Oxford, Alabama, population 21,000, on
Wednesday repealed a law that blocked Target's transgender bathroom
policy by banning transgender people from using the bathroom that
they identify with.
At a special meeting, city council
voted 3-2 to roll back the ordinance it approved last week.
According to BuzzFeed
News, the council chamber was standing room only as council
members debated the issue.
The ACLU on Tuesday announced that it
was considering a legal challenge to the law, which sought to
undermine Target's policy of allowing transgender people to use the
bathroom of their choice by limiting transgender people to using the
public bathroom that matches their gender at birth. Violators faced
a $500 fine or six month jail sentence.
The ACLU, the ACLU of Alabama and the
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) also sent council members a letter
calling for repeal of the law. The groups argued that the law
violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law and fails to promote
SPLC staff attorney Chinyere Ezie
applauded Wednesday's vote.
“The Oxford City Council did the
right thing by recalling its discriminatory ordinance,” Ezie said.
“We are pleased the council members came to the conclusion that
nobody should be criminalized simply for using the restroom.”