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April 27, 2016

New Crime In Oxford, Ala.: Using a Bathroom While Transgendered

OXFORD, Ala.—Perhaps a city council that is illiterate enough to think that its citizens have a right to "quite solicitude" [sic] [sic] while using public bathrooms shouldn't be passing bills that make it "unlawful for a person to utilize a multiple occupancy or changing facility in a place of public accommodation within the police jurisdiction of the City where such multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility has been designated for use by the opposite biological sex of the person." The law cites "increased venerability [sic] and ... the potential for crimes against individuals" as reasons for passage of the law. Yep, it's another of those "bathroom bills" that seem so popular among religious conservatives these days, and the city of Oxford passed one last night, making it a crime punishable by a $500 fine or six months in jail for a transgendered person to use a bathroom or locker room that fits his/her gender identity, though not the gender noted on that person's birth certificate. There are exceptions, of course, for a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child; to render emergency assistance; for a handicapped person; or for maintenance or cleaning of the facility—but the primary question has to be, how will the police be able to tell if a person entering a bathroom is of the same gender as noted on that person's birth certificate? Will someone be stationed outside the restroom or locker room to look at the potential entrant's birth certificate—which, let's face it, most people don't carry around with them—and compare said certificate to the person's genitals, which the cop would have to either see or grope to ascertain—an action which is bound to cause a bit of discomfort to Some People; perhaps even more discomfort than becoming aware that the woman standing next to them has a penis, or the man standing next to them doesn't? Worth noting is that the penalty for using the "wrong" bathroom wouldn't be applied just once; a person could face multiple charges if it can be proved that he/she used his/her "gender identity" bathroom more than once. And it apparently doesn't matter if the owner of the bathroom is fine with people using the facility that corresponds to their gender preference. Target stores reiterated their existing policy last week, announcing, "We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target." That bit of largesse has been greeted by a religio-conservative petition drive, currently sporting more than 750,000 names of people who've sworn off shoppng at Target over the policy. According to reports, Target has a store in Oxford, so can citizens expect to find police standing outside the doors of Target restrooms and changing rooms checking birth certificates? What can we say? Looks like bigotry is just getting more and more expensive. The text of the Oxford ordinance can be found here. Pictured: Buck Angel, who'd better use the Ladies Room in Oxford.

 
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