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New Alabama Bathroom Bill Threatens Jail And Fines For Queers

by matt baume April 29, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 12.03.09 PM

The ongoing race to be as cruel as possible to LGBT people just reached new depths: one little town in Alabama is working on a law that would send you to jail for six months or fine you $500 for peeing in a bathroom that officials don’t approve of.

Yup, that’s right: half a year behind bars if you don’t look like what they think you should look like.

The ordinance seems to have been written by seven-years-olds, or at least someone with a commensurate mental capacity. It says, sic throughout:

Citizens have a right to quite solicitude and to be secure from embarrassment and unwanted intrusion into their privacy… single sex public facilities are places of increased venerability 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.

Ugh, just awful. Where to even begin? For one thing, if they’re so concerned about perverts using the opposite gender’s bathrooms … why aren’t they worried about perverts using the same gender’s bathroom? Like, isn’t this just telling criminals, “Hey, if you’re going to commit a crime, just make sure you do it in the men’s room”?

For another thing, as has been explained time and time again, trans women are women. So we’re not talking about men in the women’s room. We’re talking about women in the women’s room. Whether they’ve had surgery or changed their birth certificate or even present visually as female… if a person says they’re a woman, they’re a woman.

And of course, there isn’t any real risk of trans people causing problems in bathrooms, or even of non-trans people using inclusive policies as a shield, because that never happens.

But laws like this DO pose a threat to LGBT people. Not just trans people — anyone who seems gender-nonconforming is at risk, as evidenced by this video that recently resurfaced that appears to show a woman being ejected by police from a bathroom simply for being a butch dyke.

Nevertheless, the bill passed the city council unanimously, so if you’re trans and living in Alabama you might want to raise a fuss. You can start by showing up to the next city council meeting, following them into the bathroom, and demanding to see some ID.




matt baume
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