Alabama City Repeals New Ordinance Criminalizing Trans Bathroom Use

In a sudden reversal, the Oxford, Alabama, city council voted Wednesday to repeal a new ordinance that would have made it a misdemeanor for transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity.

The city council voted 3-2 to revoke the ordinance just over a week after it was initially passed, but before the city’s mayor was able to sign it, AL.com reported.

The ordinance would have slapped people with a $500 fine or six months in jail for using the wrong restroom.

The council members who voted to reverse the measure cited an opinion from the city attorney noting that the ordinance could cost the city federal Title IX funding, according to AL.com.

Council President Steven Waits, who voted against rescinding the ordinance, said he was “not impressed” by threats of legal action against the new measure, according to AL.com.

The reversal of the ordinance follows letters to the council from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) protesting the measure.

“Discrimination has no place in 21st century Alabama. Yet, that was the path taken by the Oxford City Council when it voted to criminalize transgender people for simply using the restroom, Chinyere Ezie, a staff attorney with SPLC, said in a statement. “Misunderstanding and fear should never guide public policy decisions. Transgender people, like anybody else, should not be treated differently simply because of who they are.”

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