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Same Sex Bathroom Bill Draws Ire at Orlando Conference


Opponents of a bill restricting public bathroom use based on a person’s born gender spoke out in Orlando Tuesday. The Single Sex Public Facilities Bill cleared a house committee last week, and could be heard by a committee as early as next week.

The bill imposes fines and possible jail time for transgender Floridians using the bathroom of the sex they identify with. For example, a transgender man who identifies as a woman could not use the women’s restroom.

Gina Duncan, a transgender woman with Equality Florida, says the bill harkens back to Nazi Germany and “show me your papers”.

“The violence against the transgender community is absolutely on the rise,” Duncan said. “We’ve had seven transgender women, mostly transgender women of color, killed in the United States this year.”

Proponents of the bill say a man could go into a woman’s bathroom under the pretext of being transgender and commit sex crimes.

The bill’s future in the Senate isn’t as clear.

“The senate is not really warming up to this bill at all,” Duncan said. “Senator Soto of Orlando said if that bill gets over there, he’s gonna crush it.”

Kentucky and Texas are considering similar laws.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.
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