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Tenn. Rep. Defends ’Bathroom Harrassment Act’

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Saturday Jan 14, 2012
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Tenn. Rep. Richard Floyd (R) is a strong supporter of the state’s recently introduced "Bathroom Harassment Act," and defended the bill in a recent interview. In the broadcast, Floyd even says that he would physically harm a transgendered person, reported Tennessee news station, News 5 in a Jan. 12 article.

"I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there -- I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there -- I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry," Floyd said.

"Don’t ask me to adjust to their perverted way of thinking and put my family at risk. We cannot continue to let these people dominate how society acts and reacts."

The "Bathroom Harassment Act" would find a transgender person $50 for using a public bathroom and dressing room.

A number of LGBT civil rights groups and supporters are outraged by the proposed bill, including Marisa Richmond. Richmond is a lobbyist for the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition and says the act is a violation of the fourth amendment.

"Already people are on national blogs talking about this. Tennesseans are embarrassed that we’re moving in this directions instead of talking about job creation and economic growth," Richmond said.

The Chattanooga Times Press is running an online poll asking: "Should transgender people be required to use the bathroom of their birth gender?" An overwhelming 88% of voters said "no."

In the interview, Floyd references an incident that occurred in a Texas Macy’s department store where an employee was fired for discriminating against a transgender woman.

Natalie Johnson refused to let a transgender woman into a Macy’s dressing room because it "violated her religious beliefs," EDGE reported in a Dec. 12 article.

Johnson described the customer as a "man in makeup and woman’s clothes." The transgender woman told her that Macy’s is LGBT-friendly and she has a right to use the dressing room she wanted. Johnson’s manager stepped in and told her she needed to comply with the department store’s policy or she would be fired. She still refused and was subsequently let go.

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