A proposed Florida bill titled "Single-Sex Public Facilities" is targeting the state's Trans community.
According to the bill's text, any trans person who enters a "single-sex public facility" that doesn't match their "biological sex" is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. A "single-sex public facility" includes bathrooms "maintained by an owner of public accommodations, a school, or a place of employment"—basically, any public bathroom in the entire state. Any trans person who violates the act could be sentenced to one year in prison.
The bill was filed by Florida Republican State Rep. Frank Artiles who claims to be doing this in the name of preserving public safety.
The Miami Herald talked to the State Rep. who said:
"It's not that the transgender or the gender identity community is dangerous by any means," Artiles said, "but [the ordinance] creates a giant loophole for criminals, sexual deviants and sexual predators to walk into a shower, a woman's locker room under the cover of law.
"A man such as myself can walk into the bathroom at LA Fitness while women are taking showers, changing, and simply walk in there. Someone can say, 'What are you doing there?' Under the ordinance, I don't have to respond. It's subjective. If I feel like a woman that day, I can be allowed to be in that locker room. I don't know about you, but I find that disturbing."
Thank goodness the ACLU piped in:
"This 'show your papers to pee' bill denigrates both transgender and non-transgender people alike," said Daniel Tilley, the group's LGBT-rights staff attorney. "In addition to dehumanizing transgender people in particular, it invites humiliation and harassment of anyone who is not considered sufficiently feminine or masculine in the eyes of the beholder. Will girls in soccer uniforms be stopped at the bathroom door and asked to produce their birth certificates?"
I conferred with our own Kat Callahan who says this bill is unprecedented. "It probably violates FLORIDA law," she said citing the following:
Statute: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 382.016 (2006)
Administrative Code: Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 64V-1.003(1)(f) (2006)
Notes: Florida Office of Vital Statistics policy allows for the change of sex designation on birth certificates upon the provision of: a completed Application for Amended Birth Certificate and notarized Affidavit of Amendment to Certificate of Live Birth; a certified copy of a court order of name change; a sworn affidavit from the physician who performed sex reassignment surgery, containing the medical license number, stating that you have completed sex reassignment in accordance with appropriate medical procedures and that you are now considered to be a member of the reassigned gender; and the required fee.
"Summary: Florida will issue a birth certificate reflecting the proper sex," wrote Kat in an email to me. "So uh, Florida isn't going to recognize Florida's own process for issuing new birth certificates? WTF?"
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