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In February, Phoenix, Arizona, passed an anti-discrimination law protecting gender expression and identity and ensuring trans citizens had equal access to jobs, housing and public accommodations.
That didn’t sit right with longtime bigot John Kavanagh, a Republican who represents nearby Fountain Hills.
So Rep. Kavanagh is sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal to use a bathroom that doesn’t match their biological gender: Under SB 1432, a person would be guilty of disorderly conduct, a Class One misdemeanor, if they used a bathroom or dressing room that didn’t correspond to the birth sex listed on his or her birth certificate.
Get caught and you could face a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail.
We’re gonna stop for a second and tell you a story: Last week we had the good fortune to attend the GLAAD Media Awards in New York. When nature called, we ambled over to the restrooms and saw that they had been converted into gender-neutral facilities for the evening. Gussied-up men and women shared a typical public bathroom—one with urinals, stalls, the works.
Aside from a few giggles, no one skipped a beat. People did their business, checked their look in the mirror and moved on. The world didn’t end.
And laws like SB 1432 laws don’t just hurt trans people: How many times have we used the women’s room in a gay club, or happily let our female friends use the men’s room? Or ducked into a single-person bathroom of the opposite sex when there was no line? Think they wouldn’t abuse this law to arrest gays? Authorities have used flimsier pretexts.
Anyway, back to Kavanagh: He praised his bill yesterday by smearing trans people as a whole. “The city of Phoenix has crafted a bill that allows people to define their sex by what they think in their head,” he announced. “It also raises the specter of people who want to go into those opposite sex facilities not because they’re transgendered, [but] because maybe that they’re just weird.”
Where are these armies of perverts just waiting at the starting line to invade the women’s room? We keep hearing about them from Republican politicians but we’ve never seen any or heard about them from our female friends. And police chiefs in cities like Albany, which do offer trans protections, have testified that they do not increase bathroom assaults.
As our friends at Housing Works put it, Kavanagh has a “perverse obsession with what happens behind closed bathroom stall doors.”
All together now, what a douche!
Arizona news reports that SB 1432 has an emergency clause, which would mean it would go immediately into effect once signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
But together we can stop this ludicrous and transphobic bill.
Call Rep. John Kavanagh at (602) 926-5170 and tell him that we need equal rights, not fear-mongering. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and say, “Transgender Americans already face staggering rates of discrimination, and SB 1432 paints the ridiculous notion that transgender people are criminals. As a legislator, you have the obligation to protect all people, not put them in harm’s way. Don’t make us show papers to pee.”
You can also write to John Kavanagh at:
House of Representatives
1700 W. Washington, Room 307
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone Number: (602) 926-5170
Fax Number: (602) 417-3108