Transgender Bathroom Use Becomes Hot Topic
In 2016, one of the most controversial topics facing the people of the U.S. has been the ability of transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding to their chosen gender and not that shown on their birth certificate during the school day. A number of states across the U.S. have introduced laws that would force adults and children classed as transgender to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender stated on their birth certificate; the legality of these laws has been called into question as schools across the nation have been informed by President Obama they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
The History Of Transgender Bathroom Laws
One of the areas that has largely been ignored by those opposing transgender use of bathrooms is the fact that the initial moves to introduce laws allowing the use of bathrooms were first developed by Republican lawmakers; many conservative groups who now oppose the introduction of Federal laws regarding transgender bathroom use are major supporters of the lawmakers who introduced the initial legislation. California is often cited as the first state introducing laws allowing transgender students the opportunity to use bathrooms coinciding with their chosen gender, which at the time was under the control of Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who had opposed many transgender bathroom laws as a nominee, but signed identical bills once in office. Republican President George W. Bush also signed Federal laws into place supporting the use of bathrooms by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students of all ages.
The Current Controversy Over Transgender Bathrooms
A number of U.S. states have introduced what many describe as discriminatory laws banning the use of chosen bathrooms by transgender people, which has seen major corporations and artists decide against performing and working in these areas. North Carolina and Tennessee have been amongst the best documented cases of states introducing transgender laws regarding the use of bathrooms, according to the BBC; these states have joined conservative groups in working against the laws introduced at Federal level, which have now been backed by an Executive Order signed by President Obama. States introducing laws banning transgender bathroom use include:
- North Carolina
Schools across the U.S. have now begun demanding transgender access to bathrooms as they attempt to keep hold of their federal funding that has been threatened because of the controversy, according to WTSP. A reported 16,500 educational institutions across the U.S. received correspondence from the White House detailing how the more than $150 billion in federal school funding that is distributed across the U.S. each year could be cut to those who do not open bathrooms to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.
Schools who are already cash strapped have now been looking for ways of getting around the laws introduced across Republican controlled state legislatures. Conservative groups have already begun a campaign against companies who are allowing transgender people the opportunity to choose which bathroom they use in their stores; arrests have already been made in Target stores when conservative supporters protested the policy of the retailer. The controversy looks set to continue as lawsuits have been filed in some states by those who oppose the use of school bathrooms by transgender students, despite the fact cuts have been threatened for schools at federal level.