It would require transgender people to use the bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities that correspond to their “biological sex.”
The legislation would also pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances — like the one that began the North Carolina controversy — that would allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
“Legislation like this is essential to protect the safety and privacy of women and girls, and is simple common sense and common decency,” Patrick said.
House Bill 1612, introduced by Republican Del. Robert G. Marshall of Manassas, would require people to use the restroom facility that corresponds with their birth gender.
The Physical Privacy Act proposes that “…subject to certain exceptions, no individual shall enter a restroom or other facility designated for use by members of the opposite sex” in a government building.
The bill would also allow people to sue the state if they found someone of the opposite gender in the restroom.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has promised to veto the bill.
GOP Rep. David Taylor’s bill would allow public and private entities to block access to a bathroom “if the person is preoperative, nonoperative, or otherwise has genitalia of a different gender from that for which the facility is segregated.”
However, there is an exception for children or persons with disabilities being escorted by a parent, guardian or supervisor if the gender of the latter has the same gender for which the facility is segregated.
Four bills dubbed by activists as “anti-trans” made their the Washington legislative session last year.
House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Laurie Jinkins, a blocked all four from receiving hearings and said she will do so with HB 1011.