Friday, February 27, 2015

Senate passes the transgender student bathroom bill

The state Senate passed legislation today to regulate where transgender students may use the restroom in public schools.

The legislation would require public school students to use the restrooms of their biological sex or seek special accommodations, said Sen. C.B. Embry Jr. (R-Morgantown) who sponsored the bill.

Known as Senate Bill 76, the legislation passed by a 27-9 vote after a lengthy floor debate. Sen. Dorsey Ridley (D-Henderson) voted in favor of the measure.

Embry said the SB 76 had nothing to do with homosexuality, in response to questions from Sen. Reginald Thomas (D-Lexington), who opposed the legislation.

“Passing this bill would cast a shroud of darkness over this body,” Thomas said.

Sen. Danny Carroll (R-Paducah) spoke in favor of the bill.

“It is not the responsibility of this body to protect the rights of one particular group,” he said. “It’s the responsibility of this body to protect the rights of all. In this case, this bill does protect the rights of all the students.”

Carroll referenced prior testimony on the bill from a high school student who said she was uncomfortable using the restroom with a transgender classmate.

Sen. Mike Wilson (R-Bowling Green) also spoke in favor of the bill. He stressed that SB 76 is about modesty and protecting minors.

“I think as a parent, I don’t want that situation for my daughter,” he said.

Sen. Gerald A. Neal (D-Louisville) explained why he did not support SB 76.

“This is not about modesty,” he said. “This is about fear.”

SB 76 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Want to contact your lawmakers on this issue? Simply click on the links below: