Transgender Bathroom Rights: Kentucky Bill Would Punish Schools For Accommodating Trans Students

Aric Mitchell - Author

Jan. 16 2015, Updated 6:18 p.m. ET

The transgender bathroom fight is about to heat up in Kentucky, as state lawmaker C.B. Embry has sponsored a bill that would restrict trans students to using only the bathrooms belonging to their biological identities.

In other words, trans girls born male would have to use the boys bathroom, and vice versa.

The bill would also reward students who catch trans students using the inappropriate bathroom with $2,500 in compensation, to be paid out from the school where the offense occurred. This would be for each incident.

According to the state’s website, the legislation (SB 76) was introduced to the Kentucky Senate on January 9. You can download the three-page document at this link.

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Transgender bathroom rights have picked up steam in the last two years, with courts typically coming down on the side of transgender students.

One case in Maine that the Inquisitr reported in December 2014 went in favor of student Nicole, who was awarded $75,000 after it was determined that the school had discriminated against her for not allowing her to use the bathroom that went with her gender identity, nor did it have any kind of transgender bathroom policy in place to protect students like Nicole.

Federal courts have been sympathetic to the trans cause as well, making Embry’s bill likely to be overturned should it be passed into law.

Embry’s bill “requires that bathrooms and locker rooms must be divided according to ‘biological sex,'” explainsThinkProgress, “and schools are forbidden from accommodating transgender students by allowing them access to any facility ‘designated for use by students of the opposite biological sex while students of the opposite biological sex are present or could be present.'”

Transgender students would instead have to settle for “access to single-stall restrooms, access to unisex bathrooms, or controlled use of faculty bathrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms.”

If a facility was located in the nurse’s office, ThinkProgress speculates, a trans student “would be required to schlep as far as that office… to use the restroom — or not go at all.”

Embry said in comments to the Bowling Green Daily News that there are parents who don’t approve of current trans-friendly policies.

“I admit that if my daughters were in high school, I wouldn’t be greatly thrilled if they allowed boys to use the restroom with them just because they dress a certain way,” Embry said, adding that the policy creates “an uneasy and embarrassing situation for some students.”

“This isn’t anything, in my opinion, against those people,” he said. “They have the right to dress and present themselves in any way they wish.”

What do you think, readers? Is Embry’s bill on transgender bathroom restrictions against the trans community or does it respect the rights of the school’s general population? Sound off in our comments section.


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