Elvis impersonator lawmaker targets Indiana transgender students with ‘bathroom bill’ – ThinkProgress


Rep. Bruce Borders (R), an Indiana state lawmaker identified for his Elvis Presley impersonation has launched a invoice concentrating on transgender college students for discrimination.

Home Invoice 1525 mirrors “lavatory payments” which have been proposed in numerous states lately. If handed, it could dictate that college students in Indiana’s public and constitution colleges might solely use restrooms that match their “organic intercourse,” which the invoice clarifies could be “decided by a person’s chromosomes and recognized at delivery by the person’s anatomy.”

Much like a invoice additionally launched this 12 months in South Dakota, Borders’ invoice would likewise prohibit transgender college students from taking part in any athletic packages in accordance with their gender id.

As advocates have identified in earlier fights over laws concentrating on transgender college students, such mandated discrimination would endanger their psychological well being and severely restrict their entry to training.

Furthermore, Borders’ invoice instantly violates a ruling by the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which tossed out a Wisconsin college’s discriminatory insurance policies. The trans pupil in that case, Ash Whitaker, was prohibited from utilizing the boys’ restrooms, compelled as an alternative to make use of single-stall restrooms so removed from his lessons that he couldn’t really entry it and nonetheless get to class on time.

“[H]e was confronted with the unenviable alternative,” the Court docket wrote, “between utilizing a toilet that will additional stigmatize him and trigger him to overlook class time, or keep away from use of the lavatory altogether on the expense of his well being.”

The Court docket, which presides over Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana, rejected the arguments that transgender individuals pose any risk once they use restrooms. That seems to be precisely the reasoning behind Borders’ new invoice.

The Indiana Liberty Coalition, a conservative advocacy group, praised Borders this week for introducing the laws. “Right this moment, Rep. Borders stood up for Hoosier kids within the classroom, pupil privateness and Hoosier households,” the group proclaimed.

Whereas Borders has not spoken publicly about his new invoice, he has beforehand tried to discriminate towards transgender individuals. In 2017, he launched a special invoice that will have prohibited transgender individuals from updating their delivery certificates to mirror their gender id. Only a few states have such strict limitations on delivery certificates updates, and a federal court docket overturned a kind of legal guidelines in Idaho final 12 months. Solely Kansas, Ohio, and Tennessee nonetheless prohibit updates, and authorized challenges are already underway in Kansas.

Borders’ invoice was quashed in committee by different Republican lawmakers. He claimed that he tried to erase transgender individuals’s identities as a result of, “I simply respect accuracy in all authorized information.”

Borders additionally beforehand opposed LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections, expressing concern that they could infringe on individuals’s non secular beliefs.

Indiana is notorious for passing a “non secular freedom” invoice in 2015, signed into legislation by then-Gov. Mike Pence (R), that gave enterprise homeowners a license to discriminate towards LGBTQ clients.

After nationwide outcry, lawmakers adjusted the invoice to verify it couldn’t be used to justify discrimination. The state has since tried to rehabilitate its bigoted status, however that hasn’t stopped conservative lawmakers from introducing different discriminatory payments.

Borders is understood all through the state for his Elvis impersonation, which he has been performing for over 40 years.

He mentioned lately he might suggest a decision this 12 months honoring Elvis, who carried out his final live performance earlier than his loss of life in Indiana.



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