State legislature to consider bathroom bill


Mike Finnegan

Following the lead of North Carolina, State Senator Phil Williams wants to pass a “bathroom law” in Alabama. The Alabama Privacy Act will be introduced into the state senate before the end of the month and states that public bathrooms must either be reserved for one gender, or the bathroom must be open to all genders provided there is an attendant present.

According to the bill, the attendant would answer any questions bathroom users may have and would serve as a guard against possible sexual assaults. Public bathrooms left unattended would open up the institution to lawsuits and fines up to $3,500.

Last Friday, the Trump administration issued a legal brief nullifying the position taken by the Obama administration, which was seen as a move to protect transgender rights. 

North Carolina passed a bill in March 2016 requiring people to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate. In response, the Obama administration instructed public schools to allow students to choose the bathroom of their identified gender in May 2016.

In Oct. 2016 a federal judge in Texas blocked the federal instruction, delegating the decision to the state. However, the Department of Justice negotiated with the federal judge into allowing his ruling to apply only to the 13 states that were already in opposition to the federal guidance.