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Alabama city recalls law to punish trans people with jail for using gender-appropriate bathroom

Joseph McCormick May 5, 2016
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Gender-neutral toilet

A city in Alabama has recalled a local law which criminalised the use of a gender-appropriate bathroom by transgender people.

The city council in Oxford, Alabama recalled the law which was passed last week.

bathroom

It was believed to be the first in the US to threaten those breaking the bathroom rules with imprisonment or fines.

The ordinance banned trans people from using a bathroom corresponding to their gender identity, as opposed to the sex displayed on their birth certificate.

Those breaking the local law could have faced six months in jail or a $500 fine.

But on Wednesday the city council voted 3-2 to repeal the law.

“It’s a great day in the state of Alabama and we commend Councilperson Charlotte Hubbard for leading the recall effort,” said HRC Alabama State Director Eva Walton Kendrick.

“This sends a welcome message of inclusion to Oxford’s families, businesses and visitors, and sets an example for other communities that may be considering similar legislation.

“Fair-minded Americans do not believe in discrimination, and we must continue to educate one another on the importance of being inclusive and welcoming to all.”

On Monday, the City Council of Rockwall, Texas, unanimously rejected a bill proposed by Mayor Jim Pruitt that would have prohibited transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identities.

Also on Wednesday, the US Justice Department gave North Carolina five days to scrap its anti-LGBT legislation or risk losing federal funding.

The Department on Wednesday said HB2, passed last month and signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory, is discriminatory and could lead to the state losing billions of dollars of federal funding.

The letter comes as Governor McCrory this week again defended HB2, taking aim at those who have criticised it including Bruce Springsteen and PayPal.

Cirque du Soleil last month cancelled gigs in North Carolina over the state’s new anti-LGBT law.

Hundreds of business leaders have urged the repeal of North Carolina’s HB2, and multiple celebrities have pulled out of appearances, including Ringo Starr and, Bruce Springsteen.

Springsteen was even accused of using “bully tactics” for cancelling the concert by one of the state’s Representatives.

But dozens of celebrities and hundreds of fans came to the defence of Springsteen, commending him for taking a stand.

Others such as Mumford and Sons and Cyndi Lauper have said they will appear but that they will donate their profits to LGBT rights organisations.

Mississippi also faces similar threats as Bryan Adams and Sharon Stone have pulled out of appearances there.

Related topics: alabama, bathroom, Oxford, US

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