At a “Meet Your Legislators” event, state senator Jim Tomes answered questions about a new bill he authored that would make it a Class A misdemeanor for using a restroom that dose not match a person’s biological gender.
Tomes says the meeting is the best way to clarify information to the public
“It might help clear up some questions like how did this happen, or why did this happen?” Tomes says.
The bill would send someone to jail for up to a year and fine them as much as $5,000 if they were convicted of entering a bathroom that does not match up with their birth gender.
Grover Jedie, a transgender man says if this bill was passed it would be huge problem for transgender students.
“I‘m only there to use the facility’s. I’m not there to do anything else,” Jeide says. “But i can potentially be jailed if somebody got suspicious enough to ask for my ID, or to demand even further proof, i would have to start carrying my birth certificate around with me.”
Senator Tomes says it’s not a discrimination bill. He says it’s just for peoples privacy, specifically students.
“The intent of the bill is to maintain a level of privacy when you’re using a restroom,” Tomes says. “We’ve had that all these years, we just want to maintain it.”
Jedie doesn’t think it’s that simple, and says the public could become confused when a transgender person uses a public restroom.
“It’s not such a black and white issue,” Jeide says. “By dictating which restrooms we have to use based on birth sex is going to end up being a very messy issue because I’m going to end up going into the women’s room, looking like a man. And it could cause trouble that way too.”
Tomes says he’s not trying to single anyone out. He adds that the bill is still in a very early stage, and that modifications may be considered. The 2016 Indiana general assembly runs through March.