Late Monday evening, without notice or debate, the Kentucky Senate Education Committee passed SB 76, a bill to prevent transgender students from using appropriate bathrooms and locker rooms in school. The bill has previously been defeated in committee after a public hearing. HRC submitted testimony, available here.
If passed, this bill would force transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their biological sex, which directly conflicts with federal non-discrimination protections for gender identity and gender expression under Title IX. This conflict between federal and state laws would place school districts, educators, and students in an untenable position, creating unnecessary liability and confusion.
This bill would single-out and stigmatize transgender students who already suffer heightened rates of bullying and harassment as well as school pushout. Public schools in Kentucky have a responsibility to provide a safe and welcoming environment in which all students can learn, including transgender and gender non-conforming students. This bill will undermine the ability of school administrators to find workable solutions to meet the safety and privacy needs of all students while meeting their duty under the law.
Unfortunately, anti-equality lawmakers in Texas and Florida have introduced even broader bills targeting transgender people. These cruel bills harass and stigmatize a population that is already subject to heightened rates of violence and discrimination. We call upon lawmakers to cease these hateful attacks upon transgender citizens.