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Alabama city makes it illegal to use bathroom that doesn’t match birth gender

Gender neutral bathroom (Photo: Jeffrey Beall)
Gender neutral bathroom (Photo: Jeffrey Beall)

OXFORD, Ala. — An Alabama city has swiftly responded to Target’s new transgender bathroom policy by passing a citywide ordinance outlawing individuals from using a restroom that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

“(Target’s) policy creates an unsafe environment,” Steven Waits, Oxford City Council’s president, told WBRC.

Waits said his town’s new law was not intended to depict transgender individuals as predators, but said it is “being put in to protect women, children and families from voyeurs, child molesters, exhibitionists, sexual predators and others who might use these policies to their advantage.”

One Alabama woman was recently the victim of such an incident when a cross-dressing man came into a public women’s bathroom she was occupying and attempted to video her sitting on the toilet.

Oxford police chief Bill Partridge told WBRC the city’s new ordinance “carries penalties of a $500 fine or six months in jail.”

The law’s passage comes in the midst of a national debate about whether individuals should be allowed to use the restroom of their choice, if they do not “identify” with their sex.

North Carolina and Mississippi recently passed laws that require individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their sex at birth as opposed to their gender identity. The laws have drawn the ire of the LGBTQ community, with many activists claiming that it violates their civil rights.

Target, the national retail chain, announced its stores will “welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”

In a press release emphasizing the corporation’s commitment to “inclusivity,” a target spokesperson said, “we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”

Target has 22 Alabama locations, including one in Oxford.

(h/t WBRC)

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