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Landry signs law prohibiting transgender people from facilities that align with chosen gender

2 weeks 1 day 40 minutes ago Wednesday, June 05 2024 Jun 5, 2024 June 05, 2024 2:53 PM June 05, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — Gov. Jeff Landry signed a bill Wednesday that requires transgender Louisianans use bathrooms and other public facilities that align to their gender assigned at birth regardless of their chosen gender identity.

The bill—HB608—will go into effect Aug. 1.

HB608, authored by Rep. Roger Wilder, R-Denham Springs, will segregate all bathrooms, changing and locker rooms, as well as sleeping quarters by sex in public schools, domestic violence shelters and correctional facilities. This would prohibit transgender people from using facilities that align with their gender identity. 

The “Women’s Safety and Protection Act” passed 29-10 in the Senate and 80-17 in the House.

Landry said he was proud to sign the bill, which he said "protects women's safety and reinforces the very identity of what it means to be a woman."

"Enough is enough," Landry said. "Louisiana will not allow biological men to take advantage of opportunities for women."

Proponets of HB608 said Landry's support of the legislation pushes back on a "radical social experiment, which especially harms children and women fleeing abusive situations." 

“States have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of women and young girls. Yet certain advocacy organizations—and even the Biden Administration through its recent Title IX rule—are demanding states to tear down the long-standing tradition of having distinct facilities for men and women," senior counsel Alliance Defending Freedom Matt Sharp said.

The bill faced controversy earlier in the legislative session. 

"HB 608 would harm so many Transgender people in Louisiana. We need to recognize their humanity. This bill will make life harder for people. We need to open our hearts and understand the challenges facing transgender people," Board of Louisiana Progress chair and former Democratic representative Melissa Flournoy tweeted in April. "We need to protect all Louisiana citizens.

Two other LGBTQ+ bills reached Landry's desk for approval.

HB122, authored by Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, would follow the path of "Don't Say Gay" bills passed in other Republican-controlled legislatures by restricting the discussion of "sexual orientation or gender identity in any classroom discussion or instruction in a manner that deviates from state content standards or curricula developed or approved by public school governing authorities."

Another bill—HB121—would prohibit public schools from adopting policies that inquire about employees' or students' pronouns or names other than their legal names, unless consistent with their biological sex. Rep. Raymond Crews', R-Bossier City, bill would also allow school employees and students to decline the use of pronouns other than those of one's biological sex without facing adverse consequences.

Advocates for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the state Democratic Party, called all three bills discriminatory against the transgender community.

“Trans and nonbinary students are part of our school communities, and like all other students, they’re there to learn, graduate, and prepare for their future,” Peyton Rose Michelle, executive director of Louisiana Trans Advocates, said. “Every kid deserves a fair chance to succeed in school without being singled out for discrimination and harassment, yet Louisiana legislators have voted in favor of unfair treatment of LGBTQ+ kids and teachers. Their actions are appalling, and kids and our communities will bear the brunt.”

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