An ordinance passed by the Oxford City Council this week would require people in the city of Alabama, USA to use bathrooms that correspond to their biological sex. Transgender people can now face a jail term of six months for using bathrooms according to their own preference.
The move followed an announcement by the retail giant Target that said it would allow its transgender employees and customers to use bathrooms they feel comfortable using.
According to city attorney Ron Allen, the residents informed the council members of their concerns regarding Target’s policy. The council said in the ordinance that people using public restrooms may not necessarily feel comfortable at being exposed to a member of the opposite sex. Target has a store in Oxford.
According to the proposition put forward in the ordinance, men disguised as transgender people can enter women’s restrooms and sexually abuse or molest them.
“The council further asserts that single-sex public facilities are places of increased vulnerability and present the potential for crimes against individuals utilising those facilities which may include, but not limited to, voyeurism, exhibitionism, molestation and assault and battery,” the ordinance stated as quoted by the CNN.
The Vox reported that according to investigations, this has not happened so far in the case of the other transgender-friendly policies that were implemented in the US earlier.
However, transgender people can change the gender on their birth certificates with the court’s approval. But the court has to be satisfied that the person has undergone gender-affirming surgery before giving its approval. The changed certificate will then allow the person to use the restroom for the gender that they identify with.
On the other hand, such surgeries are expensive and not all transgender persons can afford them. There are other aspects of their transition like the hormone therapy. Thus, alteration to the birth certificate would not be possible without hard proof.