A Virginia legislator has filed a bill to regulate transgender people’s use of restrooms in schools, at highway rest stops and in other government buildings — a proposal akin to a controversial North Carolina law.
The legislation from Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) goes further than the North Carolina measure in one regard: It requires school principals to notify all parents if a student at their children’s school asks to be treated as a member of the opposite sex — whether by being allowed to use a different bathroom or being addressed by a different name or pronoun.
Marshall said his Physical Privacy Act addresses a pressing social concern about student safety — one that, he noted, drew hundreds of parents to school board meetings on the subject in Prince William and Fairfax counties. He expressed fear that men and boys will pretend to be transgender to infiltrate bathrooms and locker rooms used by women and girls.
“Some guys will use anything to make a move on some teenage girls or women,” he said. “Mere separation of the sexes should not be considered discrimination.” The bill does not prohibit a government entity from providing “an accommodation, including the use of a single-occupancy restroom.”
The proposal drew immediate condemnation from legislators and organizations supportive of gay, lesbian and transgender rights, with Equality Virginia calling it a “hateful and discriminatory.” Few predicted it would pass into law.
PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: In December 2015, Marshall introduced a bill to override federal LGBT protections. In November 2014, Marshall badly lost his bid for the US House despite a glowing endorsement from Phyllis Schlafly. In June 2014, Marshall claimed that all charities will lose their tax exempt status following the legalization of same-sex marriage. In February 2014, Marshall filed an amendment that would grant Virginia state legislators the right to claiming standing in marriage lawsuits. In September 2013, Marshall petitioned the US Supreme Court to overturn Virginia’s legalization of sodomy. In May 2012, Marshall attempted to block the appointment of an openly gay state judge because the nominee has “an illegal husband.” In 2011, Marshall claimed it is a felony for a state office to fly the rainbow flag. Marshall has also called on Virginia to issue its own currency, and has claimed that God punishes women who have abortions by giving them deformed children. After the DADT repeal bill passed, Marshall tried to have gays banned from the Virginia National Guard.