Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alabama City Outlaws Restroom Use Conforming To Gender Identity That Differs From Birth Certificate

In the latest chapter in the "bathroom wars," on Tuesday the Oxford, Alabama City Council unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2016-18 (full text) barring anyone from using rest rooms or changing facilities that do not correspond to the gender stated on the person's birth certificate. A violation is punishable by a $500 fine and up to 6 months in jail.  As reported by the Anniston Star, Council's action came in response to last week's announcement by the department store chain Target that their employees and customers are welcome to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity. Target has a store in Oxford.  Prosecutions under the new ordinance will only occur only if a violation is reported by a witness or committed in the presence of a police officer.  After passage of the ordinance, city council president Steven Waits read from a prepared statement, saying in part that the ordinance was enacted "to protect our women and children."