ONTD Political

Tennessee lawmakers introduce "Police the Potty" bill

3:36 pm - 01/12/2012
Senator Bo Watson and Rep. Richard Floyd of the Tennessee General Assembly want to know what's going on in the stall next to you in the bathroom. They filed a bill yesterday that seeks to police restrooms and dressing rooms in public buildings. The bill clearly targets transgender people born in the state of Tennessee.

The bill states "where a restroom or dressing room in a public building is designated for use by members of one particular sex, only members of that particular sex shall be permitted to use that restroom or dressing room."

SB2282/HB2279 defines sex as "the designation of an individual person as male or female as indicated on the individual’s birth certificate." Tennessee law already prohibits anyone born in the state from amending their gender on their birth certificate making this law one of the most vicious attack bills ever filed against transgender people in state government.

Violators of the proposed law would be considered guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and fined $50.

As proposed, the "Police the Potty" bill will harm other Tennesseans too. While this bill clearly targets transgender people born in Tennessee, it could make criminals of parents accompanying their children into a restroom, custodial staff responsible for cleaning restrooms, attendants or family members assisting elderly or disabled people in the restroom. What will it cost the State of Tennessee to hire extra male or female custodial staff to clean public restrooms or security staff to check people's identification before entering a restroom?

With unemployment rates higher than the national average and poor educational outcomes in the State of Tennessee, it's alarming to see lawmakers champion legislation that will only bring unwanted embarrassment to our state. I suppose it's easier for some lawmakers to manufacture a problem, propose an invasive big government "solution", and target a small minority than to actually solve real problems in Tennessee.


ETA: The bill has been killed. Thanks to umi_mikazuki for supplying the article.
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tabaqui 12th-Jan-2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
And the fails just keep coming. Jayzus.
zombieroadtrip 12th-Jan-2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
Because this... has been some kind of problem til now?
alryssa 13th-Jan-2012 12:12 am (UTC)
celtic_thistle 13th-Jan-2012 12:34 am (UTC)
This is fucking invasive and creepy and unnecessary as HELL.
bleed_peroxide 13th-Jan-2012 04:51 am (UTC)
I mean, what it really seems to boil down to is the fact that some people that identify as male or female may not necessarily have the "proper" plumbing. Which, again, is creepy because, really? Just let someone use the goddamn bathroom in peace. Don't we have slightly bigger issues in our country right now besides regulating our bathrooms? :|
umi_mikazuki 13th-Jan-2012 12:54 am (UTC)

The author of this article on it just emailed another person in my queer-straight alliance saying it's killed. Once I get a link to an official update, I'll get it here.

Edit: Here! Senate version was withdrawn!

Edited at 2012-01-13 01:02 am (UTC)
kerrence 13th-Jan-2012 01:22 am (UTC)
wooooohoo! :D
I saw this via the TN Equality Project, heck yeah!
romp 13th-Jan-2012 01:38 am (UTC)
Glad to hear it died. I knew that was used as a sad and tired reason not to give trans people equal rights (looking at you, Canada) but it never occurred to me that it could be policed like it some real problem. FFS
darsynia 13th-Jan-2012 02:22 am (UTC)
some real problem.

I hope I'm reading this wrong.
dncingmalkavian 13th-Jan-2012 01:39 am (UTC)
To be honest, I could see this as a law specifically targeting rape.
ellenel13 13th-Jan-2012 02:37 am (UTC)
. . . I don't understand this comment
poddleduck 13th-Jan-2012 01:54 am (UTC)
If this had passed, I have to wonder what would happen if a parent brought their opposite-sex child into the bathroom with them. Because if I were out and about with a five year old boy who needed to pee, I sure as hell wouldn't let him go into the men's room all by himself.
dncingmalkavian 13th-Jan-2012 03:00 am (UTC)
I wondered about this, too. I think there should have been an exception made in the bill for parents with young children.
bleed_peroxide 13th-Jan-2012 04:48 am (UTC)
Seriously, guys. Does it matter if the woman in the stall behind closed doors has a vulva, a penis, or both? Just let people take a shit or a piss where they feel the most comfortable without making it a government concern.
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