Get Ready for the Conservative Assault on Where Transgender Americans Pee
If lawmakers in Florida, Texas, and Kentucky have their way, transgender people would be breaking the law when using the bathroom of their choice. Bills introduced in three states over the past month would make it illegal for an individual of one biological sex to enter a single-sex restroom or changing room designated for the opposite sex—even if the individual self-identifies as a person who belongs there.
The debate over which bathrooms transgender individuals can use isn’t particularly new: Lawmakers in 17 states and over 200 cities have passed laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, while a handful of states and localities, like Colorado and Arizona, have attempted and failed to pass bills that restrict bathroom usage.
But the latest attempts have the benefit of support from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative legal advocacy group based in Arizona that has poured legal and lobbying resources into the issue over the past year. ADF, which has a $30 million annual budget and a network of over 2,000 attorneys, takes on many causes dear to the religious right, including opposition to LGBT rights such as marriage, military service, and adoption. ADF’s defense of “religious freedom” has included a determined, years-long fight to make homosexuality illegal in Belize.