Arizona's House will today debate a bill that would make it illegal to enter a public bathroom, shower, or dressing room designated for a gender not listed on your birth certificate. The bill is an apparent response to the anti-discrimination law Phoenix passed last week that would allow transgender people to use their preferred bathroom. The new bill's sponsor, Rep. John Kavanagh, says it's "unacceptable" for a man who merely "thinks of himself" as a woman to use their facilities. "If you're male, you stick to the men's room," he tells KPHO.
The bill would make using the wrong bathroom punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, AZ Family reports. The House Appropriations Committee will take up the bill today. The bill has sparked outrage from transgender activists; Equality Arizona released a statement yesterday calling it "a disgusting invasion of privacy," one that could make criminals of women who duck into men's bathrooms to avoid long lines, the Arizona Daily Sun reports. (Kavanagh says police will "use discretion" in those circumstances.) Laurie Roberts at the Arizona Republic decries the bill as ridiculous. "Forget about showing your birth certificate to vote," she writes. "You soon may need to tote the thing around in order to use the bathroom." (Read more transgender stories.)