Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s Republican governor, is hyperventilating with fear at the thought of the state Republican legislature sending her a brand new anti-transgender “bathroom police” law. The law would re-segregate our restrooms and force the state to impose restrictions on what bathrooms transgender individuals are allowed to use.
The bill would require public restrooms to direct people to use the bathroom that aligns with their birth sex, and it would bar local governments from letting trans individuals choose which bathroom to use on their own.
Let’s pause for a moment and think about the first portion of that law. To enforce this law, you would need to staff public bathrooms with at least one security guard, who would require a birth certificate and visual inspection of the genitals of an individual before allowing them to use any restroom open to the public. That is literally the only way a law like this would actually be enforceable.
This begs the question; what is the criminal penalty going to be for using the bathroom? Would it be a monetary fine, jail time or would it be a combination of both?
Can you imagine the headlines? Local resident busted in bathroom sting by law enforcement, gets 6 months in jail for peeing.
Despite Nikki’s reluctance to sign this bill, the unfortunate part is that this isn’t about new Republican support for transgendered individuals. There is no reason to think this has to do with anything other than money – corporate money, to be exact. North Carolina is seeing the massive corporate fallout from the passage of their own anti-LGBT legislation. Big money is pulling out of North Carolina now, and Nikki Haley is terrified of the same thing happening in her state.
Governor Haley tried to sound benevolent about it, suggesting that protecting “religious freedom” and our public bathrooms were not necessary:
“This is not a battle that we’ve seen is needed in South Carolina. It’s not something that we see that citizens are asking for.”
“When we look at our situation, we’re not hearing of anybody’s religious liberties that are being violated, and we’re again not hearing any citizens that are being violated in terms of freedoms. Like it or not, South Carolina is doing really well when it comes to respect and when it comes to kindness and when it comes to acceptance. For people to imply it’s not, I beg to differ.”
It’s as if Nikki Haley forgot what party she belongs to. She actually is implying protections of “religious freedom” are not necessary. Republicans will hate her for this one.
As usual, the Republicans pushing for the bill say it’s all about public safety, with the implication being that adult sexual predators would enter women’s restrooms to prey on people’s young daughters.
Here’s a context in which to view this whole thing. Republicans want to pass an anti-LGBT law that restricts the rights of lawful citizens, because of the actions of potential criminals.
When it comes to gun control, Republicans whine constantly about how wrong it is to restrict the rights of lawful citizens, because of the actions of potential criminals. They also say no laws ever stop criminals from doing bad things. It’s good to know that the only time restricting rights and preventing crime can happen is when it comes to bathrooms, and not guns.
The hypocritical pretzel-twisting that Republicans are having to put themselves into over this issue, and its associated negative consequences, would be hilarious if they were not trying to hurt people in the process. They have to answer to their corporate owners who hold the money bags, yet they also have to answer to their hateful bigoted voter base. It has to be increasingly embarrassing to be a part of their party.
Featured image via YouTube screen capture