As I wrote in this space a couple of years ago, trans people face incredible challenges in terms of protection under the law and basic physical safety. So it’s always something to cheer about when a city or state passes nondiscrimination laws that include trans men and women. Phoenix, Ariz., recently did just that, but state Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, thinks it is beyond the pale that someone who was born a man might use the ladies’ room. He has written legislation that polices what kind of bathroom people feel most comfortable using; it “prohibits a person from entering a ‘public restroom, bathroom, shower, bath, dressing room, or locker room’ if the sex designation of that facility does not match the individual’s birth certificate.” According to Kavanagh, it’s “an emergency measure that is necessary to preserve the public peace, health or safety and is operative immediately as provided by law” (emphasis mine).
I’m constantly amazed at what politicians deem emergencies these days. Apparently, war, poverty, homelessness, hunger and unemployment aren’t emergencies; instead, closing abortion clinics and monitoring bathroom stalls is the most pressing business for the government.
You can e-mail Rep. Kavanagh at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell him what you think of his bill.