A Town In Alabama Just Passed Another Transphobic Bathroom Law
The state of North Carolina may have suffered a major backlash after passing the transphobic Bathroom Bill, but that didn’t stop other discriminatory states from following in its footsteps. As of this week, if a transgender person in Oxford, Alabama uses a public restroom that corresponds with the gender with which they identify, as opposed to using one that corresponds with the gender listed on their birth certificate, they could face six months in jail or a fine of $500.
According to the ordinance, the Oxford City Council thinks people in public restrooms “do not reasonably expect to be exposed to individuals of the opposite sex while utilizing those facilities.” It continues, “Single sex public facilities are places of increased vulnerability and present the potential for crimes against individuals utilizing those facilities which may include, but not limited to, voyeurism, exhibitionism, molestation and assault and battery.” Very true, Council! And after passing this law, you’ve successfully made trans people even more vulnerable to these potential “crimes” you speak of. As a community that’s already susceptible to bullying, violence, and harassment, trans people, when treated as an “other,” will only be more susceptible to hate and violence.
This law came in the wake of Target publicly announcing their support of the trans community to use whichever bathroom they identify with. (You go Target!) Unfortunately over 700,000 people pledged to boycott Target shortly thereafter. Because, y’know, it’s their decision to make and all (p.s. it’s not!!!).
Yet more horrendous than the premise of the law itself is what happens to people if they violate it. Regarding the bill, the Human Rights Campaign said, “This anti-transgender law is unprecedented in its establishment of criminal penalties for violations of the law, and raises a myriad of privacy and legal concerns.” And yet, there still remains a little light of hope, thanks to HRC’s Alabama manager Eva Walton Kendrick. Speaking to CNN, she said, “Every Alabamian has the right to live their lives without fear of discrimination and prejudice.” We’re right there with you girl.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on transgender rights.