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Proposed law in California would fine trans people $4,000 for going to the toilet

Joe Williams April 23, 2015

A new law proposed in California could see transgender people faced with a $4,000 fine for using public toilets.

A ballot initiative filed by right-wing activists in the state, titled the ‘Personal Privacy Protect Act’, proposes that “a person shall use facilities in accordance with their biological sex in all [state] government buildings”.

If they fail to comply, then every single person in the toilet “whose privacy was actually violated” by a transgender person entering, would be able to sue them for “no less than $4,000”.

If the law is approved by voters in the state, it would apply to any public toilets, dressing rooms and showers in public usage, including public schools and universities.

Private businesses are not included in the bill, but are free to “opt in” and enforce it if the wish to, in which case they would have the full support of the government.

The activists will face an uphill battle to pass the law – as to get onto the ballot they require at least 365,000 signatures from Californian voters. If they manage to do this, then it could appear on the 2016 ballot by next November.

Speaking to the LA Times, Kris Hayashi executive director of the Transgender Law Centre, called the initiative “unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

He said: “It would dangerously single out Californians who don’t meet people’s stereotypes of what it’s like to be male or what it looks like to be female, putting everyone at greater risk of harassment and opening the state up to costly lawsuits.”

It is the latest  in a series of nuisance initiatives in the state, with Christian activist Matt McLaughlin filing a ‘Sodomite Suppression Act’ last month, which would instil ‘Biblical’ values by introducing the death penalty for homosexuality.

Equality activists countered the move with a ‘Shellfish Suppression Act’, as well as an ‘Intolerant Jackass Act’. Unsurprisingly, none of the initiatives have garnered much support.

 

In the last month, similar bills have failed to pass in both Kentucky and Texas.

Earlier this week, reports were released claiming that support for trans people has increased greatly in the US over the past year – with over 65% of Americans saying they felt ‘favourable’ towards trans people. 

More: America, anti-trans, anti-trans discrimination, California, fine, Law, toilets, US

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