In February, the Charlotte, North Carolina, city council voted 7-4 on a bill extending protection against discrimination to gay and transgender people; among other things, the measure made it possible for individuals to use the bathroom that matches their gender.
Gov. Pat McCrory immediately condemned the vote, warning it could “create major public safety issues.” He threatened to call an emergency session of the state legislature, and on Wednesday state legislators made good on that promise, passing a bill that offers state-level protections of race, religion, color, national origin and biological sex, but which specifically excludes sexual orientation and gender identity. McCrory signed the sweeping anti-LGBT legislation into law the same day.
North Carolina is not an outlier. More than 115 anti-LGBT bills were introduced in 2015, according to the Human Rights Campaign. A number of those bills are still pending; most were “religious refusal” bills like the Georgia legislation that Hollywood power players were threatening to boycott the state over before the bill was vetoed this week.
At present, there are 17 anti-transgender bills sitting before ten state legislatures.
HB 4474, introduced on January 20th, would require the state’s school boards to designate bathrooms, locker rooms and sleeping quarters “for exclusive use of pupils of only one sex.”
HB 364, introduced on February 8th, would require “students born male to use only those facilities designated to be used by males and students born female to use only those facilities designated to be used by females” and would “identify consequences for using facilities designated for the opposite biological sex.”
SB 3002, introduced March 21st, would amend the state’s Human Rights Act. Specifically, it would prohibit trans or genderqueer individuals from using a bathroom that matches their gender. The bill provides that “no claim of nontraditional identity or ‘sexual orientation’ may override another person’s right of privacy based on biological sex in such facilities as restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and other similar places, which shall remain reserved for males or females as they are biologically defined.”
HB 1624, introduced January 6th, would require school districts “to designate bathrooms and other facilities as for the exclusive use of individuals of one sex and to prohibit individuals from accessing facilities that do not correspond to their sex.”
SB 720, introduced the same day, would require that “all school restrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms accessible for use by multiple students shall be designated for and used by male or female students only.” The bill adds that the “best available accommodations” should be made for genderqueer students — e.g., “single-stall restrooms, access to unisex restrooms, or controlled use of faculty restrooms.”
HB 1523, the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” which passed the Mississippi House on February 24th, explicitly codifies a person’s “immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”
HB 2215, introduced February 2nd of last year, would require any person applying for a marriage license “to report if they have undergone sex reassignment surgery; directing marriage license to show which party has undergone the surgery.”
SB 1014, also introduced this February, would make it “unlawful for a person to use a gender-specific restroom when that person’s biological gender is contrary to that of the gender-specific restroom.”
HB 1112, which passed committee on March 3rd, could “establish certain procedures regarding a transgender policy for the purposes of participation in high school activities and declare void any present transgender policy.”
HB 2414/SB 2387, introduced January 21st, “requires students in public schools and public institutions of higher education to use restrooms and locker rooms that are assigned to persons of the same sex as that shown on the student’s’ birth certificates.”
HB 2600/SB 2275, also introduced January 21st, “defines the terms husband, wife, male, and female as used in all governmental records and public filings of the office of vital records; declares any document presented for filing with the office of vital records that does not conform to such definition as void.”
HB 2589, introduced January 15th, makes it legal to limit access “to a private facility segregated by gender, such as a bathroom, restroom, toilet, shower, locker room, or sauna, to a person if the person is preoperative, nonoperative, or otherwise has genitalia of a different gender from that for which the facility is segregated.” In case there was any confusion, the bill also specifies that it would not grant rights to any person “to access a private facility segregated by gender, such as a bathroom, restroom, toilet, shower, locker room, or sauna, of a public or private entity if the person is preoperative, nonoperative, or otherwise has genitalia of a different gender from that for which the facility is segregated.”
HB 2782, or the “Washington Gender Privacy Protection Act,” introduced January 20th, goes out of its way to explain that it is not granting “the right to any person who possesses male anatomy or male deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to enter into or use a public or private facility that is open to the public and is or has been segregated by gender for the private use of those who possess female anatomy or female deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) including, but not limited to, a bathroom, restroom, toilet, shower, locker room, or sauna.” The same goes those with female anatomy.
HB 2941, introduced January 29th, would amend an existing bill meant to guarantee equal facilities for students of both genders; it would add that “each school must provide facilities to be used separately by each sex…. ‘Sex’ as used in this section means biological sex or sex assigned at birth.”
SB 6548, which passed Senate committee on February 4th, would amend existing legislation to makes it legal for any sex-segregated facility to refuse entry “to a person if the person is preoperative, nonoperative, or otherwise has genitalia of a different gender from that for which the facility is segregated.”
AB 469, introduced on October 30th, “requires a school board to designate each pupil restroom and changing room (together, changing room) located in a public school building and accessible by multiple pupils as for the exclusive use of pupils of only one sex” and “defines ‘sex’ as the physical condition of being male or female, as determined by an individual’s chromosomes and identified at birth by that individual’s anatomy.”