“Show Me Your Papers Before You Pee”

Jim Burroway

March 19th, 2013

Cathi Herrod, of the Center for Arizona Policy (an official state affailiate of Focus On the Family) is shopping a proposal around to Arizona state legislators:

Now there is a “bathroom bill” before the state Legislature — “show me your papers” before you pee. Read it:


The targets are transgender residents of Arizona. They would be committing a crime (a misdemeanor) by using the wrong bathroom with the wrong birth certificate. (Moms and dads would be allowed to bring opposite sex kids into the bathroom with them.)

Acording to Arizona Repiblic’s Brahm Resnik , “The new bathroom bill, SB 1432, is a ‘strike-everything’ bill inserted in the shell of another bill that had the same number.”  The original SB 1432 was supposed to deal with the licensing of massage therapists. A hearing is set for 2:00 p.m. tomorrow before GOP State Rep. John Kavanagh’s House Appropriations Committee.

Jeez, I live in a total freak-show of a state.

Update: From the Arizona House of Representative’s web site:


SB 1432 requires the Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy (Board) to appoint an Executive Director (Director), outlines the Director’s powers and duties and establishes the Board’s fund.

Summary of the Proposed Strike-Everything Amendment to SB 1432

The proposed strike-everything amendment to SB 1432 is an emergency measure that adds a person who intentionally enters a specified area designated for the opposite sex to the disorderly conduct statutory classification, with exemptions.

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13, Chapter 29 establishes offenses against public order.  Specifically, statute outlines offenses classified as disorderly conduct, which include a person committing any of the following:

  • Engaging in fighting, or violent disruptive behavior,
  • Making unreasonable noise,
  • Using abusive or offensive language to provoke an immediate physical retaliation by another,
  • Preventing the transaction of business of a lawful meeting or gathering,
  • Refusing to obey a lawful order to disperse issued to maintain public safety, or
  • Recklessly handling, or discharging a deadly weapon.


  • States a person commits disorderly conduct if they intentionally enter a public restroom, bathroom, shower, bath, dressing room or locker room, and a sign indicates that the room is exclusively for the use of one sex, and that person is not legally classified as a member of that sex on their birth certificate.
  • Classifies the disorderly conduct violation as a Class 1 misdemeanor (6 months/$2,500).
  • Provides an exemption from the violation for persons that:
    • Enter as part of their job responsibilities,
    • Enter to give aid or assistance to another,
    • Is a child in need of assistance, or
    • Are physically disabled.
  • Contains an emergency clause.
  • Makes a conforming change.

The amended Section 1.  Section 13-2904 as proposed is shown here.


March 19th, 2013

“There are no comments for this post.”

Which might be the best comment…

Dave H

March 19th, 2013

Beyond the fact that this proposed legislation is obviously motivated by ignorance and animus towards transgender people, it’s also bad legislation because it would be an enforcement nightmare and a court case waiting to happen. No one is expected to carry their birth certificate around with them. Plus, a law enforcement officer would have to physically inspect the person in question’s genitalia in order to match it with the person’s birth certificate.

Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of our legislators jump on board with this. Many of them aren’t too familiar with the constitution, let alone basic compassion and decency.

Richard Poppen

March 19th, 2013

Jeez, there’s an emergency clause in this bill. Is there a rash of cross-gender restroom incursions going on in Arizona that has to be dealt with RIGHT NOW?

Timothy Kincaid

March 19th, 2013

This isn’t just hateful and ignorant towards trans people, it’s STUPID.

Anyone who has ever lived in the real world knows that there are a lot of times in which a person uses the bathroom that doesn’t align with their birth certificate. We’ve all seen girls ushered into a men’s room stall at a football game or in a dance club when the women’s line was crazy long and there was no one in the guy’s bathroom.

Or what are people to do when one bathroom is out of order, pee on the floor?

This is nanny-state, micro-management, intrusive big government at it’s VERY WORST; creating a “problem” so that a “solution” can be handed down by people who get off on their little power position.

Nick Thiwerspoon

March 19th, 2013

I thought the “right” wanted to reduce the size and scope of government, not increase it. And I bet you she a holy-roller too, all lovey-dovey on Sunday and thin-lipped the rest of the week.



March 19th, 2013

Will there be a provision in the state budget to provide for paid government employees to be restroom monitors?

Arizona already requires people to carry their birth certificates in order register to vote, obtain employment, and, I believe, purchase food and water. So, really, this is just a natural extension of the “Show me your papers” policy that already exists.

Ben in Oakland

March 19th, 2013

Nick, you just don’t understand.

Small government for me, big government for you.

The New Testament for me, the Old Testament for you.

Freedom of religion for me, freedom to follow my religion for you.

Freedom to have an abortion for rich me, freedom to have a baby you can’t care for poor you.

Freedom to marry whom I want for me, freedom to marry whom I want for you.


March 19th, 2013

I was the victim of a sever beating for entering a men’s restroom with the wrong gender presentation. Paradoxically I was using the men’s restroom because on a previous occasion a police officer had warned me that should I use the female restroom I could be arrested on sexual deviance charges because a mother had complained about me using this restroom before. Now then this fine young college student who outweighed me by almost a 100lbs got off on the gay panic defense.

So from this we can determine that when a person enters the restroom displaying the wrong gender this can instill panic in young adult men, so shouldn’t it behoove the Arizona government to not write legislation that will result in the panic and distress of our young college age men?

I only ask it this way because I don’t want anyone thinking I’m asking for special rights, but please someone thing of our heterosexual college age youths.

paul canning

March 19th, 2013

To answer Jim’s question. Yes, you live in “a total freak-show of a state”.


March 19th, 2013

I’m surprised they didn’t include “original, unaltered” before “birth certificate” to stop those who had legally changed theirs.


March 20th, 2013

Am I missing something here? What am I not understanding about why this bill is proposed?

I have been using women’s restrooms for my entire life, and other than during the “bad old days” at Grand Central in NYC, where homeless women used to bathe in the sinks, I have never seen anything that I couldn’t have seen out on the sidewalk. What is in “public” to see is women washing their hands, brushing their hair, putting on makeup, etc., and sometimes changing a baby.

I know it’s a tiny bit different for men, but still, from what I understand, men mostly don’t walk around unclothed in restrooms and in any event there are stalls for them to use.

What do the lawmakers think that people will see or experience if they share a restroom with a trans person? Can’t they just compare it to what they see at any other time (which is nothing)?

This certainly seems like trans-phobia, pure and simple, because common sense, it isn’t.


March 20th, 2013

Women sports reporters would be subject to arrest for conducting post-game locker room interviews of male athletes. Probably not the objective of the law, but badly written laws can be a legal nightmare in the courts.


March 20th, 2013

Cathi Herrod’s Center for Arizona Policy writes anti-gay bills and hands them to Republican legislatures along with big campaign contributions. Legal bribery. About 7 or 8 years ago, she tried to prevent Tucson from offering joint library cards to lesbian or gay couples, because that was “sinful.”

Sharon B

March 20th, 2013

Another “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ” story.


March 20th, 2013

gsing jane: some newer restrooms I’ve seen have the stalls designed so that there is a large gap (as much as an inch) between the real wall and the stall, between panels, and at the hinge of the door. I don’t understand why they do this.

You’re also, as rational people do, assuming that people go to the restroom to take care of business and get out. Imagine instead that you’re paranoid about people coming into the restroom just to stand on their tiptoes or crawl around on the nasty floor so they can get a peek at you on the commode.

Of course, even were that common, the best solution would be designing restrooms to provide better privacy for *everybody.*

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