Thursday, February 19, 2015

Down Goes The Unjust SB 76 Anti-Trans Bill In Committee!

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 right.

“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.”

Kentucky Senate chamber.jpgThe 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 embrace.”

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.

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