After an ordinance was approved in April by the City of Phoenix which prohibited discrimination in public accommodations based on gender identity, Republican Representative John Kavanagh introduced a bill that sought to make it a crime for a person to use a restroom or any other hygiene facility associated with a sex other than that which was assigned at birth, as noted on a birth certificate.
Kavanagh’s original “papers please” bill caused a national uproar over government overreach and intrusion into privacy. Undeterred, Kavanagh retooled his bill. Upon reintroduction, the public learned that Kavanagh now sought to privatize gender policing by elisting citizens and business alike as his gender monitors.
Kavanagh, Masen Davis and I debating Kavanagh’s bill
However, according to the AP, Kavanagh recently tabled his bill after some members in his caucus had expressed concern about his proposed definitions.
On the Texas front, a Republican attempted to (yet again) strip the right of trans people to marry. Currently, Texas Legislative law states that you can be issued a valid marriage certificate if you show proof of a “sex change” (see Sec. 2.005(b)(7)). This is the second year in a row that Republicans have tried (and failed) to remove this trans-positive section of Texas law:
2011 call to action
The Texas Legislature meets once every two years. Both in 2011 and 2013, past Transgender Foundation of America board member (now with Equality Texas), Daniel Williams was instrumental in stopping these actions in their tracks. In 2011 Williams, Monica Roberts and I worked hard to defeat the anti-trans bill and this year Williams was able to quietly finesse its death before it came down to a vote.
What’s the takeaway?
Trans advocacy works!