New Law Forces Transgender Students To Use Their Birth Gender Bathrooms

“I think the ignorance that is fostered in a lot of these discussions is the fact that you do not really know transgender people."

By Eric Shorey

American politicians are rather slow to catch up on the social changes being made by intrepid transgender pioneers. Here's the latest.  A House sub-committee in Virginia has recently passed an ultra-conservative bathroom bill that would make it illegal for transgender students to use anything but the facilities of the gender they were assigned at birth.

According to "The House voted to report Del. Mark Cole (R., Fredericksburg)’s HB 781 which aims to require the Director of the Department of General Services and all state school boards to implement policies for every 'public building on property that is owned, leased, or controlled by the Commonwealth and every public school restroom, locker room, and shower room that is designated for use by a specific gender' to be used solely by those whose 'anatomical sex matches such gender designation.'"

The punishment for breaking the proposed rule would be a $50 fine issued by a police officer.

The obvious hypocrisy of this, of course, is that although the politicians who proposed the bill suggest that it was “designed to protect the privacy of people,” nothing could be more invasive than policing people's bathroom behavior.

Outspoken activists on both sides of the issue made appearances, including representatives from the ACLU and The Family Foundation.

All of us have great compassion for people who are struggling with their gender identity and self hated issues,” argued Andrea Laferty, President of the Traditional Values Coalition. “We don’t think this is the way to do it by exposing other children.”

I think the ignorance that is fostered in a lot of these discussions is the fact that you do not really know transgender people,” countered Roxanne Edwards, a local transgender architect. “They don’t really understand whats happening to children. I would call on you to either table this or do something different until we find out some more information.”

Ultimately, many of the impassioned speeches made by transgender activists and allies fell on deaf ears. Now that the bill has passed, the next steps until it becomes a law will be a full hearing at the House General Laws Committee in the upcoming week.

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