By Joseph LaRue, Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel
Recently the City Council of Phoenix, AZ, passed the “Bathroom Bill,” which, among other things, will allow men to enter and use women’s restrooms and locker rooms. The Mayor and five Council members who voted in favor of this change said it was necessary to protect the miniscule segment of men who are confused about their sexuality and think that they are women. But in passing the Bathroom Bill, the Mayor and City Council abdicated its duty to protect Phoenix’s children and women. Instead, it provided voyeurs and other sexual predators easy access to the places where children and women are most vulnerable. The City Council thus violated its public trust and placed children, adolescents, and women who use a public restroom in Phoenix at risk.
Supporters of the Bathroom Bill are saying that no man who believes he is a woman will bother girls or women while using the restroom. Their claim misses the point. Most girls and women will be unnerved by seeing any man in their restroom, whether he intends them harm or not. The Bathroom Bill allows any man – including voyeurs and other sexual predators – to enter women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and changing areas. It is not limited to the small percentage of men who think they are women. Sadly, there is nothing anyone can do to stop them. In fact, merely asking someone if they are aware it is the “wrong” bathroom can potentially invoke punishment and leave the person asking the question with a criminal record. That’s right, now it’s a criminal violation to discriminate against men who think they should use the women’s restroom.
While the City Council exempted churches and religious organizations from having to open their women’s restrooms to men, churches need to be concerned. We all need to be concerned. Letting men into public bathrooms used by young girls and women is an invasion of privacy and a threat to the safety of all citizens. Instead of protecting women and children, the city’s elected officials adopted a bill that will compromise their safety. It is appalling that these elected officials have decided to put women and young girls in danger.
One shining ray of encouragement coming from this otherwise bleak situation concerns how the leaders of local Hispanic churches took a bold stand for the children, women, and families in Phoenix. They overwhelmingly opposed the Bathroom Bill and courageously explained its danger, along with what the Bible says about human sexuality, to the City Council. They implored the Council to make decisions in accordance with God’s Word and protect the children, women and families of Phoenix. These pastors and other leaders served as a stirring example of what it means to shepherd and protect God’s church and boldly proclaim His truth.
May all pastors and church leaders do likewise.