Bill targeting transgender students’ use of restrooms fails Kentucky Senate panel

Kentucky state capitol in Frankfort.

Kentucky state capitol in Frankfort.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A bill that would have banned transgender students from choosing which restroom to use at public schools has failed to pass a Kentucky state Senate committee.

Kentucky state capitol in Frankfort.

Kentucky state capitol in Frankfort.

The proposal was in response to a Louisville school’s decision to allow students to use the restroom of their gender identity.

The bill would have required students to use school restrooms according to their biological sex.

But Henry Brousseau, a 16-year-old transgender student at a private school in Louisville, told lawmakers the bill was hateful because it would single him out from his peers.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. C.B. Embry Jr. (R-Morgantown), initially would have allowed students to sue a school for $2,500 if they encountered a person of the opposite biological sex in a bathroom or locker room and a staff member had allowed it or had failed to prohibit it.

Embry presented a substitute bill to the committee that deleted that provision and struck language that would make the legislation take effect immediately upon becoming law.

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The proposal received only six of the seven votes required to advance to the Senate floor in the Republican-controlled committee. Two Republicans were absent.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Mike Wilson (R-Bowling Green), said the committee could reconsider the bill before the end of the session.

Last fall, Atherton High School in Louisville approved a policy on transgender students’ rights, which allows transgender students to use facilities according to the gender they identify with.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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