Wisconsin Republican stands against mean-spirited bathroom bill
Scott Evertz, a Wisconsin Republican, former director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, and former Special Assistant for Global AIDS Initiative, penned an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel urging conservatives to refute proposed bathroom legislation written to discriminate against transgender Wisconsinites.
Evertz begins by defining “compassionate conservatism”–staying true to conservatives values such as limited government, parental rights, and fiscal restraint while still abiding by the Golden Rule. Evertz says that working under Bush and Thompson he received a multitude of support for protecting the safety of transgender individuals.
He continues by stating that “the notion of being conservative, let alone a compassionate conservative, has been thrown out the window with the introduction of Assembly Bill 469. The proposed legislation, which is being considered by the Assembly Committee on Education, will prohibit local school districts from developing policies to allow transgender students to use the restrooms where they are the safest.”
Regardless of gender identity, Evertz says that this legislation should worry parents because it puts all children at risk of harassment for using the restroom.
Evertz continues, “Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Whitewater) has not been able to pinpoint any specific reason that this legislation is necessary. School districts currently work with families and teachers alike to ensure that all students are comfortable with using the restroom, which often means transgender children use unisex/single occupancy restrooms or a stall in the restroom that matches their gender identity. This restroom usage has not caused any issues in the past, nor is there evidence of future issues.”
Additionally, there is no defined way to enforce this legislation if mandated. Without funding or guidance, how are students supposed to validate their birth gender assignment?
Evertz points out that AB 469 does not align with conservative values. “As fiscal conservatives, this bill makes no sense. It not only requires schools to pay for staff to police each and every restroom, but it puts school districts at risk of costly legal battles.”
School districts have worked to ensure that their nondiscrimination policies reflect state and federal laws; AB 469 would undo all of that work, directly opposing the Office of Civil Rights and the United States Department of Education.
Additional problems with this bill arise because it applies to babies and toddlers, meaning that, for example, mothers could not take their infant sons to the women’s restroom in a school. Evertz writes that “No parent in their right mind would want a toddler to enter a restroom by himself or herself.”
Evertz concludes by urging conservatives to oppose AB 469, saying that it removes “local control, jeopardizing the safety and privacy of our children and forcing an unfunded mandate on our schools.”