Kentucky bill would restrict trans students’ bathroom access

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Kentucky State Capitol Photo via Good Free Photos

FRANKFORT — A proposed bill in the Kentucky legislature would prevent transgender students from using the bathroom of their gender identity.

The Louisville Courier-Journal on Monday reported that the bill had been prefiled last week by State Rep. David Hale, a Republican. It claims that cisgender students could suffer “potential embarrassment, shame and psychological injury” by using the same restroom or changing room as transgender students.

The bill is called the Kentucky Student Privacy Act, according to the newspaper.

Privacy concerns is usually the go-to for opponents of trans students having facilities access. It was the main focus in the recent controversy in Palatine.

The Courier-Journal reported that if a student brought written consent from a parent or guardian to the school explaining that they identified with a different gender than the one assigned them at birth, the school would need to provide them with “the best available accommodation,” but that would not include access to a bathroom opposite their birth gender. They’d have to use a single-stall restroom, unisex bathroom or faculty facilities.

The bill is theoretically about child safety and parental approval.

The Fairness Campaign, Kentucky’s LGBTQ rights organization, denounced the bill, calling it pandering to an “ultra-conservative minority.”

“At the end of the day, what that says is that ‘You are so different that the only accommodation we are willing to make is to make you use a special restroom, a different restroom,’ which once more isolates the transgender youth and makes them additionally vulnerable targets,” Chris Hartman, the director of the Fairness Campaign, told the newspaper. 

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