Via the Tampa Bay Times:
After an emotionally charged debate, state lawmakers Wednesday gave their initial backing to a bill that would prohibit transgender men and women from using public restrooms aligned with their gender identity. The proposal is intended to address public safety concerns that its sponsor, Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, said arise from a broad nondiscrimination ordinance passed in Miami-Dade County in December. That ordinance, he said, would permit men to legally enter women’s restrooms and locker rooms for the purpose of committing a crime against those women. “I believe that criminals — males — will use this law as the cover to go into the women’s locker room,” Artiles said. “All they have to say is, ‘I feel like a woman today.'” But activists and transgender people speaking before the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday argued the so-called bathroom bill would infringe on their civil rights and even their safety by requiring them to use facilities that correspond with the sex listed on their drivers’ licenses or passports, rather than their identity.
(Tipped by JMG reader Karen)