GOP lawmaker threatens to beat people up if all-gender restroom bill passes

bathroom gender stick figures
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A Republican state senator in Illinois is threatening violence if the state passes a bill that would allow businesses to construct all-gender restrooms.

“I’m telling you right now, if a guy walks in there, I’m going to beat the living piss out of him,” state Sen. Neil Anderson (R) said on the state senate floor last Thursday as he was discussing the bill. He brought up how he would get violent if “a guy” went into the restroom at the same time that his 10-year-old daughter did.

“So this is going to cause violence, and it’s going to cause violence from dads like me,” he said, getting cheers.

“I wouldn’t want a single person in the state to read that record and think that anybody here would come after them if they would do something so mundane as to use the bathroom, a simple call of nature,” out gay state Sen. Mike Simmons (D) said, calling for Anderson’s comments to be stricken.

LGBTQ+ organizations denounced Anderson’s comments.

“The violent language like that used by the state senator gives license to transphobic actors to harm trans people,” said the AIDS Foundation Chicago, Equality Illinois, and Pride Action Tank in a statement. “Enough is enough.”

They weren’t the only comments Anderson made about the bill. He also asked one of the bill’s sponsors, state Sen. Celina Villanueva (D), “Are they [women] going to be offended if I leave the toilet seat up?”

State Sen. Chapin Rose (R) said that the bill would lead to sexual assault in restrooms: “If all you ladies want guys in your bathroom, be careful what you wish for.”

Democrats spoke in favor of the bill.

“We need this bill because we are surrounded by states in this country that are proactively prosecuting and persecuting people because of who they are,” Villanueva said.

“Y’all [Republicans] need to get yourselves together and stop being so obsessed where people pee,” state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D) said during the debate last Friday in the state House of Representatives.

If passed, the bill will allow businesses to create multi-occupancy restrooms that people of all genders could use. It would require stall dividers that go from the floor to the ceiling in such restrooms and a covering to keep people from looking in between the divider and the door. It would ban urinals from such restrooms and require at least one vending device for menstruation products and a changing table.

The bill passed the state senate 35-20 on Friday.

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