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Same Sex Bathroom Bill Draws Ire

Abe Aboraya
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Opponents of a bill restricting public bathroom use based on a person’s born gender criticized the plan in Orlando Tuesday.

The Single Sex Public Facilities Bill cleared a house committee last week, and could be heard by another committee as early as next week. It would impose fines and possible jail time for transgender Floridians using the bathroom of the sex they identify with. For example, a transgender man who identifies as a woman could not use the women’s restroom.

Gina Duncan, a transgender woman with Equality Florida, says the bill harkens back to Nazi Germany and “show me your papers”.

“The violence against the transgender community is absolutely on the rise,” Duncan said at TransAction's Transgender Allies Summit on Tuesday. “We’ve had seven transgender women, mostly transgender women of color, killed in the United States this year.”

Proponents of the bill say a man could go into a woman’s bathroom under the pretext of being transgender and commit sex crimes.

The bill’s future in the Senate isn’t as clear.

“The senate is not really warming up to this bill at all,” Duncan said. “Senator (Darren) Soto of Orlando said if that bill gets over there, he’s gonna crush it.”

Kentucky and Texas are considering similar laws.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.