Dec 25, 2016

Sunday Focus: Bathrooms

     As reported widely last Thursday, including this N.Y. Times story, the North Carolina legislature failed to repeal the state's controversial  bathroom bill. The law prompted a series of punitive economic actions against the state, and lawmakers were confident they had the votes to kill the law when they started the session.
     Meanwhile the Alabama Legislature will be asked to approve a similar measure dealing with bathrooms and who may use them when they meet in February.
     Senate Bill 1 was pre-filed by Sen. Phil Williams, a North Alabama Republican. The word trans, as in transgender, is nowhere in the bill, but that's what it covers. Salon reported about the intent of the North Carolina bill, saying it...

"forces transgender individuals to use public restrooms that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificate and prohibits local legislatures from enacting laws to protect the LGBT community.

     Here in Alabama, Sen. Williams filed his bill under the heading of civil rights. Here is part of it:

    "The law of Alabama has long held that a resident
of this state has a right to privacy in his or her person and his or her personal affairs. This right has been determined by the courts of this state to include a physical intrusion into that place in which a resident may have rightfully secluded himself or herself, even to the extent that such an intrusion may be considered wrongful in an otherwise public place if the resident were right to consider that privacy of his or her person and personal affairs should be reasonably expected. The law of this state has further upheld the premise that one's emotional sanctum is due the same measure of protection in this regard as one's physical expectations of privacy.
     The use of rest room, bathroom, or changing facilities creates an inherent call for physical and emotional security and an equally strong right to privacy for the residents of this state and any visitors to this state. Such rest rooms, bathrooms, or changing facilities are places of increased vulnerability and present the potential for crimes
against individuals utilizing those facilities which may include, but are not limited to, voyeurism, exhibitionism, molestation, and assault and battery. Further, to the extent possible, it is incumbent upon this state to ensure the emotional and physical security of its residents and the visitors to this state."
Read the full bill as filed HERE.

 The Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature begins on February 7th.


 Merry Christmas!
[Sunday Focus is a regular feature of]

1 comment:

Jay Croft said...

So, will everyone be forced to carry around a copy of one's birth certificate (long form)?

What about a mother changing her baby boy's diaper in the ladies' loo?