A new bill proposed by a Christian policy group that would have prevented transgender people from being able to use any bathroom they please has been narrowly defeated in the city of Anchorage, Alaska. Nearly 53 percent of voters cast their ballots against Proposition 1, which was put forward by nonprofit Christian policy group “Alaska Family Action.”
The city currently enforces a nondiscrimination ordinance that enables transgender individuals to choose which bathroom they use based on their perceived gender identity. The new bill would have ensured that transgender use the public restrooms that align with the sex listed on their birth certificates, as reported by Newsweek.
The bill proposed that:
“All multiple occupancy changing facilities and restrooms that are owned or operated by the Municipality to be designated for, and used only by, persons of the same “sex.”” and determined bilogical sex by “anatomy and genetics at the time of birth;”” further noting that “an individual’s “original birth certificate” could be relied upon as “definitive evidence” of the individual’s sex.””
ACLU Alaska Executive Director Joshua A. Decker was delighted with the result, but appeared concerned there was still “plenty of work to do to empower and support the transgender community.”
“We also must recognize that while we won this victory, there were still 47 percent of Anchorage voters who said they didn’t think transgender folks deserve the same rights as everyone else,” Decker said in a statement. “That is a number too high to guarantee the merchants of inequality behind Prop 1 won’t try again or even that they can’t succeed.”
Many would oppose such assertions, however, and continue to highlight safety concerns with regards to such a policy.
“This new law, which would’ve helped make these private areas safer, was voted down by a very narrow margin—but only 35% of the city’s registered voters even cast a ballot!” wrote evangelist Franklin Graham on Facebook in response to the vote. “It makes you wonder how the outcome would have been if every Christian, every church, in Anchorage had gotten behind it. Christians need to wake up—we can have a say in the future direction of our cities, our states, and our nation if we will stay informed, pray, and vote our convictions.”
“This proposition has to do with dignity and privacy and safety, but also has to do with some broader macro issues related to how we’re designed,” Jim Minnery, the president Alaska Family Action, told Anchorage Daily News ahead of the vote. He had hoped that the new bill would pass in order to solidify the “immutable biological condition of being male or female” into law. “People are rightfully uncomfortable with someone of the opposite biological sex being in a private space,” he added.
Retailing giant Target has come under intense security for their gender-neutral bathroom policy – recently, a man exposed himself to a girl in the women’s bathroom of one of its stores, as reported by Business Insider.
“Why is anyone shocked? Target prides itself in its policy that allows biological men to use women’s restrooms,” Graham posted to Facebook in response to the news – he also re-issued calls for a boycott of the megastore.