A lawmaker in Indiana has introduced a bill which would criminalise transgender people who use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.
The man behind this is State Senator Jim Tomes, who wants to make it a Class A misdemeanor. This will make it punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of as much of $5,000.
When speaking to AFP, he said: “We’ve walked through a doorway we’ll never go back through. And we’re going to have to address some concerns that are now facing us. If you were born a man, then you are obliged to use the males’ restroom.”
The measure would also require public schools and their students to comply, but students would not face criminal charges.
Freedom Indiana, an LGBTQ+ group, has denounced the bill as a “scare tactic” intended to “promote fear over reality.”
Their official statement reads: “We’ve become aware of harmful legislation that’s been filed at the statehouse that would target and punish transgender Hoosiers for being who they are. This legislation, which would put Indiana law in conflict with federal law, is specifically aimed at transgender youth, who already are very vulnerable to bullying and depression.”
“The Indiana General Assembly is no place for scare tactics. We know there will be attempts in the upcoming session to promote fear over reality, but we also know that a majority of Hoosiers want to see gay and transgender people protected under our civil rights law, and we won’t let anything distract us from that goal. We hope lawmakers will stay similarly focused on making our state safe and welcoming for all people.”