Arizona Capitol

Toilet Policeman John Kavanagh Done Trying to Regulate Transgender Bathroom Use (For Now)

Toilet policeman and Republican Representative John Kavanagh has given up trying to tell transgender people which toilets they can and cannot use, at least this session, according to multiple reports from the state capitol.

Kavanagh tried to regulate transgender toilet usage twice this session, with one proposal making it a crime -- with jail time and all -- to enter a public restroom if the sex on one's birth certificate doesn't match the sign on the door.

See also:
-John Kavanagh Dumps Potty-Cop Bill, Still Wants to Regulate Toilets
-Lawmaker Wants People to Use Birth Certificate to Prove They're in the Right Bathroom

Much of the focus at the Legislature recently has been budget-related (what a novel idea!), and Kavanagh finally admitted to reporters that he's done with the issue this legislative session.

Lavatory Lieutenant Kavanagh pulled his initial proposal after total outrage from the transgender community (and after he refused to discuss the bill at a committee meeting to which scores of people showed up in protest, claiming he showed up without the "appropriate paperwork" due to a "communication breakdown") but then tried again.

Kavanagh then proposed a bill stating "no person or business shall be civilly or criminally liable for denying access to privacy areas based on gender identity or expression."

This, again, was clearly in response to a recently passed City of Phoenix anti-discrimination ordinance, which had nothing to do with bathrooms specifically.

Kavanagh's proposal would've made the state government the only entity that could regulate "access to privacy areas in places of public accommodation based on gender identity or expression."

That bill passed the House Appropriations Committee -- which Kavanagh chairs, naturally -- but has just been sitting around ever since.

Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley