Transgender Bathroom Bills



Bathroom Bills

A bathroom bill is the common name for either legislation or a statute that seeks to regulate access to public facilities, particularly restrooms, by transgender individuals. Bathroom bills can affect access for an individual based on a determination of their sex as defined in some specific way, such as their sex as listed on their birth certificate.

North Carolina

On March 23, 2016, despite several states trying, North Carolina became the first state to sign into law a bathroom bill called Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act or House Bill 2 or HB2. The law states that in government buildings, individuals (such as students at state-operated schools) may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex identified on their birth certificates. Transgender persons born in North Carolina can obtain modified birth certificates on which their sex is different than what was originally identified at the time of their birth, but only if they have undergone sex reassignment surgery. For those born in other places, the ability to change the sex listed on a birth certificate is governed by their place of birth (which may have substantially different requirements, and in some cases may not allow such changes).

The bill also overturns an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance that had been passed by Charlotte, North Carolina, prevents local governments in the state from enacting similar ordinances, and prevents cities from raising their minimum wages higher than that of the state.

On August 26, 2016, a U.S. District Court judge granted a preliminary injunction, preventing the University of North Carolina from enforcing the restroom provisions of the bill.

Since the HB2 was passed there has been a huge backlash of businesses withdrawing investments, jobs and events from NC, costing NC hundreds of millions of dollars in lost economic growth, advocates campaigning against NC republicans, and the NC governor, Pat McCrory, who signed the law did not get reelected.

In December 2016, the Charlotte City Council and the republican state legislators negiotated a deal where if Charlotte repealed its city ordinance protecting transgender discrimination the GOP state legislators who repeal HB2.  After the Charlotte City Council repealed their at the republican state legislators decided to not repeal the HB2, breaking their word.  With a republican majority in state congress the HB2 doesn’t look like it will be repealed anytime soon.

Texas, Kentucky, and Virginia

Lawmakers in Texas, Virginia, and Kentucky have all filed similar bathroom bills. While the language is slightly different across the bills, but they all define biological sex based on an individual’s birth certificate, and then say that people must use public accommodation, especially in public schools, corresponding to the birth certificate sex.

Texas Bathroom Bill

Virginia Bathroom Bill

Kentucky Bathroom Bill

In 2017 12 other states are considering similar bills, including Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

The People Behind the Bathroom Bill and Other anti LGBTQ Movements

Southern Poverty Law Center Report: The Liberty Counsel

Human Rights Campaign Report: 10 Things You Should Know About The Liberty Counsel

Liberty Council/ Uganda Homophobia Connections

NRCM: Liberty Councol Founder, Mat Staver, Is Charged With Crimes Against Humanity for His Support of Anti-Gay ‘Kill the Gays’ Legislation in Uganda

Learn more about Uganda’s Anti-Gay “Kill the Gays” laws here.


Target made headlines in April 2016 when they issued a public statement saying that the company “supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination, and that “we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”

The announcement drew protests throughout the country, including a petition drive and boycott call from the American Family Association, a conservative Christian activist group.  Target saw a significant drop in sales during this time period.

In August 17 Target announced it would add a third, private, single-stall locking bathroom at many of its stores, which can be locked by users.

There’s been a lot of false news articles about transgender people getting arrested in Target bathrooms.  Please follow up with any article on a fact checking site like

For a list of already fact checked articles on Target follow this link.

Learn More

The Atlantic:  North Carolina Overturns LGBT-Discrimination Bans

CNN: North Carolina fails to repeal ‘bathroom bill’ — now what?

The Atlantic: What’s Behind the New Wave of Transgender ‘Bathroom Bills’

Identities Mic: Trans people in bathrooms are less of a threat than these Republican legislators

Follow Campaign

The National Center for Transgender Equality

Human Rights Campaign: Transgender Campaigns

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC): LGBT Rights

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