Arizona lawmakers have joined the debate on laws regarding a transgender individuals use of public restrooms opposite of their biological sex.
Members of the transgender community have been victorious in lawsuits against businesses failing to provide equal access restrooms for people of all genders. In response to this issue, among others, many states have passed bills which include transgender people to be protected under anti-discrimination laws. However, the bathroom issue remains a gray area for lawmakers.
The anti-discrimination law does not explicitly state that businesses must provide equal access bathrooms to accommodate transgender people, which has created confusion and provoked a national debate.
States such as Massachusetts and California have been leaders in creating laws which demand equal access for transgender people regarding bathroom use. In February, Phoenix passed a human rights ordinance which prohibited discrimination towards the transgender community regarding public accommodations.
However, Arizona Republican Representative John Kavanagh has challenged Phoenix’s transgender accommodating ordinance. Kavanagh is concerned that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identity could provide pedophiles easy access to children of the opposite sex, reported ABC News.
In retaliation of Phoenix’s progressive decision, Kavanagh has proposed a new law. If passed, his proposed law would make it a misdemeanor for any person to use a gender specific restroom, changing room or bathing facility, other than the sex declared on the person’s birth certificate. Kavanagh said, “this law simply restores the law of society: Men are men and women are women.”
The Arizona House of representatives is scheduled to review the bill on March 27.