Michigan senator sponsors bill on bathroom use by transgender kids

Posted at 11:20 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 23:20:07-04

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan senator has introduced legislation that could stop transgender students from using bathrooms that don't match their "biological sex."

Sen. Tom Casperson, a Republican, unveiled a bill Wednesday that would offer accommodations to transgender students with parental consent. But the accommodation can't include a bathroom, locker room or shower used by students "of the opposite biological sex."

The bill is causing outrage and fear in the LGBT community.

"We're writing laws for non-existent problems," said Ellie, a trans woman who is also a board member with Grand Rapids Pride.   "Where does it stop? I think that's what worries all of us."

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says the legislation is not a priority for the Senate. It's been assigned to a committee.

The bill comes after some Republican lawmakers were outraged by draft guidelines from the State Board of Education that included recommendations on how to address transgender K-12 students.

The proposed bill comes as 11 states are suing the Obama administration over a new directive about transgender students in public schools.

The lawsuit announced Wednesday includes Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia. The challenge follows a federal directive to U.S. schools this month to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

The Associated Press contributed to this report