ACLU opposes Virginia anti-LGBT privacy bill

aclu virginiaACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastañana comments on HB 1612, an anti-LGBT privacy bill introduced by Del. Bob Marshall.

“The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes House Bill 1612, proposed by Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Manassas).

“HB1612 is about invading privacy, not protecting it. Among other things, this bill would require anyone who wants to avoid harassment or an interaction with a government official to carry a copy of their birth certificate on their person anywhere they may need to use a restroom on state property.

“Transgender people need and deserve privacy, too. Their privacy includes being able to use restrooms that conform with their gender identity without confrontation or hassle.

“We already have criminal laws on the books that protect everyone from violations of their persons and privacy while in public restrooms. This bill does nothing to protect anyone and only serves to invite public attacks on people using restrooms who do not conform to someone’s expectations of what a person of a particular sex or gender looks like.

“We already have laws on the books that protect parental interests, including the federal law that assures that every parent has access to the school records of their minor children.

“We would have hoped that Virginia legislators would have learned valuable economic and civil rights lessons from their colleagues in North Carolina, but certain lawmakers seem committed to taking the Commonwealth down the wrong path.

“Similar measures died in committee in 2016, and we are confident that HB1612 is destined for a similar fate.”

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