Saturday, January 2, 2016

Quote of the day: Silliest Legislation Award goes to Indiana Senator

The Quote: "If you are transgendered and need to pee, stay out of Indiana." - Indiana State Senator Jim Tomes.

Whoa! Let's pause for a fact check. Did Sen. Tomes actually say that? I have no evidence at all that he did. But he did propose a "bill that would make it a crime for transgender people to use public sex-specific restrooms that don’t conform to their gender at birth." TalkingPointsMemo reported this one.

Under the legislation, which the Chicago Tribune reports was proposed last week, doing so would hit transgender individuals with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

“If you were born a man, then you are obliged to use the males’ restroom,” Tomes told the Tribune on Christmas Eve.

Will that legislation go anywhere? One hopes not.

Similar bills aimed at restricting transgender peoples’ access to public restrooms failed to pass in Kentucky, Florida, Nevada and Texas this year.

Perhaps these things fail because they founder on the shoals of a minor matter called Title IX.

Tomes’ bill does ... prohibit schools from allowing transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender with which they identify. As Think Progress’ Zack Ford pointed out, this qualification would force schools to violate Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any federally funded education program or facility. The Department of Justice issued a brief in July declaring preventing transgender students from using facilities that correspond to their identities amounts to discrimination under Title IX.

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