US Residents Battle Over Transgender Restroom Rights

State by the state, the issue of transgender persons and their right to use a restroom of their choice is creating heated debate and radical reactions throughout the country.

In North Carolina, the state legislature recently passed a law that specifically requires transgender people use public restrooms marked with the gender that coincides with what is on their birth certificate. The reaction has been widespread. Employers, like Deutsche Bank, that are doing business within the state are cancelling growth plans and/or threatening to relocate to other states. Furthermore, A-list musicians like Ringo Starr and Bruce Springsteen have cancelled concerts in protest of this new bill.

On the other side of the issue, similar battles are taking place in other states where conservative organizations like the American Family Association (AFA) are passing petitions and initiating boycotts against companies, like Target, that have adopted a policy of allowing transgender people to use restrooms associated with the gender with which they most closely identify. To date, the AFA claims to have over 750,000 signatures opposing such policies.

Neither of these two examples are isolated cases. Advocates for allowing transgender people to use whichever restroom they feel most comfortable with are arguing it’s a human rights and equality issue. Those who favor restrictive policies and laws site safety issues for women and little girls who could be exposed to sexual predators who are using the law as a means of facilitating their deviate behavior.

For now, it’s clear this issue is striking a nerve. To date, fifteen states have seen legislation that restrict access go to its respective lawmakers. Only North Carolina has passed said legislation. One state, South Dakota had a bill pass the House only to get vetoed while three other states (Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia) have seen legislation fail to make it to the governor’s desk. With 10 states currently addressing pending legislation, the battle figures to press on until the people have spoken in all 50 states.