AZ Lawmaker Pushing “Papers Before You Pee” Bill To Attack Trans Community

john kavanaghEach week, Queerty picks one blowhard, hypocrite, airhead, sanctimonious prick or other enemy of all that is queer to be the Douche of the Week. 

Have a nominee for DOTW? E-mail it to us at [email protected].

In February, Phoenix, Arizona, passed an anti-discrimination law protecting gender expression and identity and ensuring trans citizens had equal access to jobs, housing and public accommodations.

That didn’t sit right with longtime bigot John Kavanagh, a Republican who represents nearby Fountain Hills.

So Rep. Kavanagh is sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal to use a bathroom that doesn’t match their biological gender: Under SB 1432, a person would be guilty of disorderly conduct, a Class One misdemeanor, if they used a bathroom or dressing room that didn’t correspond to the birth sex listed on his or her birth certificate.

Get caught and you could face a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail.

We’re gonna stop for a second and tell you a story: Last week we had the good fortune to attend the GLAAD Media Awards in New York. When nature called, we ambled over to the restrooms and saw that they had been converted into gender-neutral facilities for the evening. Gussied-up men and women shared a typical public bathroom—one with urinals, stalls, the works.

Aside from a few giggles, no one skipped a beat. People did their business, checked their look in the mirror and moved on. The world didn’t end.

And laws like SB 1432 laws don’t just hurt trans people: How many times have we used the women’s room in a gay club, or happily let our female friends use the men’s room? Or ducked into a single-person bathroom of the opposite sex when there was no line? Think they wouldn’t abuse this law to arrest gays? Authorities have used flimsier pretexts.

Anyway, back to Kavanagh: He praised his bill yesterday by smearing trans people as a whole. “The city of Phoenix has crafted a bill that allows people to define their sex by what they think in their head,” he announced. “It also raises the specter of people who want to go into those opposite sex facilities not because they’re transgendered, [but] because maybe that they’re just weird.”

Where are these armies of perverts just waiting at the starting line to invade the women’s room? We keep hearing about them from Republican politicians but we’ve never seen any or heard about them from our female friends. And police chiefs in cities like Albany, which do offer trans protections, have testified that they do not increase bathroom assaults.

As our friends at Housing Works put it, Kavanagh has a  “perverse obsession with what happens behind closed bathroom stall doors.”

All together now, what a douche!


You can reach Rep. John Kavanagh at 602-926-5170 or [email protected]

You can also write to John Kavanagh at:

House of Representatives
1700 W. Washington, Room 307
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Phone Number: (602) 926-5170
Fax Number: (602) 417-3108

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  • Dakotahgeo

    Arizona… Republican… kinda says it all, don’ it? :( Not surprised here… Brewer, Arpieface, Pearce, et al. All Republican toads!

  • doug105

    Call Rep. John Kavanagh at (602) 926-5170

    Why waste time with this? That kind couldn’t change their mind if you give them a case of ex-lax.
    So where are the numbers for the other Rep’s that get to vote on this ?
    If you want something done do it right.

  • Shanestud

    What a disgrace Arizona when we see this week that the government of Canada passed a federal law extending rights and protections (including anti discrimination) laws for transgendered citizens everywhere in Canada. Now which country is the “Home of the Free”?

  • DB

    Regardless of people’s gender identity, they should be required to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex at birth. This bill is common sense. I have e-mailed Representative Kavanagh and told him that, as a gay civil rights activist, I strongly support his bill. I have had enough with homophobic transgender bigots attacking gay people and trying to bully us into supporting their crazy ideas.

  • Thedrdonna

    @DB: So people like Buck Angel should use the women’s restroom? You don’t see that as being disruptive? This will only serve as a means to harass trans people, or really anyone who doesn’t present as 100% “male” or “female”. Butch women, femme men, and trans people all have something to fear if this sort of nonsense gets put in place.

    And, don’t you feel like any situation in which you are on the side of hardcore Arizonan Tea Party republicans is one in which you should maybe reconsider your opinion and reevaluate your stance? I know I would, if I found myself agreeing with them on an issue. Just sayin’.

  • Ganymede

    This cretin should really brush up on his reading before making public statements like this, it might mitigate the worst of his idiocy. No one can define their sex in their head, that would be gender you’re talking about. And gender, dear Sir, is entirely in our heads, being a social construct and all. Not even considering the minefield that would arise from trying to determine individuals birth sex (would people have to carry their birth certificate at all times?) I absolutely hate the fearmongering attitude the media has towards supposed perverts. Shockingly enough, not everyone is as desperate as Mr Kavanaugh that they have to ogle other people’s goodies in the bathroom. Like the GLAAD awards mentioned in the article, many washrooms in Scandanavia are gender-neutral, and they manage to handle peeing without sexual assaults left, right and centre. I think this rabid fear of voyeurism speaks volumes about Mr Kavanaugh himself, rather than society at large.

  • Taurox

    @Thedrdonna – I was against this until I read your comment. Should sent him a picture of Buck Angel with the caption. I will be joining your wife in the woman’s room. Kinda funny how much money would be wasted calling the police on men who look like women in the men’s room and women who look like men in the women’s room. All Legal after this bill. Hilarity. Send a few transsexual men-woman girls into his office lavatory. Wonder if he would change his mind.


    He looks like he needs to ‘show his papers’ too.

  • Charles175

    @DB: Apparently you don’t know any transgendered people on a personal or spiritual level. This let alone knowing anyone (from birth) born intersexed possessing both genders together. You have great anger with a closed mind. Your making the very same mistake as the ones that are against all LGBT people. A divided house shall not stand.


    I agree. This is nothing more than a discriminatory bill that bigots will use to justify calling police…for something that isn’t even a crime.

  • DuMaurier

    I have no doubt this bill is rooted in hostility and bigotry, but I am kind of ignorant on this topic, so I have to ask–how WOULD it be determined that someone is “truly” transgender and entitled to access a public restroom that doesn’t correspond to his or her birth gender?

  • Thedrdonna

    @DuMaurier: Generally speaking, some form of ID or a doctor’s note ought to be sufficient. But the real thing is that people need to realize that bathrooms aren’t magical spaces where people of the other gender are physically incapable of going. In Europe, they have unisex bathrooms and nobody makes a big issue out of it. If someone is being creepy in the bathroom, that’s illegal no matter the gender.

  • jeff4justice

    1) When I am at a business with male and female lockable single-occupant restrooms, if the male one is occupied, I use the female labeled restroom. If this bill passed I could be arrested and get 6 months jail and a $2,500 fine if I did something as common sense as using an empty, single person restroom if it was empty and I need to use it in AZ.

    2) This is a gateway to harassment of men and women who do not fit gender conforming appearances.

    3) Transphobic gays are as awful as anti-gay people.

    @ DB You’re a typical sad big-brother / nanny state loving punk who does not fully understand the slippery slope of criminalizing every damn thing you can pettily worry about. OH THE HUMANITY of not having a law to stop the madness of people using common sense to live day to day!

  • jeff4justice

    So now not only do you need to have an ID in AZ to prove citizenship but you have to have an ID to prove gender.

    Typical 2 party system big-brother/nanny state tyranny bullshit.

  • Thedrdonna

    @jeff4justice: It’s not just ID, you also have to have a birth certificate to prove you were “born female” (or “born male”, although trans men are almost universally ignored when people start in with this crap).

  • damon459

    @DB: Please don’t ever come to Missoula, Montana. We have a city ordnance that protects trans-people and allows them to use the bathroom of their “true” gender. We don’t need bigots like you in our wonderful and excepting community.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @damon459: damon459, I agree with you 100% but… the word you need here is “accepting,” not excepting. Excepting is the exact opposite of what you mean. Sorry about that. Happens to me also. Kudos! :-)

  • jeff4justice

    Also, what if a parent needs to bring their opposite gender small child into a restroom?

    This becomes a form of discrimination against everyone.

  • morgan riggs

    Gender is not a social construct, it is hard wired from birth or maybe even before birth. However, what is seen as masculine or feminine is a social construct. Society holds to a bi-gendered ideal, at least modern society does, and has the lines firmly drawn in stone as to what is considered acceptable behavior for both males and females. Females have a wider swing in expressing gender than men do, all due to the fact that for all to long women have been powerless both politically and economically.

    This guy is a total blowhard buffoon, and the quicker we all ignore him the quicker he will shrivel up and blow away.

  • niles

    I do not care about this issue or about transsexual issues in general. However, I would rather not have women invade my sacred man space in restrooms and locker rooms, thank you.

  • Daggerman

    ..there is no substance what so ever to this idiot, why he holds that type of job is a mystery…he obviously hasn’t the understanding about real life, and to be honest should just be pitied and laughed at!

  • vklortho

    @niles: Agreed. Men should be free to use men’s restrooms and locker rooms regardless of whether they have an innie or an outie and vice versa.

Comments are closed.