We Oppose HB 183: The Bathroom Ban For Trans People

President Douglas Berger sub­mit­ted writ­ten tes­ti­mo­ny to the Ohio House Higher Education Committee that is con­sid­er­ing House Bill 183 that would pro­hib­it trans­gen­der kids and adults from using the pub­lic bath­rooms that align with their gen­der iden­ti­ty.

Two peo­ple on the com­mit­tee are from the NW Ohio area. Rep. Derek Merrin (R‑42) and Rep. Josh Williams (R‑41).

The hear­ing for oppo­si­tion tes­ti­mo­ny is Wednesday October 11th. Here is the text of his tes­ti­mo­ny as sub­mit­ted:

Chair Rep. Young, Vice Chair Rep. Manning, and Ranking Member Rep. Miller, my name is Douglas Berger and I am President of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie, based in Toledo.

I am writ­ing today to express our group’s oppo­si­tion to House Bill 183 that would pro­hib­it trans­gen­der kids and adults from using the pub­lic bath­rooms that align with their gen­der iden­ti­ty.

We oppose this dis­crim­i­na­to­ry bill since it reminds us of the dark days of Jim Crow when bath­rooms and even drink­ing foun­tains were seg­re­gat­ed by race and this bill is based on the same kind of false nar­ra­tive and flim­sy evi­dence that those Jim Crow laws were based on.

We are also tired of mem­bers of this leg­is­la­ture pass­ing off irra­tional reli­gious big­otry as pub­lic pol­i­cy and law. When will your need to impose your reli­gion on oth­ers stop?

HB 183 has no fac­tu­al basis and no data to jus­ti­fy a ban is need­ed. Most anec­do­tal sto­ries are made up. The num­bers of teach­ers and peo­ple of faith who have been arrest­ed and charged for abus­ing chil­dren far out dis­tance any report­ed crime due to Trans peo­ple using the bath­room that aligns with their gen­der iden­ti­ty. I am more fear­ful of a child being alone with a priest or min­is­ter than using a bath­room with a Trans per­son.

Representative Lear and Bird also failed to note which reli­gious con­ser­v­a­tive lob­by group they copied and past­ed this ridicu­lous pro­pos­al from. There is a rea­son these pro­pos­als all look alike.

We can also promise that the peo­ple who intro­duced this bill and at least three mem­bers of this com­mit­tee have nev­er met a Trans kid and has nev­er talked to the Trans com­mu­ni­ty but they seem to want to dis­crim­i­nate against Trans peo­ple any­way. I’m sure it is eas­i­er to dis­crim­i­nate when you nev­er talk to them.

Our mem­bers would also like to know who will enforce this ban and how will it be enforced. Will birth cer­tifi­cates be required to be shown or will a school offi­cial be des­ig­nat­ed as a gen­i­tal check­er? Will you have a par­ent sign a form so their child can have a gen­i­tal check? If there is no enforce­ment mech­a­nism then this pro­pos­al is just for show. In fact it would be used to out Trans kids and bul­ly them.

Adding on an unfund­ed man­date on pub­lic schools and col­leges that you bare­ly help fund is also some­thing to con­sid­er.

In a recent TV inter­view, a mem­ber of this com­mit­tee said that edu­ca­tion­al pol­i­cy should only go toward the aca­d­e­m­ic progress of stu­dents and we should­n’t be intro­duc­ing social issues into the class­room. How does HB 183 advance aca­d­e­m­ic progress? It does­n’t but it sure intro­duces social issues into the class­room. How will this bill improve the dis­mal school rank­ing the state has received recent­ly.

Why don’t Trans kids deserve to be pro­tect­ed too?

We ask you to vote no on HB 183.

5 Replies to “We Oppose HB 183: The Bathroom Ban For Trans People”

  1. Religious big­otry might also include mak­ing a state­ment as “being more fear­ful of a child being alone with a priest or min­is­ter!”. Be care­ful when mak­ing com­par­isons Doug! Member Jules

    1. That isn’t how it works. The fact is there have been hun­dreds of arrests and con­vic­tions of peo­ple of faith and lit­tle to no arrests of Trans peo­ple for child abuse

      1. Just say­ing. Be care­ful of using reli­gious big­otry to show­case reli­gious big­otry! All the best, jules

        1. I am not sure why you think my com­ment is using reli­gious big­otry. Maybe I am wrong so please explain it to me. Thanks

          1. Perhaps its just me ‚Doug.….I nev­er try to slam cler­ics.… In gen­er­al,
            seems unfair ! Guess I have known too many good ones in my life.

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