The bathroom bill lives UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The bathroom bill lives UPDATE

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 1:25 PM

click to enlarge BATHROOM CRUSADER: Linda Collins-Smith - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • BATHROOM CRUSADER: Linda Collins-Smith
The Senate Judiciary Commitee voted Wednesday to have interim hearings on Sen. Linda Collins-Smith bathroom bill, an effort to prohibit transgender people from using facilities that match their identity.

It's mean stuff and the intervention of Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson and his uncle, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, kept it out of the statute books in 2017. But the enemies of transgender people haven't quit fighting, with a recent victory in Texas to their credit. They are red hot to continue pursuit of a non-existent problem in Arkansas and will at least have some hearings before the next regular legislative session. (In theory, only budget matters may be discussed in 2018.) If we're lucky, a Republican challenger will defeat Collins-Smith in the 2018 primary.

I wish the Senate Judiciary Committee had attended the Lady Parts Justice League show at Vino's recently. It was mostly about abortion rights, but the acts included a trans male comedian — buff and bearded — who talked about bathroom matters in detailed ways that might have opened a few eyes as well as made a few shift uncomfortably in their seats. I can imagine the look on Linda Collins-Smith face if this fellow were made, by force of Arkansas law, to use HER restroom.

UPDATE: Somehow I'd missed this. That time a transwoman introduced herself to Linda Collins-Smith in a Capitol restroom. See, a woman met a man (by Collins-Smith's definition) in the ladies room and survived. Actually, of course, a woman met a woman.

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