Home » Trans Progressive » Arizona state Rep. Kavanagh proposing ‘papers please’ potty law

Arizona state Rep. Kavanagh proposing ‘papers please’ potty law

Commentary: Trans Progressive

John Kavanagh

State Rep. John Kavanagh (R-8th District) recently submitted an amendment for state Senate bill SB 1432. He’s stated that the amendment is a response to Phoenix passing an ordinance granting housing, employment and public accommodation antidiscrimination protections based on gender identity for transgender citizens.

His proposal is to limit public restrooms and locker rooms usage to the gender identified on one’s birth certificate that transgender advocates have labeled a proposed transgender “paper’s please” potty law. This is because it would essentially require that every trans person in the state, as well as everyone who’s gender presentation may not conform to societal sex and gender laws (think in terms of many butch lesbians), to carry a copy of their birth certificates with them to prove they’re using the legally mandated restroom.

If this proposed amendment were to become Arizona law, violation of it would be a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a $2,500 fine and incarceration for up to six months.

The presumption is that trans women, or men posing as trans women, would at worst be predators in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, and at best make cisgender women “uncomfortable” – this is the “bathroom bill” meme of social conservatives who argue against antidiscrimination protections based on gender identity.

Out gay Phoenix City Councilmember Tom Simplot, who argued for the Phoenix ordinance that banned housing, employment and public accommodation discrimination based on gender identity in his city, stated that if the transgender “papers please” potty amendment that Rep. Kavanagh has proposed becomes law, it would criminalize the “very nature” of being transgender.

There are many states and localities across the nation with antidiscrimination protections based on gender identity in place across the country, and none of these have resulted in a documented increase in bathroom predation by trans women, or even men pretending to be trans woman.

There is another argument, too, against Rep. Kavanagh’s amendment and that is trans men. As Masen Davis, the executive director of the Transgender Law Center, pointed out in an MSNBC interview, should this amendment become law he’d be required to use women’s restrooms. That’s because that even though he’s balding and has a full beard, his birth certificate states he was as female at birth.

Bathrooms and locker rooms have been a component of every civil rights movement. Before the successes of the American Civil Rights movement, segregated bathrooms in Southern states were the norm. In arguing against the Equal Rights Amendment, opponents argued that if the constitutional amendment became law it would mandate unisex bathrooms.

In arguing against the American Disabilities Act, opponents argued that accommodating disabled people in bathrooms would mandate changes to restrooms that would be too costly for small businesses. And prior to repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), opponents argued that out lesbian and gay servicemembers would engage in predatory leering and sexual advances in communal showers and locker rooms.

The transgender civil rights movement has a bathroom component as well, which should be a surprise to no one.

In the case of proposed legislation like the Kavanagh amendment, we should continue to argue for antidiscrimination protections based on gender identity even when no such antidiscrimination legislation is currently on the table.

The transgender “papers please” potty amendment enshrines discrimination of transgender and gender nonconforming people into law, and it’s just wrongheaded and stupid.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=35466

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013. Filed under Trans Progressive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

25 Comments for “Arizona state Rep. Kavanagh proposing ‘papers please’ potty law”

  1. A Woman, Period

    Try to keep up. The law you mention was dropped. He has proposed a new law that would protect businesses from being forced to let men into the ladies room. The obvious problem, that is so blithely ignored, is how do you determine when gender identity is actually the issue, and when it is just a fetisthtic cross dresser? What is needed is a law that defines criteria for exceptions, such as being in the process of seeking SRS.

  2. Arizona is an open carry state, if they allowed men into women’s restrooms I would feel safe. Anybody tries anything and they would wake up in the hospital.
    Sad to say here in California you cannot defend yourself without the danger of being sued by the purp’s next of kin for loss of income. That’s how fucked up California is. California does allow men to invade women’s restrooms but they don’t allow women to defend themselves with deadly force if necessary.


    • A Woman, Period

      Interesting. Unfortunately, that only addresses some of the problem. I, and most women simply don’t want obvious men in the ladies room, even if they are dressed, as they put it, “en femme.” As to places like locker rooms, I have pepper spray. Once in the face and then a nice dose in the crotch Willet them know they are not welcome.

  3. What about butch lesbians? I have on more than one occasion felt chills run up my back when an apparent male has walked in on me in a public bathroom, only to find that person is simply a very male-looking butch lesbian. It doesn’t matter whether that person walking through the door is a lesbian, a transwoman who is into men, a transwoman who is into women, or simply a crossdressing man, I still feel afraid, because if they look like a man, they may well be a man coming in there to rape me.

    • A Woman, Period

      Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world. I have only met a few lesbians I might have mistook for a man. But I have seen a lot of “trans women” I would never mistake for a woman.

      And that brings us back to the bottom line. Why does a person who was born male, who is not, at the very least, in the process of becoming a woman physically, have the right to come into the women’s room and make you, or me, or any other woman, feel uncomfortable? Why do their rights supersede ours? Funny how that questions seems to go unanswered.

      • For that matter, why should a man who had his penis cut off have the right to come into public restrooms designated for women? He’s still a man!

        Besides, I don’t care what the state of his genitals is, or what sort of synthetic hormones he is taking… if he is obviously a man imitating a woman and coming into the bathroom, the effect is exactly the same.

        • That’s the crux of the whole discussion distilled down to its most elementary form. Truth be known if the person in question is imitating a woman, that person has failed the transition that was pursued in the first place, or that person is a fetishists and doesn’t give a damned what others think. For good or bad, we live in a civilization that has chosen to embrace the strange.


        • A Woman, Period

          Interesting… It is not clear where you draw the line. While yes, there are some who are post-op, having had full SRS who are, as you put it “obviously a man imitating a woman” banning them from the women’s room could potentially open a can of worms that would hurt those who really are women. If we draw the line at “effect” then butch lesbians would have to be excluded, which would be a legal nightmare.

          And unfortunately, there are some surgeons who have lower standards to perform surgery than is proper, and some “men” do slip through the cracks.

          This is probably an issue that will never be settled to the satisfaction of all, so the best we can hope for is as reasonable a compromise as possible.

        • Apparently the two of you don’t get it, because you seem to think that there is some difference between a man who suffers from the delusion that somehow his body and the whole world have lied to him and that he is “really a woman”, and a man who just likes to pretend to be a woman. Either way, it’s still a man, regardless of whether he still has his penis or has had it modified to somewhat resemble female genitalia. It always amazes me when a man claims to feel like a woman, when there is no possible way that HE can know what it feels like to be a woman, to grow up as a girl, to experience a monthly period, or the fear that she might be pregnant at the worst possible time. No, all these men know it what it’s like to be part of a privileged class, the members of whom can have themselves reclassified as women so that they can invade what few female-only spaces we have left.

          The “crux”, as you put it, is actually the FACT that a male cannot become a female, and has no business in female-only spaces. Period.

          • I think we do get it but in the real world you cannot stand on the corner and test everyone’s DNA.

            You as a woman would only know what you feel like, you don’t know how any other woman on the planet feels, you only know from your somewhat limited experience. Being female and being of above average intelligence I do know my limitations. I only know how I feel and what it feels like to be me. If you say you know how other women or females feel you would be a liar and only fooling yourself and people below average intelligence.

            The one thing you and I are going to have to live with is there are people in this world that don’t conform to our ideals. To be honest I find both transgenders and butch lesbians distasteful, but I am not going out of my way to try and make a point, You and I are outnumbered and our views don’t count as much as we might find that to be worrisome as the world goes to hell around us.

            Like it or not Legitimate transsexuals like butch lesbians and effeminate gay men are born that way just as many others are born with birth defects. The transgenders are a different story, most of them are transvestite fetishists, some are even so sick as to wear little girl cloths and they act out sissy roles, that is a learned behavior.

            Just as with the straight people ignorance does abound in the lesbian, and radical feminist communities, and it shows, that is why those groups are so small in number. Nobody likes to be around ignorant people the ones who embrace their ignorance.

            Like the transgender cult they have few real friends.


          • Gays and lesbians may well be “born this way”, I agree, but no, transgenders are NOT born that way. If they were, they wouldn’t need to change their identity, or take synthetic hormones, or have cosmetic surgery performed. I actually have far more respect for a drag queens than I do for mentally disturbed men who claim that they are women. Drag queens admit that they are gay men who enjoy dressing in drag. They do not lie about what they are. Transgenders are delusional. They have a diagnosis of gender identity disorder, which is a mental DISORDER. A sickness. The medical profession should be treating them for their disorder and helping them to accept themselves as they are, not feeding their delusion by butchering their genitals and other parts of their bodies.

          • I think you miss the point completely regarding legitimate transsexuals.
            We agree about the transgenders who DO make a choice to pretend to be women. Just like there are females born who will never experience a period, and you no doubt give them a “pass into womanhood” even though they cannot bring a child into the world legitimate transsexuals d ARE born with a birth defect and are not completely male.

            As for drag queens, I am surprised to hear you say that when what a drag queen does is to degrade women both in how they act and how they appear. I find them disgusting and tasteless mockers of women. A drag queen expresses the hatred many gay men have for women, it’s like white men putting on black face makeup and pretending to be black performers, how far would that go in today’s world and yet you turn a blind eye to the same hate expressed toward women.
            You amaze me Jenna with your double standards.

          • A Woman, Period

            So, Jenna, before I simply dismiss your statements as classic radical feminism (I tend to do that sort of thing with extremist arguments that bore me) I will ask you this. What do you base your claims on? It is obviously not science, so is it religion? Or is it the sort of “bad science” born of political extremism that has no basis in actual research, but just makes claims based on vague notions like “social conditioning?” I mean, it is obvious, for whatever reason, you are basically spouting Janice Raymond’s ideas from years ago. I have a suspicion why, but hey, let’s give it a go…

          • A Woman, Period

            Well, Jenna, I am not transgender, nor did my therapist diagnose me with GID. She specifically said she did not feel that such a term was appropriate.

            I take you totally dismiss the evidence that what is called “gender” is actually rooted in biology?

          • Oh, and Jenna, you can pontificate all you want, but the simple fact is, I am a female, and a woman, whether you approve or not. As I have said many times, I don’t take responsibility for other people’s bigotry.

          • Oh I see, you are both a couple of these delusional men. Legitimate transsexuals? Give me a break! You can draw imaginary lines between yourselves and other kinds of men pretending to be women, but you are really all the same.

            No, I don’t have a problem with drag queens. Unlike you, they are honest about what they are. They truly transcend society’s antiquated concepts of gender, while you transgenders reinforce it. You like wearing dresses and doing “girly” things, so therefore you must in your minds be women, but drag queens don’t make that stupid assumption. They are honest with themselves. Apparently you have a problem with that.

            What do I base my claims on? First of all they are not claims. Biology is scientific fact. If you were born with a penis, then you are a male. No amount of cosmetic surgery or delusional thinking can ever change that.

            Why do you call me a radical feminist? Because I speak the truth? Because I don’t fall for your nonsense? I am a feminist, true, just as all women should be, but there is nothing radical about biology. There is nothing radical about wanting to reserve women’s spaces for women. Real women. I guess that is something you men will never understand.

          • Jenna;
            Sorry to inform you, but you don’t know more than the basics of biology.
            You would use your limited knowledge of biology to forward your ignorance, and that is understandable in a redneck sort of way.

            What you fail to see are the mechanisms that determine sex at birth, and it serves your needs. You have a, shall we say a 19th century view of biology. You know nothing of testosterone dominant females, partially complete sex assignment or a whole host of genetic modes that determine the outcome of a fetus in terms of its sexual development.

            You can lead a cow to water but you cannot force her to drink.
            You can offer a human knowledge but cannot force it upon them, they will let their emotions run their lives even if it means they place the chains of ignorance upon themselves and choose to paint the world with the same brush and color. I am sure you feel the same way about females who cannot have children, I am sure you marginalize them the same way, you don’t consider them female you think of them as an “it”.
            After all they know nothing of the right of passage known as ministration. They are not real women, after all.
            You most likely consider hysterectomy the worst thing that could happen to you, don’t you?
            Just like those big bad straight men would see castration.
            Your life would be over wouldn’t it, if you couldn’t have a child in your child bearing years?

            Tell me Jenna
            Would you kill yourself over that?


          • Sorry dude, but I have no desire to waste any more of my time arguing with mentally disturbed males.

          • Too bad Jenna we were just getting to the hard issues.
            The good news is; you don’t get to make the rules.
            The bad news is’ you are just as delusional and bigoted at the Tee-Gees are. Misgendering people is usually met with being banned from this site, but I guess since you are a lesbian you get a pass.

          • A Woman, Period

            Oh well, I was having a good laugh at the silliness of Jenna’s “arguments” which seem to consist of parroting Janice Raymond. I do wonder if this were not more of a ploy to distract from the unanswered question, which is why the rights of one child should be above the rights of a number of children?

            I mean, seriously, the part about not having a problem with drag queens shows that this was not well thought out. Clearly, this is someone simply repeating something they read, and sounding more than a bit silly in the process.

            And the fact that it remains unchallenged, when others have been subjected to strict moderation for less is rather suspect. And it is curious that the comments were directed to “the two of us,” seeming to exclude a certain other part…the author of the column. Yes, I find the whole thing very curious, but irregardless, I don’t take the “radfems” seriously at all. Unlike those who seem to blanch at any suggestion they are less than real women, I am quite secure and feel no threat from such silliness.

  4. It was a good laugh and an object lesson in the many faces of bigotry.


    • A Woman, Period

      That it was. As I say, such people don’t bother me. They clearly haven’t a clue, and they actually do far less damage than many of the transgender extremists.

  5. Here from Pam’s House Blend. Hi, Autumn, glad to see you writing in other venues.

  6. @ Jenna! I pee in your ladies room all the time, and have done so without incident for years. You have no idea. You may prattle that I have no right, but that only serves to tweak my bladder. I will continue to do so essentially forever. There is, quite simply, no appeal or argument that I will take seriously over my peeing. Not much you can do about it, cister. Not much anyone can do. :/

    • You know, this sounds more TG than woman to me. I see no reason to “brag” about using the restroom. To me, it is NOT a conquest. I old never imagine rubbing someone’s nose in my doing so. Simply put, you are not helping.

Leave a Reply

Pride Card Deals


LGBT Weekly Digital Magazine

© 2018 LGBT Weekly. All Rights Reserved. Log in - Website by BluSkye Group