“There are just places where we should be comfortable to do the business that needs to be done in those spaces,” said Sen. Erin Grall, who is sponsoring the Senate bathroom legislation. | Phil Sears/AP Photo By Andrew Atterbury 03/30/2023 04:09 PM EDT Link CopiedTALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Republican lawmakers in Florida this week introduced legislation that could make it a misdemeanor offense for someone to use certain bathrooms that don’t align with their sex at birth, joining conservatives across the country on an issue that opponents say unfairly targets LGBTQ people.Named the “Safety in Private Spaces Act,” lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced similar bills that require that people use restrooms and changing facilities according to their sex assigned at birth at places like schools and restaurants.
Legislators state in the proposal that the aim is to maintain “public safety, decency, and decorum.” Democrats and LGBTQ advocates oppose the idea, claiming it could spur vigilante “potty police” who feel empowered to harass transgender and queer people in facilities across the state.“The direction that we are trying to go is the right one: We don’t want boys in girls’ bathrooms under the perchance that they’re girls, but they’re not — they’re boys,” state Sen.
Debbie Mayfield (R- Melbourne) said Thursday. “And we don’t want girls going into boys’ bathrooms doing the exact same thing.”Legislators advanced the bathroom bills through introductory hearings along party lines Thursday in the Senate, by a 15-3 vote, and Tuesday in the House, by a 11-3 vote.
The proposals come as Republicans in Florida push culture war bills this year focused on how gender identity and sexual identity intersect with parental rights and.