Kentucky ‘trans bounty’ bathroom bill fails

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A bill proposing to offer cash rewards to people who reported trans students using the “wrong” bathroom has failed to pass.

State Senator CB Embry’s bill would have banned students across Kentucky from using facilities that did not correspond with their “biological sex”, offering rewards of $2,500 (£1,650) to anyone who reported people violating the law. Sen Embry believed trans students using the toilets of their gender would cause “embarrassment, shame, and psychological injury to students”.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate, but was stalled by the majority Democrat House of Representatives. Sen Embry then tried to force through his proposals by adding them to a separate, unrelated educational bill, intended to give students greater representation on certain decisions.

Kentucky students had fought hard for the changes, and were dismayed that it had been co-opted by Sen Embry and other Republican lawmakers. While Sen Embry eventually withdrew his proposals from the bill, it is believed his interference led to the bill failing to pass the House.

Michael Silverman of the The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund said in a statement: “We are elated that his mean-spirited legislation has failed and congratulate The Fairness Coalition for their tireless work to defeat the bill. Denying students access to bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with who they are is cruel.

“This bill would have hurt already-vulnerable transgender students who regularly face bullying and other forms of harassment. TLDEF will continue to speak out against legislation designed to put transgender students in harm’s way.”

Trans students’ rights to use appropriate toilets is a divisive issue across the US.