A Virginia Republican lawmaker opposed
to LGBT rights has introduced a bill that seeks to bar transgender
people from using the bathroom of their choice and requires schools to
out transgender students to their parents.
On Tuesday, Delegate Bob Marshall, a
Republican from Prince William County, introduced House Bill 1612,
which seeks to prohibit people from entering “a restroom or other
facility designated for use by members of the opposite sex.” Known
as the Physical Privacy Act, the bill would also require
public school principals to notify a parent or guardian if a child
outs himself or herself as transgender, which could include the child
requesting to be recognized as the opposite sex, to be addressed by a
name or pronoun inconsistent with his or her sex, or to use a
restroom designated for the opposite sex of the child.
The proposed bill has been compared to
North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2, which not only
prohibited transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice
in many buildings, but also blocked cities and municipalities from
enacting LGBT protections.
“[House Bill 2] has caused just
incredible harm to the state of North Carolina,” said Cathryn
Oakley of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT
rights advocate, while speaking to reporters during a conference call
about HB 1612.
“That is certainly something we don't
want to see here in Virginia,” she
Unlike North Carolina's law, Marshall's
proposal includes an enforcement provision that would allow a person
to sue for physical or emotional distress caused by a transgender
person using the facility he or she identifies with.
Marshall and Senator Stephen Newman are
the co-authors of the state's voter-approved constitutional amendment
limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. Fifty-seven percent of
Virginia voters in 2006 approved the Marshall-Newman Amendment. A
federal judge in 2014 struck down the amendment as unconstitutional.
The following year, the Supreme Court, in a related case, found that
gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.
Bob Marshall insists “sodomy is not a civil right” in explaining
vote against gay judge.)
Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe
pledged Thursday to veto House Bill 1612 if it reaches his desk.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe signs order banning LGBT discrimination among