Delegate Bob Marshall defends ‘Bathroom Bill’

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Critics are calling it a replica of North Carolina’s highly controversial bathroom bill. HB 1612 proposed by Delegate Bob Marshall would prohibit anyone using bathrooms, locker rooms or any other facilities designated by sex to use it if they are of the opposite sex. Unlike North Carolina’s law, it would only apply to buildings run by the government.

“That’s not bigotry, that’s concern for the physical safety and privacy of especially young women,” said Marshall.

Marshall says the bill is about protecting the public. He says he came up with the proposal after talking with concerned parents.

“If you’ve got a daughter, 14-years-old on the swim team, do you want her changing in front of a guy who says he’s transgendered?” said Marshall.

He says he doesn’t believe critics who say this would cost the state millions, calling the claims ridiculous.

“The fantasy part of it is ridiculous. North Carolina was declared to be the second best state in the United States to do business. Not by some religious organization but by Forbes magazine,” said Marshall.

Though Forbes magazine, which Marshall cites, also said North Carolina’s bathroom bill cost the state $600 million.

“I don’t think one minute should be spent looking at a bill that has cost our neighboring state over $600 million,” said James Parrish with Equality Virginia.

Parrish says he’s also concerned with another part of the bill, which would require principals to notify parents if their child makes any efforts to identify as transgender in school. Parrish says the proposal could endanger transgender students.

“Gay and transgendered kids are kicked out of their houses when they come out and this bill if passed could be putting kids on the street,” said Parrish.

The governor says the bill will be vetoed if it passes but he hopes lawmakers will not spend any time on the measure. For a full text of the bill visit,

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=171&typ=bil&val=hb1612&submit=GO

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