Senate Vote Expected Friday on Bill Related to Transgender Bathroom Usage

Feb 26, 2015
Originally published on February 26, 2015 2:55 pm

UPDATE: The bill's sponsor, state Sen. C.B. Embry tells Kentucky Public Radio the Senate will vote Friday on Senate Bill 76. The Fairness Campaign previously indicated the vote would be Thursday.

Director of Kentucky’s Fairness Campaign Chris Hartman says he anticipates the Republican-controlled Senate will pass a bill requiring students to use school bathrooms corresponding with their biological sex, but that it will stall in the Democrat-held state House of Representatives.

“I cannot imagine that the Kentucky House is going to waste as much time prioritizing an issue of discrimination as the Senate has,” Hartman said.”

Hartman said the Kentucky House has more important issues to address in this year’s General Assembly.

“I think they’ll tend to those issues of importance rather than wasting their time on an issue that is currently being handled quite well by local jurisdiction, by school principals, superintendents and school boards in their home districts where they know what’s best for what works on the ground,” Hartman said.

Louisville’s Atherton High School notably implemented a policy that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identification. At least one Atherton student testified in favor of the bill before it passed the Senate Education Committee Monday night. The female student said she was "uncomfortable" with biological males using the girls' bathroom.

Paducah Senator Danny Carroll has been on record as supporting the bill to provide protection to privacy rights for non-transgender students. 

The bill, SB 76, was sponsored by Republican state Sen. C.B. Embry Jr. of Morganfield. The bill allows for the "best possible accommodation" to transgender students without letting them use a restroom that doesn't correspond with their biological sex. In the bill's language, this includes unisex bathrooms, single-stall bathrooms or controlled use of faculty restrooms or showers.

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