Published on April 1st, 2013 | by Wild Gender
What Now? Arizona “Bathroom Bill” Passes, Advances to the House
PHOENIX — The now infamous, anti-trans “bathroom bill” (SB 1045) sponsored Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh early last month, was approved by the Arizona House Appropriations committee on late Wednesday evening. SB 1045 will now advance to Arizona’s full House for consideration.
The legislation was approved in a 7-4 vote on party-lines in the Republican-controlled Appropriations Committee. If the bill passes the House, it would prohibit any business or local establishment from enacting or enforcing any rule that requires a business to let individuals to use the restroom, locker or dressing room that matches the “gender identity or expression” of their choice.
SB 1045 would also prohibit any individual or business from being prosecuted criminally for refusing to let someone into a restroom that the owner does not believe is gender appropriate, those denied admission could not sue. According to the Associated Press, Kavanagh posed the bill in response to the passage of Arizona’s anti-discrimination ordinance in favor of transgender rights that passed in February, which stirred fear in social conservatives. Kavanagh said the ordinance would subject businesses to criminal charges and expose little children to “naked men in women’s locker rooms and showers” and the new bill is essentially “turning back the clock” to before the ordinance was passed.
The Arizona bill is nearly identical to the one that was posed by Maine State Rep. Ken Fredette in 2007, which was killed in Maine’s republican controlled senate by a 23-11 vote.
“Anyone who goes down this path will be inundated by lawsuits,” said Sen. Philip Bartlett II, D-Gorham in 2007, regarding the issue, to the Bangor Daily News. “My guess is that most businesses in the state won’t want to have anything to do with this.”
During Wednesday’s hearing in Arizona, nearly 200 transgender people and allies turned out in an attempt to persuade the panel to oppose Rep. John Kavanagh’s bill. According to the Associated Press, after the 7-hour long hearing concluded in a 7-4 vote in favor of the bill, the crowd broke out in chants of “shame, shame, shame.”