Arizona Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Prosecute Trans People Who Use The ‘Wrong’ Bathroom

Written by Zack Ford

Last month, the City Council of Phoenix, Arizona passed sweeping nondiscrimination protections, ensuring that people have equal access to employment, housing, and public accommodations regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. One state lawmaker, Rep. John Kavanagh (R) is not pleased that transgender people will be protected when using the correct bathroom, and so he has introduced a new bill to ban them from doing just that.

Kavanagh gutted a Senate Bill about a Massage Therapy Board to use as a shell for his new amendment, which 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. He defended his “show your papers to pee” bill in an interview with 12 News Phoenix:

KAVANAGH: The city of Phoenix has crafted a bill that allows people to define their sex by what they think in their head. If you’re a male, you don’t go into a female shower or locker room, or vice versa. It also raises the specter of people who want to go into those opposite sex facilities not because they’re transgender, but because they’re weird.

Watch it:

Violating this law would constitute “disorderly conduct” and could be prosecuted as a class 1 misdemeanor. The bill describes itself as “an emergency measure that is necessary to preserve the public peace, health or safety and is operative immediately as provided by law.” Inappropriate behavior, such as the potentially harmful or invasive actions of the “weird” people Kavanagh referenced, is already illegal.

In Arizona, it is possible for transgender people to receive a new birth certificate with their proper gender, but only if they undergo gender reassignment surgery, which not all trans people choose to pursue. In addition to being quite expensive, it also results in sterilization. Were Kavanagh’s bill to pass, trans people would have to sacrifice their ability to ever have children just to legally use the proper bathroom.

Take Action: Stand against the Arizona “Show Your Papers” bill.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


Photo: Editor B/flickr


Sarah Hill
Sarah H4 years ago

I do NOT want a member of the opposite sex in the restroom with me!

Tammy Baxter
Tammy B4 years ago

I have to agree with Cherry M but as an adult, I don't really care, as a mother, the thought of the opposite sex being in the bathroom with my child makes me nervous

Dan B.
Dan Brook4 years ago

The regressive Republican Party of No is obstructionist, mean-spirited, thuggish, religiously fanatical, scientifically ignorant, corrupt, hypocritical, untrustworthy, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, evolution and global warming denying, oily, anti-environment, anti-health, anti-consumer, anti-choice, anti-birth control, anti-education, anti-student loans, anti-equal pay, anti-99%, pro-banks, pro-big corporations, pro-voter suppression, union busting, Medicare mashing and Social Security slashing, fiscally irresponsible, misleading, authoritarian, selfish, greedy, out-of-touch, dishonest, lacking compassion, warmongering, and otherwise dangerous.

NEVER vote for Republicans!

Frank S.
Past Member 4 years ago

Hello Hello If your a guy you go to the mens room...If your a gal you go to the ladies room. Do you follow me so far.If it gets to hard to understand just raise your hand.

Robby K.
Past Member 4 years ago

Cherry M- I agree!

Geynell Eskite
Geynell Eskite4 years ago

Oh for Christ's sake. Arizona seems to be fatally infected with Brewer-Arpaio-McCaine Syndrome. The symptoms are stupidity, bigotry, irrelevance, greed and hubris. Of course this ridiculousness was spawned by a Republican. Conservative Law-makers seem to have the emotional maturity and intellectual capacity of someone who still needs diaper changes and drinks from a sippy-cup. Seriously, Arizona needs a Bill to require adult supervision for Right-wingers who hold public office. They are clearly Non Compos Mentis and pose a danger to themselves and others.

Tamara R Pearlman

Only in Arizona.

Anyone who has ever done any research about transgender would have a greater understanding of what these kids go through.

There are many, many cases of children born with both set of genitalia. It is the doctor or the parents who make the choice of what gender child they would like. What if they make a mistake and who will suffer for this.

Transgender is genetic in nature. Educated yourselves people!!

Hazel G.
Hazel G4 years ago

This is just ridiculous - aren't there more pressing issues right now?? Who really cares about using the "right" bathroom? Obviously if there is misconduct in the bathroom then there should be charges made, EXACTLY the same as with non-trans people - nothing more, nothing less. Anything else is just someone going to the bathroom. GET OVER IT.

Cherry M.
Cherry M4 years ago

I know AZ seems to be on everyone's s**t list...but I really don't like the idea of my grandchildren being in the bathroom with members of the opposite sex. This law seems just fine and dandy to me. Just because you are transgendered or whatever doesn't give you the right to go, to do whatever you want. Others have 'rights', too, you know!!!!
Joseph B. states transgendered and CROSSDRESSERS can use any bathroom they like.....OMG. That means ANY PEDOPHILE can cross dress and go into a womans bathroom. Anyone who likes to 'watch' can flip on a wig and go into the ladies room?? Give me a freaking break!!! What about other peoples rights? I have RIGHTS, my grandchildren have RIGHTS. What a bunch of sickos....bend over backward for the minority and to hell with the rest of us.

Elaine Pischke
Elaine Pischke4 years ago

I'd sign the petition if I could get it to open.
I'd like to say this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, but there is so much competition for that distinction lately that I'm afraid it isn't even in the running.