Sen. Tom Casperson (R-38), one of Michigan’s worst lawmakers, who’s currently running in a crowded field to replace U.S. Congressman Dan Benishek in Michigan’s 1st District, today offered his long-expected politically pandering “bathroom bill.”
The proposal is a tortured exercise in passive-aggressive doublespeak:
First, the legislation is couched in falsely inclusive fuzzy language — granting the student a legal right to declare their gender preference, with parental consent of course, and additionally requiring the school district to make a “reasonable accommodation” which “does not impose an undue hardship”… on the school district, not the student. Translation: the school doesn’t have to go out of their way to accommodate the needs of transgender students, at all, ever. But, transgender students, it is suggested, should declare themselves to the district.
Second, the proposal explicitly forbids transgender students from accessing facilities that align with their declared gender. Period.
As far as Casperson is concerned, transgender students must learn how to exercise tremendous control over basic bodily functions — Title IX protections be damned.
It’s not my habit to post press releases, especially verbatim, but today I found among the clutter in my inbox one of interest — not just of topic, but also well-written. Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan’s 5th District has been following the situation and had this to say earlier today about his potential colleague as the story broke:
“Of all Michigan’s pressing problems – fixing our crumbling roads, improving our schools, ensuring access to safe drinking water – Senator Tom Casperson and Republicans in Lansing have apparently decided the most urgent need facing our state is to police bathrooms in search of a problem that does not exist. Their priorities are completely wrong and in disagreement with the majority of Michiganders.
Their ‘bathroom bill’, introduced today and modeled off of other states like North Carolina, is discriminatory and bigoted. It seeks to divide Michiganders and deny people access to restrooms when they simply want privacy, safety and respect when using such accommodations — just like everyone else.
Like North Carolina, Senator Casperson’s bill could cost Michigan thousands of jobs and millions in economic investment. In North Carolina, more than $500 million in investments is in jeopardy after their state passed similar legislation. Over 200 private businesses that create jobs and revenue in the state have condemned North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law, with many pulling out new investments and jobs. We cannot let this happen in Michigan.
Michigan Republicans like Senator Casperson should spend less time bullying Michiganders and more time on the actual problems facing our state. This hateful bill flies in the face of Michigan values like dignity, equality and respect, and it should be promptly shelved and defeated.”
As for Casperson, this isn’t his first self-serving legislative maneuver, and it likely won’t be his last, but it remains among his worst.