Target: Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle
Goal: Don’t make transgender people using bathrooms that conform to their gender identities a crime.
Trans people in Texas could soon be labeled criminals and face jail time for using bathrooms that conform to their gender identities, if legislation introduced by State Representative Debbie Riddle becomes law. Transgender people need more legal protections, not less. Demand that Representative Riddle abandon her hateful legislation at once.
Riddle has introduced two pieces of legislation that will criminalize both transgender people and their allies. One bill will charge transgender people with disorderly conduct if they enter a bathroom that does not conform with the gender specified on their driver’s license.
The second takes a different approach, charging any transgender person over the age of 13 with a misdemeanor for using a bathroom that does not match their chromosomes or the gender that doctors assigned them at birth. Additionally, this bill would charge any business owner who let trans people use the bathroom that conformed to their gender identity with a state felony, punishing them with up to two years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
The inconsistency in Riddle’s definitions of gender and the proposed criminal charges between the bills underscores how little she understands this issue and how her proposals come from a place of fear and bigotry. Clearly she is just running scattershot, throwing as many transphobic bills into the running as she can in the hopes that at least one of them passes into law. Sign the petition below to demand that Representative Riddle rescind both her bills from consideration so that they can never become law.
Dear Representative Riddle,
I am writing you today regarding House Bills 1747 and 1748. Both of these bills are discriminatory, based on outdated and oppressive conceptions of gender and identity, and will increase hate crimes in your state. They should be discarded without a second thought.
Despite what you seem to think, trans women present no threat to cis women and children in women’s restrooms. On the other hand, however, trans women face exceptionally high risks of violence when they are forced to use men’s bathrooms on the basis of the gender they were assigned at birth.
You denying trans women access to the safe space of a women’s restroom, locker room, or shower puts them at a very real risk of harassment and violence by men in men’s restrooms. The same risk of harassment and violence threatens trans men who are forced to use women’s restrooms as well. Your bills puts many more people at risk of psychological and bodily harm than you mistakenly think they will protect.
These bills are bigoted and reinforce existing difficulties those in the transgender and gender non-binary community face on a daily basis. They are dangerous and promote violence against transgender people. I demand that you rescind both House Bill 1747 and 1748 from consideration at once so that they never have the chance to endanger countless people in your state.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Aeæ via Wikimedia Commons