A Texas state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make it a criminal offense for a transgender person to use a bathroom according to their gender identity.
On Feb. 20, Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle (R) introduced HB 1748, which would make it a felony for building owners to allow individuals over age 7 to use a restroom that doesn’t match their gender, and would make it a misdemeanor for a person over the age of the 13 to use a restroom that doesn’t match their gender. The bill says “the gender of an individual is the gender established at the individual’s birth or the gender established by the individual’s chromosomes.”
The bill does give exception to those entering a restroom to clean, help children or provide medical care.
Riddle’s legislation is similar to bills proposed in Florida and Kentucky this year. A proposed bill in the Sunshine State would make it illegal for a person to enter a public facility designated as single-sex if the person was not born a biological member of that sex. The Kentucky bill, which aimed to permit students to sue if they saw a transgender student in a bathroom that did not fit the student’s biological sex, failed earlier this month.
According to a Fusion magazine poll released Feb. 3, half of all millennials believe gender shouldn’t be limited to the categories of “male” and “female.”
Riddle’s office has not responded to a request for comment on HB 1748.