Arizona lawmaker wants to ban trans people from using the “wrong” bathroom

State Rep. John Kavanagh doesn't think people should define their gender by "what they think in their head" VIDEO

Topics: Video, LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBT Rights, Transgender, Trans rights, ,

Arizona lawmaker wants to ban trans people from using the "wrong" bathroom (Credit: ABC News 12)

Last month, the Phoenix City Council passed a package of nondiscrimination protections to ensure that people have equal access to employment, housing and public accommodations regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. And it’s precisely this new law that Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh (R) is targeting with his proposed legislation to ban transgender people from using the correct bathroom.

As Think Progress notes, Kavanagh used a Senate bill about a Massage Therapy Board as a vehicle for the blatantly transphobic proposal, which would prohibit a person from entering a “public restroom, bathroom, shower, bath, dressing room, or locker room” if the sex designation of that facility does not match their birth certificate.

Defending the bill to a local news affiliate, Kavanagh likened transgender people to people who want to go into “opposite sex facilities” because “they’re weird”:

KAVANAGH: The city of Phoenix has crafted a bill that allows people to define their sex by what they think in their head. If you’re a male, you don’t go into a female shower or locker room, or vice versa. It also raises the specter of people who want to go into those opposite sex facilities not because they’re transgender, but because they’re weird.

If passed, the bill could carry a fine of $2,500 and six months in jail for using the “wrong” bathroom.

The bill is obviously discriminatory (Kavanagh doesn’t hide his disdain for the transgender community in his comments), but there is also a question about how to enforce such a measure. The proposed ban would rely on gender profiling and sex policing in public facilities. In the context of restrooms and locker rooms, that sounds a lot like spying on partially nude people. Which, it’s worth noting, is already illegal in Arizona.

You Might Also Like


Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>