Received some wonderful and surprising news earlier today from my old Kentucky stomping grounds that had me happy dancing in my place after I heard it.
It's also a major reason why if you're able to do so, LGBT peeps need to be staying in red states to fight the hate and not running to some so-called coastal LGBT oasis that seems to have green human rights grass that at closer inspection is Astroturfed.
SB 76, the Bathroom Bounty Bill that Sen. CM Embry (R) filed at the behest of long time Kentucky homobigot Kent Ostrander of the Kentucky Family Foundation, died in spectacular bipartisan fashion in the GOP dominated Senate Education Committee.
If Embry's unjust SB 76 had passed and been signed into law (doubtful with a Democratic House and Democratic governor), it would have mandated that Kentucky schools provide separate, private areas designated for use by students based on
their genitalia where students could be in a "state of undress."
The bill proposed allowing students to sue
their school for up to $2,500 each time they saw a student who appeared
to have a non-matching gender presentation in a facility "designated
for use by the cisgender biological sex of the aggrieved student.”
Embry tried to make this unjust legislative pig more palatable before the hearing by offering an amendment to strip out the bounty language. But the 'Bathroom Bounty Bill' as it was dubbed by opponents, was fought by the Fairness Campaign and other interested parties who braved the frigid below freezing temps to make the trek to Frankfort for the hearing that started at noon EST.
People testifying against the bill included Atherton HS principal Tom Aberli and trans teen Henry Brousseau . He told the Huffington Post in an interview he was harassed in restrooms until he was allowed to use the men's room. Once that happened, there have been no issues.
“A lot of folks think that having a separate and private restroom for
trans kids is the way to go,” said Brousseau during his Senate committee testimony, “While that might work
for some, when somebody tells us that we’re so different that the only
way to accommodate us is to create a special restroom, the message is
clear that we don’t belong. But the thing is, right now schools get to
make their own decisions about what’s best to accommodate trans kids,
and every school may decide differently. The problem with this bill is
it would take away that right for schools to decide.”
Aberli said in his senate testimony that he and others at Atherton were forced to educate
themselves about an issue they previously knew little about, and that
the state should not take away their authority to do what they think is
“What I quickly found was that this is an issue of respecting people
for who they are,” said Aberli. “I’m going to boil it down: This is a
civil rights issue.”
The unjust bill died a painful death (at least in the opinion of the KY Family Foundation) in the Republican controlled committee, falling one vote short of being passed out of it.
Six Republican members voted for it, while Sen Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville) voted NO with the two African-American Democratic senators Neal and Thomas with no explanation for her vote.
Senator Johnny Ray Turner's (D-Prestonburg) decision to abstain left the unjust bill one vote short of passage to the full Republican controlled Kentucky Senate, where they have a 26-12 edge.
Bills need seven votes to be passed out of committee.
So proud of my former senator, Gerald Neal (D-Louisville), who voted against the bill, telling
Brousseau: “Unfortunately, your situation is still subject to the fear,
ignorance and loathing that results there from something that some
individuals see as different from what they understand and what they
That's our point, America. We're tired of you haters trying to pick on trans people for right wing political game and to satisfy your oppression gene. Let us trans people pee ,have human rights coverage and leave us the hell alone to live our lives..
And stop obsessing over what fracking bathroom we use when we need to handle a basic biological function.