A surreal anti-trans bill has progressed in Washington state – which could enforce ‘genital-checking’ for public bathrooms.
The legislation, Washington Senate bill 6548, actually passed through the Law and Justice committee last night with Republican backing.
The bill was condemned by the Human Rights Campaign’s Sarah Warbelow
It would amend equality legislation to state: “Nothing in this chapter grants any right to a person to access a private facility segregated by gender, such as a bathroom, restroom, toilet, shower, locker room, or sauna, of a public or private entity if the person is preoperative, nonoperative, or otherwise has genitalia of a different gender from that for which the facility is segregated.”
It also puts the onus on businesses to do so.
However, some have pointed out the rather obvious flaw in the legislation – because it relies simply on the presence of genitalia, and does not allow for any other signifier of gender or sex to be taken into account.
if truly based simply on genitalia, this could have the awkward side-effect of making it a legal requirement to check the vaginas of every woman trying to go to the bathroom, and examine the penis of every man.
Some activists have theorised that to turn trans people away in a compliant manner, the law would technically require the appointment of a ‘genital checker’ at every bathroom seeking to enforce such rules.
Sarah Warbelow of HRC said: “We urge all fair-minded people across the state to demand their lawmakers immediately stop these offensive assaults on fairness and equality, and we call on the Senate to vote down these dangerous measures if they come to a vote on the floor.”
It’s not the weirdest anti-trans legislation, however: Indiana lawmakers have suggested employing a chromosome test for people trying to use the bathroom.
Washington state Republican Graham Hunt, who has led the charge in the anti-trans movement, was recently forced to resign after it emerged details of his military career had been fabricated or embellished.