Last week, Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh went to extreme measures in an attempt to take away the protections for transgender people that were granted by the Phoenix City Council last month.
The Phoenix non-discrimination ordinance bans discrimination against LGBT people in city contracts, housing, employment and public accommodations.
Kavanagh's initial response bill would not only have rescinded those protections for transgender people in public accomodations, it would have actually criminalized trans people for using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. He was rightfully ridiculed for this outlandish proposal, and has now decided on a new tactic.
Instead of criminalizing trans people who want to use the correct bathroom, Kavanagh now wants to legally protect those who wish to prevent them from doing so.
Facing mounting public criticism, Rep. John Kavanagh said he no longer wants to make it a crime for transgendered people to use the bathroom of the opposite sex.
Now, the Republican says he pushing a law that protects businesses from criminal prosecution and lawsuits if they deny transgendered people from entering the restroom in which they identify with.
The bill is scheduled to be heard before the House Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday, at 2PM local time in the House of Representatives building on the north side of the plaza in front of the capital. Advocates say the hearing will be held in room HHR1, which is a small room only sitting roughly 60 members of the public, and they are asking for supporters of the transgender community to make their voices heard.
Once again, any and all journalists reporting on this bill have the responsibility to point out that the alleged "problem" which Kavanagh claims he's trying to prevent (which is the idea of 'weird' people using transgender protections to legally sneak into womens' bathrooms) has never, ever been a problem, anywhere in the U.S., despite the fact that millions of Americans already live under the kinds of protections offered by the Phoenix non-discrimination ordinance.
This proposed law is based on nothing but groundless fear and mistrust of transgender people, and will accomplish nothing other than to encourage that same fear and mistrust in others.
Outrageous claims like this, that pretend that the public needs to be protected from transgender people, (and not the other way around) are what ultimately lead to more discrimination, more harassment, and in some cases, more violence against an already marginalized community.
Whether you are or aren't able to make it to Wednesday's hearing, you can let the committee members know how you feel about this bill by contacting them at any of the methods below:
Chairman: John Kavanagh (R) email@example.com 602-926-5170
Vice-Chair: Justin Olson (R) firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-5288 https://www.facebook.com/justin.olson.779
Lela Alston (D) email@example.com 602-926-5829 https://www.facebook.com/lela.alston.5
Rick Gray (R) firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-5993 https://www.facebook.com/rickgrayaz
Michelle Ugenti (R) email@example.com 602-926-4480 https://www.facebook.com/michelle.rita.ugenti
Paul Boyer (R) firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-4173 https://www.facebook.com/pauldboyer
Adam Kwasman (R) email@example.com 602-926-5839 https://www.facebook.com/AdamKwasman
Chad Campbell (D) firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-3026 https://www.facebook.com/chad.campbell.52687
Stefanie Mach (D) email@example.com 602-417-3126 https://www.facebook.com/StefanieMachAZ
Thomas Forese (R) firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-5168
Andrew Sherwood (D) email@example.com 602-926-3028 https://www.facebook.com/sherwood.andrew