wtsp.com – Garin Flowers, WTSP April 15, 2015
TALLAHASSEE, Florida — It has undoubtedly been one of the more controversial issues this session. The single-sex public facilities bill, filed by Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami), would make it illegal for someone to use a public bathroom labeled for the opposite gender.
Artiles said he filed his bill to combat an “over-broad and subjective” Miami-Dade ordinance that passed in December. The ordinance bans discrimination based on gender and identity. But, he argues that it gives heterosexual men access to facilities where women and children are changing, which presents safety and privacy issues.
“The genesis of this bill is about common sense, about public safety, privacy and uniformity. The intent of this bill is to protect our children and to ensure that there’s an objective standard to gender identity,” Artiles said.
This enraged many in the LGBT community, especially transgender people, who say it’s only purpose was to be discriminatory. That’s because it would force them to use the bathroom of the sex they were born or listed on their driver’s license, even though they may look like and identify as the opposite sex.