Bathroom Laws

Several state bills are based on and closely resemble model legislation from the conservative lobby organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which has been classified as an anti-LGBT “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. [46] [47] [48] The ADF Model Law provides that every student at a public school or university has the right to sue for $2,500 each time they meet a transgender classmate in a locker room or bathroom. [46] [49] In November 2015, Wisconsin held a hearing on a toilet law requiring public schoolchildren to use facilities appropriate to the sex assigned to them at birth. According to critics, the bill would also violate the federal government`s 2014 civil rights office statement that federal non-discrimination law covers gender identity. The following month, the bill was revised to allow public schools to offer gender-neutral toilets. [123] [124] In 2016, a toilet bill was introduced in Minnesota. It was a literal copy of the ADF Model Law. [71] [84] [46] Here`s what you should do when the Anti-Trans Washroom Act comes into force. In Canada, the New Democratic Party (NDP) has introduced several bills to make gender identity and expression the characteristics protected from discrimination that can be considered in condemning hate crimes. [125] These bills have often been referred to as “toilet bills” by critics because they would have allowed transgender people to use public facilities tailored to their gender identity. In 2016, the Kansas Legislature introduced a “toilet bill, which was almost identical to the ADF`s model legislation.” The bill died after public protests against the law`s provision allowing students to continue their school if they met a transgender person in a bathroom or locker room.

[46] [48] In March 2019, a bill was passed by both houses of the New Mexico Legislature (House vote 54-12 and Senate vote 23-15) to explicitly allow gender-neutral toilets. The bill was signed by the governor in the same month and came into effect on July 1, 2019. [88] Other accommodations may not include multi-purpose facilities for students of the opposite sex. Other accommodations may include single rooms, unisex bathrooms or access to faculty facilities. A 2015 proposal in Kentucky, also based on the ADF`s model legislation,[46] would have allowed students to continue their school if they had encountered transgender students using the restroom based on the gender they identify with. Instead, it would have allowed transgender students to apply for special accommodation, including access to individual cabins or faculty washrooms. [79] [80] On February 27, 2015, Bill S.B. 76 was passed by the Kentucky Senate,[81] but was not passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives. [71] In 2019, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a law that changed the definition of indecent exposure to include acts committed in restrooms and locker rooms if they are intended to be used by only one sex and the person committing the act is of the opposite sex (as assigned at birth).

The original version of this bill would have criminalized the mere fact that a transgender person enters the bathroom based on their sex assigned at birth, but this provision was eventually removed. Nevertheless, critics of the law still feared that the bill would be interpreted as tolerating harassment of transgender people in the bathroom by others who find their presence offensive. [104] At least 19 states considered toilet bills in 2016. One state – North Carolina – has passed this type of legislation. The South Dakota bill passed both houses, but was defeated by the governor. Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin also reviewed similar legislation in 2016. Shortly after HB2 was passed in May 2016, in the final year of President Obama`s presidency, the U.S. Department of Justice sued North Carolina over its “toilet bill” to stop implementation. [32] In addition, proponents claim that North Carolina companies have imposed toilet restrictions for transgender customers at their own discretion. [33] Mississippi also restricted the use of public restrooms by passing a law protecting religious beliefs, citing “man (man) or woman (woman) refers to an individual`s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at the time of birth,” which does not take into account transgender and intersex people. [33] Later, however, the Justice Department under President Trump withdrew its opposition to these and other state laws and policies.