In a move that is sure to spark controversy, the Arkansas State Senate just introduced new legislation to outlaw transgender bathrooms in all publicly-owned and privately-owned buildings.*
The Arkansas bill entitled “The Conserving Real Arkansas Purity Act” or CRAP, and it goes far beyond the infamous HB2 bill in North Carolina that drew a firestorm of criticism in 2016. The North Carolina law had the effect of overturning local city ordinances that required transgender bathroom policies in public buildings and private businesses. However, it did not require private businesses to adopt any particular policy on bathrooms. Under the North Carolina law, private businesses were free to allow people to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity or implement rules based on biological sex.
By contrast, the CRAP bill takes it one step further. It not only prevents localities from mandating a transgender bathroom policy, it actually creates its own mandate that all establishments provide “biologically-defined restroom facilities”.
GOP State Senator Chris Tomlinson introduced CRAP to “conserve traditional values”. Senator Tomlinson said he was inspired to take action after discovering, much to his shock, that the single bathroom in his townhouse was effectively a transgender-friendly bathroom. Of course, this would be true of most bathrooms in private residences–since usually these bathrooms are unisex instead of being segregated by sex as they often are at buildings open to the public.
“I was horrified,” Senator Tomlinson told the The Daily Face Palm. “I had been defecating in sin all these years and never even realized it. Something had to be done.”
The “something” ended up being the ambitious new CRAP proposal, which would have the result of outlawing unisex bathrooms and forcing private property owners to provide “adequate facilities” in the words of the bill.
Not everyone is happy about the new proposal. In addition to individual property owners who will bear additional cost, many conservatives and libertarians have charged that Senator Tomlinson is straying from the limited government principles he claims to defend.
Senator Tomlinson forcefully rejected this criticism. “Obviously, any limited constitutional government should have the ability to assess your genitalia and make policy around it. That is a given. Haven’t you been through an airport recently? The same principle is at work in the security checkpoint.”
Another criticism of the CRAP bill comes from those who suggest that transgender individuals might be in a better position to assess their gender identity than random bureaucrats who have never met them. However, Senator Tomlinson had an answer for this as well, noting “there is zero scientific evidence for the claim that there are more than two genders.”
As part of our questioning, The Daily Face Palm politely pointed out to the senator that he has steadfastly rejected current scientific evidence on other policy areas, such as the relative potency and danger of marijuana compared to alcohol and prescription drugs.
In response, Senator Tomlinson clarified that he only cites scientific research when it supports his preconceived position. He also noted this rhetorical strategy has “widespread bipartisan support”.
*The CRAP bill, Senator Tomlinson, and all quotes presented above are fictional in nature. Any similarities between the arguments presented above and the positions expounded by actual politicians or trolls on your social media feed, are entirely coincidental.