11 March 2015

"Bathroom Bill" Gains Momentum

Bathroom Deal
The “Bathroom Bill” is finally moving forward after an emotionally-charged debate and self-serving arguments from transgender people who doesn’t understand the risk that women faced from sex predators.

The debates ended with lawmakers giving their initial backing to a bill that would stop transgender people from using public restrooms aligned with their gender identity.

The proposal is intended to address public safety concerns that its sponsor, Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, said arise from a broad non-discrimination ordinance passed in Miami-Dade County last December 2014. That ordinance, he said, allows men to legally enter women’s restrooms and locker rooms for the purpose of committing a crime against those women.

"I believe that criminals — males — will use this law as the cover to go into the women’s locker room," Artiles said. "All they have to say is, 'I feel like a woman today.'"

As expected, activists and transgender individuals, speaking before the House Civil Justice Subcommittee to promote their bias allegations, argued that the so-called “Bathroom Bill” would infringe on their civil rights and even their safety by requiring them to use facilities that correspond with the sex on their drivers’ licenses or passports, rather than their identity.

Cindy Sullivan, a 45-year-old transgender woman from St. Petersburg, broke into tears while testifying. She said lawmakers don’t understand the challenges transgender Floridians face and said the bill is "government intrusion at its worst."

What Sullivan failed to present even if there’s data available are the “challenges biological women face" who “wants to live an authentic life free of harassment."

The bill passed along party lines, with the panel’s nine Republicans in support and four Democrats opposed. Earlier in the day, Democratic leaders, including Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, announced their opposition to the bill, calling it “hateful” and “against the character of Florida.”

But what likely won’t change is the core assertion of this bill: that allowing people to use facilities that don’t correspond with their biological sex is dangerous.

"I think that's common sense," Artiles said. "Whether or not a transgender person or a transitioning person falls into the description, we have to look at the consequences of this law."