“Bathroom Bill” Criticized As Big Government Intrusion 

By Robert Miranda

Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

December 15, 2015

Many people in our community are not aware of a debate taking place in Madison regarding an individual’s right to use a public restroom based on how the individual identifies rather than his or her biology.

The debate was stirred up by a legislative bill known as the “bathroom bill” introduced by state Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum. 

The bill, if it were to pass and become law, proposes that schools designate bathrooms for each sex, meaning at a public school, students would have to use bathrooms according to their biological sex, the way they are physically, not the gender by which an individual identifies with, meaning the sex they believe they are. 

Why this bill has yet to become a topic of discussion in our community by community leaders is beyond me. 

State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D) is opposed to the Kremer Bill and has issued a statement that reads: 

“Although the bill’s author claims to be concerned about privacy, this proposal is the ultimate invasion of privacy. We don’t need big government to check kids’ anatomy before they’re allowed to use the bathroom. Transgender people already face enough barriers, harassment, and discrimination at work, home, school, and in public accommodations. A staggering 41 percent of transgender people attempt suicide. We do not need to put humiliating and onerous restrictions in place that could add to that.”

While I am sympathetic to the issues of transgender people, and I do support gender neutral options for transgender people, I would like to know why this matter is not being discussed in the community?

Zamarripa’s district, I would wager heavily, does not identify as majority transgender.  To deny her constituents a voice regarding their views on this matter serves not her district, but special interest groups advocating to block the Republicans in support of a bill authored by Democrats.

Parents of students attending Milwaukee Public Schools have the right to know that such a law is being opposed by their elected state representative. Parents and the voters of the 8th Assembly District have every right to know why Zamarripa opposes this law. She has the responsibility to inform her constituents of this law’s impact.

In recent weeks, President Obama’s administration released a statement via the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice in which he agrees that schools can’t prevent transgender students from using the bathrooms based on their gender identity. It would be a violation of federal law if they do. This statement was made in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a Virginia teenager who is suing over the ability to use the boys’ restrooms at the high school the student is attending, according to the Associated Press:
http://nypost.com/2015/06/11/transgender-student-sues-school-citing-restroom-policy/

To counter the Republican-led bill in Wisconsin, State Rep. Sondy Pope, D-Cross Plains, and State Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd, D-Milwaukee, propose that the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction create a bathroom for transgender students.

That bill requires that each school board creates its own policy and uses language provided by the National Center for Transgender Equality. In other words, transgender advocate groups that support unisex style bathrooms argue that, when a child is born, the sex the child is assigned because of biological features does not fit neatly into one of the two sex choices once the child has grown and identifies as a different gender. That being said, the debate is only getting started. The community should be able to give its opinion as to what it wants for the children in our public schools. 
Contact State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa and give her your thoughts on the matter. Maybe instead of hiding in the shadows, a public debate regarding this matter could be held so that parents and voters are properly informed. 

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on December 17, 2015

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