Proposed State Bathroom Bill Would Limit Transgender Options
by Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A bill that would limit who could enter public restrooms has been filed in the Tennessee General Assembly. The proposed legislation would restrict access to public restrooms and public dressing rooms designated by sex, to members of that particular sex.
State Representative Richard Floyd drafted the legislation after an employee at a Texas Macy's store was fired in December for stopping a transgender teenager from trying on clothing in a women's dressing room.
"I cannot imagine firing anybody for something like that. I just cannot, I cannot grasp that, I can't get my mind around it," Representative Floyd explained.
The Chattanooga Republican said he did not want anyone in Tennessee to face a similar situation, so he drafted House Bill 2279.
Floyd strongly believes a man does not belong inside a women's restroom or dressing room, not matter the circumstances.
"I don't care for what reason, how depraved their mind is, how perverted their mind is, or for what reason they think a man has a right to go into a women's bathroom, or dressing room to try on clothes," Floyd said.
His proposed bill would require a birth certificate to prove which restroom a person would be required to use.
Violators would face a misdemeanor charge and a fine.
"It's just a form of harassing people for no good reason," said Marisa Richmond.
She is a lobbyist for the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition. Richmond feels this proposed legislation targets transgender people who live and visit the state.
"For any gender non-conforming, or gender variant person, we see this as a violation of their fourth amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures," according to Richmond.
She is also concerned what light the proposed legislation puts Tennessee in.
"Already people are on national blogs talking about this. Tennesseans are embarrassed that we're moving in this directions instead of talking about job creation and economic growth," Richmond said.
"I could care less what they think, I could care less what they think," said Representative Floyd.
He feels so strongly about this issue, because he considers it just another example of how a few are dictating to the masses.
"I'm just sick and tired of society having to adjust to every little alternate life style, or little whim or someone who thinks they're different," said Floyd.
Late Thursday night the senate sponsor of Floyd's bill, Bo Watson, withdrew his support for the legislation. That means the bill currently has no senate sponsor.
Floyd told NewsChannel 5 he plans to look for another sponsor so the bill can make it into committee and eventually go to the floor for a vote.