TLDEF Condemns Kentucky Bill Targeting Transgender Students for Discrimination

Kentucky State Seal March 5, 2015 - TLDEF denounces passage of a Kentucky Senate bill that singles out transgender students in that state for discrimination. Introduced by Kentucky State Senator CB Embry, Jr., SB 76 would bar transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that match who they truly are as boys and girls. The State Senate approved the bill last Friday on a 27-9 vote and sent it to the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman 

“Transgender students face challenges on a daily basis just trying to be who they are, often encountering bullying and other forms of harassment. This bill serves no purpose other than to harm already-vulnerable transgender students in Kentucky and make it more difficult for them to fully participate in school. It runs afoul of Title IX’s anti-discrimination provisions as interpreted by the United States Departments of Justice and Education.  And it raises profound concerns under the United States Constitution and its guarantee that all citizens be treated equally.

“Beyond the bill’s legal failings, it is just the wrong thing to do.  Denying students access to bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity is cruel. Legislation like this hurts transgender children. It singles them out for harassment and discrimination as the only students forbidden to use facilities that match who they truly are. Transgender students deserve the same chance to participate fully in their school environments as everyone else.

“This bill follows a disturbing pattern of anti-transgender legislation in other states. Texas and Florida are currently considering bills that would impose criminal penalties on transgender people for using bathrooms that match who they are.  We hope that this bill will be voted down in the Kentucky House.”