California Could Fine Transgender People $4,000 for Using the "Wrong" Restroom
Buzzfeed is reporting that transgender people in California could be fined $4,000 if they use certain restrooms. The Personal Privacy Protection Act would ban transgender people from using bathrooms that actually correspond with their gender identity. Although the rule would only apply to government buildings, it would also protect private businesses from facing lawsuits if they join in on the ban.
The initiative is sponsored by Privacy For All, a conservative group that tried to repeal a 2013 California law which allowed people to use the restroom associated with their gender identity. Those efforts failed and this recent move may prove just as challenging--the ban would almost be certain to come up against the federal interpretation of Title IX, which bans discrimination.
Similar initiatives have already been proposed this year in Texas and Florida, along with the highly criticized "religious freedom" legislation in Indiana. As Buzzfeed's Dominic Holden writes, "The initiative, which is still in its earliest stages, is the latest in an apparent backlash against recent and significant gains by the LGBT-rights movement — a backlash that has often deployed arguments that LGBT nondiscrimination laws provide cover for male sexual predators masquerading as women to prowl women’s restrooms."