The City of Phoenix recently passed progressive human rights legislation that prohibits gender identity discrimination in public accommodations. But now state conservatives are pushing a bill that would jail those who exercise their rights.
Dubbed the "Show Me Your Papers Before You Go Potty” law, the measure would make it a criminal offense, punishable by up to six months in prison, for transgender people to use public facilities that don’t match the gender on their birth certificates
Advocates of gender rights say this is an extreme, knee-jerk reaction to human rights legislation that makes it possible for transgender people to work and be “fully part of society.” And Representative Tom Simplot notes that the new bill would make the “very nature of being transgender” a crime.
Advocates also point out that fear tactics being used to promote this backward legislation are neither fair nor grounded in fact.
Tell Arizona you stand against its new, discriminatory “Show Your Papers” law.
We, the undersigned, strongly oppose Arizona’s new bill that would discriminate against transgender individuals and, essentially, make being transgender a crime.
Along with the previous legislation enacted in Phoenix to prohibit gender identity discrimination, such laws have passed in 16 states and more than 160 other cities, says National Center for Transgender Equality director Mara Keisling. Additionally, Massauchusetts and California have added measures to ensure equal facility access for transgender students.
Not only do these anti-discrimination laws honor human rights - they are just common sense, as Lamda Legal attorney Dru Levasseur told NPR: "'If you look like a man and you live your life like a man, you should be able to use a man's bathroom.’”
Representative John Kavanagh's new proposed law, which would override Phoenix’s anti-discrimination law and make it a misdemeanor for anyone to use a public restroom, shower, dressing room or locker room that’s identified with a gender other than the one on their birth certificate, is particularly unfair because of legal roadblocks faced by transgender people who wish to alter their birth certificates.
The bill is also extreme in its intent to make it a crime for a person to use a facility he or she is most comfortable with.
As Masen Davis with theTransgender Law Center in San Francisco told NPR: "'No one should have to live in a world where they have to show their papers to pee.'"
We request that Arizona reject this new and discriminatory “Show-Your-Papers” bill.
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