WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s known as the so called “Bathroom Bill” and it’s controversial. It’s a State House proposal to allow transgender individuals to use whichever restroom best fits their gender identity.
“Who cares what you are…male, female? There’s bathrooms for everybody,” said Hector Burgos, a Springfield resident.
Supporters argue the bill will allow transgender people to actually be who they want to be, and not feel forced into society’s norms. A message that resonated with Frank Fleming, of Suffield, Conn.
“If you feel like you’re a man, you’re a man. It’s that simple. You can always get privacy in the stalls and if it offends somebody then they’re being too critical about the world,” Fleming said.
However, not everyone agrees with this “Bathroom Bill”and have concerns about expanding transgender rights in the restroom.
“You never know about people, how they are. You wouldn’t want a little girl in a bathroom that some man could just come into, or just the other way around,” said John Colbert of West Springfield.
This bill doesn’t just include restroom access. It would also allow people equal access to public spaces, like restaurants, hospitals and buses. Currently it is not illegal to deny someone service based on their gender identity.
Lawmakers are debating transgender rights on Beacon Hill. A similar bill failed last year.