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Ky. Senate OKs bill requiring separate restrooms for transgender students

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The bill defines a person’s biological sex as “identified at birth by a person’s anatomy.” It requires school officials to make the “best available accommodation” to students who say their gender is different from their biological sex and who have written consent from their parents. That includes single-stall restrooms, unisex bathrooms or “controlled use” of faculty bathrooms.

An earlier version would have allowed students to sue the school for up to $2,500 for not enforcing the law, but Senators removed that language from the bill.

Henry Brousseau, a 16-year-old transgender student at a private school in Louisville, testified before lawmakers last week that at first his school made him use a separate bathroom but “it was outing me every time I had to walk in there because nobody else used them.”

“For me and other trans kids it’s especially hard being in a biological body that simply doesn’t match my gender identity: how I feel in my heart and mind,” he said.

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But 16-year-old Christina Kelty, who attends Atherton High School, told lawmakers she and other female students have stopped using the girls’ bathroom in response to the policy, using a single-stall restroom instead.

“Everyone has a right to privacy and deserves to feel safe and comfortable in the restroom,” she said. “So how can this be an appropriate solution when it causes girls to feel uncomfortable?”

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said earlier this week the bill could have support in the House, but said Friday, “I think the House would better spend its remaining days working on different issues.”

The legislature has one week left to pass legislation.

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