"Bathroom bill" receives heavy opposition ahead of hearing
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Cory Marshall
TUCSON(KGUN9-TV) - It's been dubbed the "bathroom bill." If passed, the bill would make it a crime if a person enters a bathroom and the sign does not match the gender on their birth certificate. Last week, State Representative John Kavanagh said he will delay the bill after dozens of transgender people flooded the House of Representatives.
Arizona's House Appropriations Committee is expected to hear the bill, Wednesday. However, Sunday night the proposed bill received heavy opposition during a community meeting in Downtown Tucson where members of the transgender community talked about what is next.
"I was afraid for my girlfriend," Maureen Robinson said. The Tucson resident has a Transgender girlfriend.
"She's nervous enough using the women's room just because of harassment or looks or whatever words may be said [while] using the women's room. She's already nervous. She runs in, she runs out. I personally fear for her safety if she were to use the men's room. I've been there when she's been verbally assaulted. I've been there when it came near to a physical assault," Robinson continued.
Abigail Jensen is a transgender woman. She compares the proposed "bathroom bill" to SB-1070, Arizona's controversial immigration Law.
"What it does is put someone like me in the position of having to decide either to commit a crime or out myself as transgender," Jensen said.
Those within the transgender community call the legislation discriminatory and invasive. Several of Sunday's meeting attendees argue the bill would affect everyone.
"This is not a good thing. These are people who are out to say, 'if you are not exactly like me, you are not human. You have no rights and these people need to be stopped,'" Leynda Erwin, a transgender woman told 9OYS.
Rep. Kavanagh has said that everyone he has spoken to is uncomfortable when a transgender person is in the restroom. Nine on Your Side contacted Rep. Kavanagh for comment but we were unable to reach him on Sunday night.