Arizona Legislator Wants to Criminalize Peeing While Transgendered

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Photo: Ross D. Franklin/Corbis

An Arizona state legislator wants to make it illegal for transgendered people to go to the bathroom. More accurately, the bill proposed by state Representative John Kavanagh would make it illegal to use public restrooms, dressing rooms, or locker rooms designated with the sex different from that on your birth certificate (which is inaccurate for most transgender people), an offense punishable by six months in jail. The bill’s vote was delayed yesterday after the committee meeting was disrupted by transgender activists and protestors, though Kavanagh said the delay was due to a “paperwork error.”

According to the AP, Kavanagh is worried that anti-discrimination protections for transgender people being passed around the country will “serve as a cover for pedophiles who want to expose themselves to children of the opposite gender.” And his proposed law will supposedly protect businesses from the economic threats posed by transgender rights, such as the cost of installing unisex bathrooms and lawsuits from people pretending to be transgender just to sue local restaurants. 

“This law simply restores the law of society: Men are men and women are women,” he reportedly said. “For a handful of people to make everyone else uncomfortable just makes no sense.”

Assuming they actually feel uncomfortable. A transgender teen profiled by The New Yorker recently admitted there was “some awkwardness” about which bathroom he’d use after transitioning from female to male in ninth grade, “but when [he] started using the boys' rest rooms nobody said anything, and that was that.” If a bunch of high schoolers can handle it, surely the good patrons of Arizona's public restrooms can too.