Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Mullah Cathi Herrod and her Christian Taliban at the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) got the corrupt Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) to sponsor its bill based upon ignorance, fear and loathing for a distinct class of individuals whom they want state law to sanction discrimination against on the basis of gender.
On Wednesday, the corrupt Kavanagh's Tea-Publican-controlled Appropriations Committee voted to void parts of local anti-discrimination ordinances designed to give protections to transgender individuals on a 7-4 party-line vote. Phoenix transgender restroom bill clears House committee:
Senate Bill 1045 [a strike everything amendment] would prohibit local governments from passing ordinances that could subject businesses to lawsuits or criminal penalties if they forbid a transgender person from using a restroom.
Bill sponsor Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said the measure is a response to Phoenix’s new city ordinance, which bans discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents. The law applies to public accommodations such as stores, restaurants and hotels.
City attorneys have said the ordinance could extend to bathroom use in some cases. For instance, a person with male genitalia who identifies as a woman might have a discrimination claim if the facility bars that person from using the restroom, and vice versa.
“We’re simply saying that government has no business in this area,” Kavanagh said. “The store owners can work it out as they have always done.”
Kavanagh added the feelings of the "overwhelming majority" of the population do matter and cannot be ignored. "This bill is about civility," he said. "Society has mores and customs."
Not quite. While the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the corresponding Arizona Civil Rights Act do not specifically enumerate transgenders as a protected class of individuals, those laws as amended do prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of sex (gender) in public accommodations. Civil rights are fundamental constitutional rights not subject to a vote of the majority to deny those fundamental constitutional rights to a minority. Using Kavanagh's impaired logic, business owners would be free to return to the days of state-sanctioned Jim Crow segregation under a "private property" exception. Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) championed this anti-civil rights position in 1964, which was rejected by Congress and the American people. Arizona's Tea-Publican dead-enders are not going to turn back the clock on civil rights.
Gay-rights advocates and transgender residents said the bill essentially gives business owners the right to discriminate against those who appear too masculine or feminine. They said it could create unintended consequences by broadly defining “gender identity or expression.”
Democrats on the committee called the bill an embarrassment to the state. They questioned which bathroom Republican lawmakers expect transgender residents to use in place of the one they identify with.
“You’ve all shown why this is a horrible idea,” Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, told the audience. “I believe we have spent a lot of time and money discussing an issue that doesn’t have any merits.”
Local ordinances similar to the one adopted in Phoenix have been in place in Tucson and Flagstaff, and numerous other cities around the country, without any incidents of the type that John Kavanagh and Cathi Herrod imagine in their fevered dreams. It is a solution in search of a problem that does not exist. It is yet another example of our "big brother" Tea-Publican overlords in the Arizona legislature overriding local government control. So much for Tea-Publican "small government" rhetoric.
After this state-sponsored discrimination bill had passed, the audience burst into outcries of “shame!” as committee members high-tailed it out of the room.