Republican leaders have introduced a bill to ban federal funds from going to any state that allows transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate, in an effort to appease conservatives.
The proposal was backed by a bipartisan group of senators who include Sens.
Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R) as well as Sens.
Mike Lee (R, Utah) and Bill Cassidy (R).
The measure has the backing of some key conservatives, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), who said the legislation would help “protect women and children” from the spread of “bacterial and viral diseases.”
Sen. Marco Diaz-Balart (R.-Fla.), the bill’s lead sponsor, said it is not about bathrooms.
“The bill doesn’t discriminate,” he said.
“It doesn’t take away anybody’s right to use any bathroom they want.
This is about protecting people from these terrible diseases.
This legislation will protect us all.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R.) was not among the Republican senators who voted for the bill, which would also ban federal funding from state and local governments that don’t allow transgender people the option to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.
The bill, however, does include a provision allowing the Justice Department to review the policies of local governments and police departments in a bid to make sure they do not discriminate against transgender people.
The Justice Department, for instance, is currently considering a suit against North Carolina over the state’s law.
The House bill would also require the federal government to issue guidelines on how transgender people can use bathrooms, including shower facilities.
But it does not include a transgender person bill that would require the government to make gender-neutral bathrooms available for transgender people in public buildings.
The GOP bill would provide a “safe harbor” to the states for the implementation of anti-discrimination protections for transgender individuals in the workplace and housing, but it does nothing to prevent local governments from implementing their own policies.
In addition, it would allow the Justice Departments to use existing federal authority to sue a state for discrimination in employment and housing.
The department would be allowed to sue if it found that discrimination in housing was intentional.
This measure would also expand a federal anti-harassment law that currently applies to private companies to apply to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which regulates federal contractors.
But it does no such thing to local governments.
The Republican bill, though, would not apply to transgender people who use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identities.