2017 Will Be The Year Of The Anti-Trans ‘Bathroom Bill’
North Carolina’s notorious HB2 may soon be gone for good thanks to the new Democratic governor but at least eight other states are now considering similar measures. Republican state legislatures are feeling empowered by Donald Trump’s victory and are preparing discriminatory laws against transgender Americans.
Virginia is poised to introduce a ‘Physical Privacy Act’ that will require Virginians to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate. The state does not allow citizens to change the gender on their birth certificate, so this will present problems for transgender people.
The proposed law allows Virginians to sue the state if their privacy is ‘violated’ by transgender people coming into the ‘wrong’ bathroom. Schools may have to reveal that students are transgender if parents request that their child should be able to use the bathroom of their choice.
Similar bills are being proposed in Kentucky and Texas, often under the guise of religious freedom. According to conservative news site The Daily Caller, an Alabama law could require policing of bathrooms. Will state officials actually guard bathroom stalls?
The year 2016 was widely seen as one of progress for LGBT Americans, especially the marginalized transgender community. But 2017 is set for major battles over bathroom access and transgender rights in general. Religious freedom laws could see states defending some forms of discrimination against LGBT people.