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Businesses Barricade Bathrooms?

By Izhaan Ahmed

The state legislature of Tennessee had passed a bill that would require businesses to accept or deny transgender access to their biological gender restroom. However, this legislation was permanently struck down by a federal court on May 17, 2022.

The initial law detailed parameters of a newly required sign. Businesses needed to indicate whether transgender people could utilize the bathroom in which they feel most comfortable. The law was put into effect on July 1, 2021, but was suspended by the same federal court a week later. Citing the divisive nature of the law, the court proceeded to officially strike this provision down.

Source by Sam Tsui

Changes may occur to the bathroom signs to which New Hyde Park students have grown accustomed.

Students of NHP have their own opinions on the concurrent matter.

“Obviously, I want everyone to be safe, but I also want people to be comfortable where they are going to use the bathroom. In my eyes having bathrooms by birth sex may ultimately be the safest option,” sophomore Matthew Muntzenberger said.

“People should be able to go to the bathroom of their chosen gender as that is what they identify as. People should be able to be comfortable going to the bathroom and that will only happen if they get to go to the bathroom of their chosen gender,” junior Kushpreet Ahuja said.

Current federal legislation does not give explicit protection to LGBTQ+ people.

According to the Pew Research Center, arguments over the broader implicated issue of transgender acceptance are inherently divisive. Predominant attitudes of the conservative stance are fixed on the possibility of criminals exploiting transgender acceptance to intrude in areas designated for the opposite sex. The progressive stance on this issue disputes this by citing elevated suicide rates of transgender people and the disproportionate amount of time spent on transgender discourse.

This case may also be significant to the broader issue of transgender rights. NHP students have also discussed what they believe this court decision may entail.

“The proposed bill would have allowed for businesses to accept or deny the rights and identities of transgender people throughout Tennessee based on personal opinion, furthering the dehumanizing treatment many transgender people experience," junior Ethan Siegel said. "By striking the bill and permanently blocking it, the judge conveys the notion that transgender people are the same as any other citizens and deserve to be protected by the constitution in the same way cisgender people are.”

“The sign requirement should have not been in place. In the future, transgender people should be viewed only by their chosen sex,” freshman Cameron Conroy said.

It is unclear how this decision will impact the future of the LGBTQ+ community and the stigma that surrounds them.


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