The new law, approved unanimously by the council’s members, restricts a person’s use of public bathrooms and changing rooms to the facilities designated for use by those of the gender listed on his or her birth certificate. The law applies within both the city’s limits and police jurisdiction.The ordinance says that a complainant would need to call the police and a police officer would need to witness the trans person in the restroom. If found guilty, the trans person would face a fine of $500 or would be sentenced to six months in jail.
After members approved the new city ordinance, Council President Steven Waits read from a prepared statement.
Waits said he and the council sought the law “not out of concerns for the 0.3 percent of the population who identify as transgender,” but “to protect our women and children.”
He said the measure isn’t meant to be discriminatory, and comes in direct response to the bathroom and changing-room usage policy put forth by supermarket chain Target, which has a store at Oxford’s Exchange shopping center.
Here are the exceptions: Adults are allowed to accompany children under the age of 12 into the restroom. Those who need to do janitorial or maintenance work, to offer emergency medical assistance, or to assist the disabled, are also permitted to enter any bathroom.