Yesterday, the Arizona House of Representatives attempted to vote on an appalling anti-transgender bill. The measure would require people to use the public restrooms associated with the sex on their birth certificate or serve up to six months in jail. Representative John Kavanagh, who proposed the bill, is reacting to an anti-discrimination ban that was passed in Phoenix only last month. According to Kavanagh, that ban might “act as a cover for pedophiles who want to expose themselves to children of the opposite gender.” Aaron Baer, a conservative spokesman for the Center for Arizona Policy, adds, “Someone can just say ‘oh, I feel like I am a woman.’ That person can just say, ‘you are discriminating against me.’”
Arizona Representative John Kavanagh
Kavanagh’s solution is to prohibit transgendered people from using the public bathrooms of the sex they identify with. The injustice here is obvious, as many Arizona residents will be forced to associate with a gender identity they no longer claim as their own, and face incarceration if they refuse to conform. In the words of transgender Phoenix resident Erica Keppler, “Most transgender people try to slip through public places without being noticed. This will turn us into criminals."
Furthermore, this measure is a huge invasion of privacy: according to the bill, any Arizona resident could be asked to prove their sex in order to pee. Of course, coming from the state that infamously maintains the right to ask anyone suspected of illegal residency for their papers, this ridiculous bill isn’t quite so shocking. Luckily, Wednesday’s vote on the measure was postponed due to vocal protestors (although Kavanagh maintains that the delay was simply based on a paperwork error). But Kavanagh still has faith in his cause, declaring, “This law simply restores the law of society: Men are men and women are women.” And assholes are assholes.
Via The Cut, The Washington Post, and The Seattle Times
Images via CNN, NPR, and Think Progress
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