Transgender Bathroom Battle Heating Up State By State

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023 - 11:45 PM

Authored by Jackson Elliott via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Octogenarian Julie Jaman was in the shower at a YMCA-managed pool in Port Townsend, Washington, when she suddenly heard a man’s voice.

There stands a man in a woman’s bathing suit, looking at, watching, and touching little girls who were taking down their bathing suits,” she told The Epoch Times.

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Shutterstock)

She was shocked. At the time of the July 2022 incident, she had been using the pool for 34 years and had never seen a man in the women’s changing area.

The man is a YMCA child care worker who identifies as a woman. He was supervising the girls in the changing area as part of his job, as previously reported.

After Ms. Jaman asked an employee to make sure he left the locker room, she was banned from the facility. Permanently.

Many states don’t have laws addressing whether men who identify as women, and vice versa, can or cannot use women’s restrooms and changing rooms.

That means federal law guides what is and isn’t legal in those locales.

A hand-washing sign hangs in a girls bathroom at a school in Stamford, Conn., on Aug. 26, 2020. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Under the Biden administration, the Department of Education has interpreted federal law to allow people who identify as transgender to use restrooms and locker rooms that don’t align with their biological sex, if they choose.

Several states have affirmed that ruling, creating legislation allowing people who identify as transgender to use the restroom that aligns with their declared gender, rather than requiring them to use spaces set aside for their biological sex, according to a review of state laws by The Epoch Times.

More than a dozen states prohibit people from using restrooms and locker rooms that don’t correspond with their biological sex, no matter how they identify.

Ms. Jaman said she was horrified to peek out into the changing area to see a man in a one-piece ladies’ swimsuit interacting with little girls.

Her first reaction, she said, was to ask, “Do you have a penis?

She said the man replied, “That’s none of your business.

Then, a YMCA staff member who was already in the locker room intervened.

When Ms. Jaman asked the pool staffer to remove the man, she said the worker retorted: “That’s discrimination! And you’re out of here. For life!”

The staff member, Ms. Jaman said, announced she would call the police, and then hugged the man.

Stunned, Ms. Jaman left and immediately reported the incident to the Port Townsend Police Department. But they didn’t file a report at the time, she said.

The police department later spoke to YMCA staff members and filed a report, reviewed by The Epoch Times, that listed Ms. Jaman as a “suspect.”

The report said Ms. Jaman was “screaming,” “calling names,” and “refusing to leave.” The report also said that the man wasn’t “assisting” the little girls, but was “watching” them.

“I don’t talk like that,” Ms. Jaman said, disputing the YMCA staff account recorded in the report. “I know how to speak English. And that is not the way I speak to people.”

Under Washington state law, all businesses that employ more than eight people must let transgender-identifying individuals enter opposite-sex restrooms.

The law, which went into effect in December 2015, also states: "In a public accommodation situation, the rules apply to all places of public accommodation, including (but not limited to) schools, gyms, public facilities, stores, restaurants, and swimming pools, and the gender segregated facilities within those places of public accommodation."

In explaining the new state laws, the Washington State Human Rights Commission issued a Frequently Asked Questions document.

One question asks: "Can men now go into women’s bathrooms or locker rooms?"

The answer from the commission states, "No. Only females can go into women’s bathrooms or locker rooms in a gender segregated situation. This includes transgender females who identify as female," referring to men who identify as female.

The answer goes on to state that, "The rules do not protect persons who go into a restroom or locker room under false pretenses. For example, if a man declares himself to be transgender for the sole purpose of entering a women’s restroom or locker room, then the rule would not protect him."

Transgender rights activists face off against protesters rallying against Christynne Wood, who identifies as a transgender woman and was criticized for using the female locker room at the YMCA in Santee, a suburban city in San Diego County, Calif., on Jan. 21, 2023. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

Who's Allowed in Restrooms?

State law on opposite-sex restroom use is still in its infancy, with many states not yet taking a side.

Currently, the most important factor affecting whether men can enter women’s spaces is federal law, said Sarah Perry, a senior legal fellow for The Heritage Foundation.

Federal rules that ban discrimination on the basis of sex have been repurposed to ban discrimination based on someone’s gender identity, Ms. Perry told The Epoch Times.

Title IX, a provision of the Educational Amendments of 1972, was crafted to bring equality between men and women in most facets of education.

However, the interpretation of the legislation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Biden administration is that the Title IX provides against discrimination related to “sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“The Biden administration has interpreted civil rights law to include ‘sex’ as ‘gender identity,’ which is the most expansive definition we’ve ever seen,” Ms. Perry said.

The Biden administration’s choice means that the default legal position is that anyone who announces transgender status can use opposite-sex bathrooms in schools, Ms. Perry said.

Children move about in a hallway at Carter Traditional Elementary School in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 24, 2022. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

These Title IX anti-discrimination provisions don’t specifically apply to other facilities, and state laws can block this federal rule interpretation, she said.

“If that particular state doesn’t have a protective law in place, they will be bound by the Biden administration’s interpretation of federal civil rights law, which is why we’re seeing so many of these challenges now come up in court,” Ms. Perry said.

In the long run, legal battles will decide whether the current presidential administration can use civil rights laws to give men a right to enter women’s bathrooms, she said.

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