US: Arizona lawmaker introduces bill to prosecute trans people for using ‘wrong’ bathroom
A Representative in the US state of Arizona has introduced a bill which would make it illegal for residents to use toilets or changing facilities which align with their gender identity, if different from what is displayed on their birth certificate.
Representative John Kavanagh introduced the bill, which commonly became known as the ‘show your papers to pee’ bill, which would make violation of the law disorderly conduct, which could be prosecuted as a class one misdemeanour, resulting in fines, or worse.
Kavanagh defended the bill with 12 News Phoenix. He said: “The city of Phoenix has crafted a bill that allows people to define their sex by what they think in their head. If you’re a male, you don’t go into a female shower or locker room, or vice versa. It also raises the specter of people who want to go into those opposite sex facilities not because they’re transgender, but because they’re weird.”
The bill describes itself as “an emergency measure that is necessary to preserve the public peace, health or safety and is operative immediately as provided by law.”
It prohibits Arizona residents from using “public restroom, bathroom, shower, bath, dressing room, or locker room”, if the gender designated to the facility does not match that displayed on the person’s birth certificate.
The bill has come under heavy criticism, not least because laws to prevent “disorderly conduct”, already exist in the state.
Kavanagh introduced the bill in direct response to legislation passed last month which added discrimination protections for LGBT people, ensuring they have access to employment, housing and public accommodations.
It is possible in the state for transgender people to have the gender displayed on their birth certificate altered, but only if they undergo gender reassignment surgery.