Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall has proposed a bathroom bill in the Commonwealth that is similar to a controversial law passed in North Carolina.
Marshall filed House Bill 1612, titled the Physical Privacy Act, which states"no individual shall enter a restroom or other facility designed for use by members of the opposite sex." The law would apply to government entities and hold them responsible if the law is broken.
The bill would include public schools and require the principal to notify a parent or guardian within 24 hours if a student "request to be recognized or treated as the opposite sex, to use a name or pronoun inconsistent with the child's sex, or to use a restroom or other facility designated for the opposite sex."
The bill also defines sex as what is shown on an individual's birth certificate.
"LGBT people don't have that much support as it is," says Micky Jordan.
He says passing a bathroom bill similar to North Carolina's controversial law makes transgender people a target for discrimination and harassment. It's personal for him - he is a transgender person and using a public restroom is sometimes difficult.
"It kind of depends on where I am," says Jordan. "If I'm in places that I feel are safe enough, I may use the men's bathroom. But if I don't, then I'll use the women's bathroom, because I don't want to deal with anything terrible."
Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement on Facebook that he "will be open and welcoming to everyone" and promised to "veto any legislation that legalizes discrimination in Virginia and any legislation that infringes on the rights of the LGBT community."
"Just as HB2 has hurt North Carolina, this proposal would harm our on-going efforts to bring jobs to Virginia," wrote McAuliffe.
Equality Virginia decried the bill as "hateful and discriminatory," saying it would hurt the transgender community and the economy.
"There is the concern that outing some of these youths to their parents could result in them losing housing and end up on the streets," says Executive Director James Parrish. "I hope that they say at the start of [the General Assembly] session next week, that this bill is dead on arrival. Priority needs to be on again jobs, transportation and education. Not targeting transgender people."
Our official statement on Del. Marshall's HB1612 pic.twitter.com/VYXG0LctXF— Equality Virginia (@EqualityVA) January 4, 2017
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