In public schools, students can now use only a bathroom, shower room or locker room that aligns with their sex assigned at birth, with few exceptions. For government-owned buildings, including state universities, the restrictions apply only to showers and locker rooms.
Violators may face charges for loitering, and government-owned institutions may face fines if they do not enforce the new rules. The state auditor will be required to establish a process to receive and investigate reports of violations.
The legislation also narrows the definitions of “male” and “female,” basing it on a person’s biological reproductive system. Opponents of the bill say these designations apply specifically to cisgender people and exclude those who identify as nonbinary.
Governor Cox, a Republican, has taken mixed positions on legislation over transgender rights.
In 2022, Mr. Cox vetoed a bill that would have barred young transgender athletes from participating in girls’ and women’s sports teams, which the State Legislature overrode. But last year, he signed a bill that blocked minors from receiving gender-transition health care.
Why It Matters
This is the first legislation this year that targets transgender people’s rights to use bathrooms of their choice, according to the Human Rights Campaign.