Public-Bathroom Bill Upsets South Florida Transgender Advocates

Mar 5, 2015

A Florida bill would block transgender individuals from using single-sex restrooms that match their gender identity.
Credit Cindi / Flickr Creative Commons

A state House committee has advanced legislation that would undo a Miami-Dade civil rights ordinance for the transgender community.

The bill would block transgender individuals from using single-sex restrooms that match their gender identity. 

House Bill  583 by Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami) requires men transitioning to women or women transitioning to men to use restrooms based on their birth gender, regardless of how they identify.

That means transgender women would be committing a crime if they enter female restrooms, unless they can prove with a license or passport they've completed their transition.

Milancita Rodriguez, a South Florida transgender advocate,  says she shouldn’t need to provide ID to use the restroom and faults lawmakers for not understanding what it means to be transgender.

"We don’t feel like a man and that’s what those lawmakers need to understand," she said. "My family accepts me as a woman, my friends accept me as a woman and I expect the people I vote for to accept me as a woman."

If the "bathroom bill" passes, it would undo a transgender nondiscrimination ordinance passed in Miami-Dade County that allows transgender individuals to use the bathroom that correspond with their gender identity.