Recently, Kentucky’s state Senate voted for segregation of transgender students when using public school bathrooms. Atherton High School in Louisville made a decision to allow a student born male, but identifying as a female to use their girls’ restroom—this was reversed when the Senate voted 27-9 in favor of a bill against this decision.
When the school allowed the transgender student to use the girls’ bathroom, some students and parents objected due to their reported discomfort in sharing a bathroom with someone they felt should not be using, having been born of the opposite sex. This is when Republican Sen. C.B. Embry of Morgantown decided to introduce legislation, which is receiving support from the Family Foundation of Kentucky.
Republican Sen. Mike Wilson of Bowling Green does want those, such as his daughter, to be uncomfortable in a bathroom. He thinks society is being pressured to change because we live in a day of political correctness. He said, “I don’t want that situation for my daughter to be in a place and a state of undress in front of the opposite sex, whether they identify with her sex or not.”
However, some voted against the bill; 3 Republicans and 6 Democrats, for various reasons from believing this should be a decision made at the level of the school involved, to the belief that this is a dangerous step towards discrimination.
This bill requires school officials to provide the “best available accommodation” to students who say their gender is not that of their biological sex, who also have parental consent in writing. The bill even defines biological sex as “identified at birth by a person’s anatomy.” Some of the accommodations include: unisex bathrooms, single-stall restrooms, or “controlled use” of faculty bathrooms.
A 16-year-old transgender student, who attends a private Louisville school, spoke of his experience when his school made him use a separate bathroom and testified before lawmakers saying, “It was outing me every time I had to walk in there because nobody else used them.” And, “For me and other trans kids it’s especially hard being in a biological body that simply doesn’t match my gender identity: how I feel in my heart and mind.”
Language in the bill that would have allowed students to sue their school for not enforcing the law, has been removed.