MADISON, Wis. — Singling out transgender youths and students is the latest giant leap backwards being considered by the Assembly Republican legislative majority. The legislation, Assembly Bill 469 (AB 469), before the Assembly Education Committee for a public hearing today comes courtesy of State Representative Jesse Kremer, who also advocates for segregated grocery stores for low income Wisconsinites receiving public assistance.
“There is not a single thing in this bill that will make our public schools or the students they serve better, safer or more welcoming,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “The reprehensible attitudes and ugly discrimination that this bill represents ought to be condemned to the dustbin of history, not enshrined in state law.”
Under Kremer’s bill, transgender students in state public schools would be barred from using the restroom for the gender with which they identify. The bill further threatens school districts with legal action, including financial liability for “damages,” if complaints from parents or students about other transgender students are not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant.
A request by One Wisconsin Now under the state open records law revealed that noted homophobe Julaine Appling and her group, the right-wing Wisconsin Family Action, have been assisting Kremer and the GOP advance their discriminatory agenda. Appling even went so far as to perversely offer to make Kremer “the hero” for promoting his discriminatory bill.
Ross noted that while Rep. Kremer and his ilk are under the mistaken impression that their election to the legislature empowered them to be school bathroom monitors, both the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission have indicated that the measures proposed in AB 469 could violate federal regulations and the Civil Rights Act.
He concluded, “Targeting transgender students isn’t heroic, it is among the most cowardly things we’ve seen so far from a Republican legislature all too willing to blame, demonize and target those most vulnerable. This bill shouldn’t just be rejected, it, along with those promoting it, ought to be denounced.”