Legislators in states that have recently passed so-called “bathroom bills” claim their only concern is the safety of the public. They allege that sexual predators will try to gain access to the wrong public bathroom even though they have no proof of this happening. Trust us, they say. This is all in the interest of the public. Often they will even couch such legislation under the banner of protecting children.
Yet we come to a video like the one below and we see what really happens when such laws are enacted in real life. A video was recently uploaded to YouTube that clearly shows a lesbian being physically forced out of a restroom by police officers because they insist she looks like a boy. The woman tries several times to explain that she’s a female, but police don’t buy it. A male officer demands that she produce identification and prove that she is actually a girl. The woman says that she doesn’t have her ID with her, which leads the cop to demand, “Out” as he forces her to leave the bathroom.
It hasn’t yet been determined where this video was shot — might it have been Mississippi or North Carolina, where bathroom bills recently went into effect? — but one thing is clear: We are now living in a world where the police are being used to harass those who are trying to mind their own business and use the bathroom. It’s eerily reminiscent of the 1960s, when water cannons and attack dogs were used to pacify African-Americans in the South. Police were also known to arrest or harass blacks who dared to drink from the wrong water fountain, eat at the wrong lunch counter, or sit in the wrong section of a bus.
Some have suggested that LGBT rights are the civil rights issue of our day. It’s hard to argue with that when you watch the video of this woman being told she cannot even exercise her right as an American to use a public bathroom. Is that what we want to teach our children? Do we want to harass people simply because they’re different? And what are we willing to do to ensure no one else is ever treated in this way?
Watch the video: