The Target supermarket chain announced last week that transgender customers and employees should feel free to use bathrooms that correspond with the gender they identify as. The city council of Oxford, Alabama, has responded by criminalizing it.
Going beyond the scope of anti-transgender "bathroom bills" in other states, the Oxford city ordinance applies to any location within city limits, not just public facilities.
In a prepared statement after the ordinance’s passage, Council President Steven Waits said that the council passed it “not out of concerns for the 0.3 percent of the population who identify as transgender,” but “to protect our women and children,” according to the Anniston Star. Apparently many residents had complained about Target’s policy statement about transgender inclusion.
If local morons complained about the Target policy, I suppose the city council is obligated to pass a moronic ordinance. That's how that works, right?
Snark aside, this could be the beginning of a new front in the Republican crusade to criminalize transgender people and force them out of public life. Republicans in other states have not included private businesses in their bathroom bills, but the Oxford city council's actions may prompt other cities and lawmakers to do the same.
Republicans will tell you they revere and respect the sanctity of private businesses and their freedom to make their own decisions, but that's about to come to a halt as more businesses openly oppose GOP efforts to demonize their potential customers and employees.
More often than not, the modern Republican party is bad for business unless you're a fossil fuel company.
I don't expect any so-called bathroom bill will remain standing once this issue finally reaches the Supreme Court at some point in the near future. The GOP opening up new fronts in multiple federal jurisdictions increases the likelihood that it will reach the highest court. Unfortunately, transgender men, women, and children may be ostracized and targeted by Republican lawmakers until the day comes that these laws are officially ruled unconstitutional.
As things stand, more Republican House Speakers have assaulted children in locker rooms or bathrooms than transgender people have. The currently tally is 1 to 0.