Oxford City Council votes to rescind bathroom ordinance

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OXFORD, Ala. (WIAT) — The Oxford City Council voted Wednesday to recall an ordinance that made it illegal to use a public restroom different from the gender on your birth certificate.

Oxford city council members were informed by their attorneys that the bill possibly wouldn’t stand a chance in court because of factors like Title IX, but council still wanted to appeal to their constituents that wanted this bathroom bill to become law.

“Hearing that those who vote for recall will not be re-elected, is that the Christian attitude to have,” asked councilman Mike Henderson.

“Public safety should not be compromised for the general public because of the person decisions of a few,” said councilman Steven Waits.

Those few scored a major victory Wednesday in recalling the anti-transgender bathroom bill, but not before council expressed their concerns.

“Quite frankly, I’m amazed we’re even here discussing this today,” said Waits.

“Because there are no guidelines with a policy we felt this would open the door for our women and children to become easy prey,” said councilman Chris Spurling.

The ordinance was in response to Target’s new police which allows transgender customers to use the bathroom or dressing room of their choice. After the ordinance passed April 27, the city faced backlash from the transgender community as well as human rights organizations.

“This city council of Oxford today showed a lot of leadership and wisdom around these issues, people are rushing to judgement a little too quickly when they are concluding that trans-gendered people pose a safety hazard,” said Chinyere Ezie, a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Although it {the ordinance} said to protect kids, there are kids who are trans-gendered, and so how are we going to protect them,” said Candice Jackson, an LGBT advocate.

The Human Rights Campaign had released a statement, calling the ordinance a “horrific and unprecedented anti-transgender law.”

“One of the things that we often highlight is that transgender persons in the state of Alabama do not have non-discrimination protection,” said Eva Walton-Kendrick, a state manager with the Human Right Campaign.

“Just because they’re trans-gendered and other people may dress like them simply to get at children does not mean they are the problem, the ones who are the pedophiles are the problem,” said LGBT advocate, Krista Anderson.

“The Oxford City Council did the right thing by recalling its discriminatory ordinance,” said Ezie. “We are pleased the council members came to the conclusion that nobody should be criminalized simply for using the restroom.”

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