Fairness WV responds to Gov. Justice promising to sign the so-called “Women’s Bill of Rights”

CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Gov. Jim Justice today announced that he would sign House Bill 5243 into law if legislators vote to approve it. The bill, a so-called “Women’s Bill of Rights,” is a sweeping bill that targets transgender West Virginians. Among other things, the bill would ban transgender people from using the correct restrooms — those that align with their gender identity — in government buildings.

 

Isabella Cortez, Gender Policy Manager for Fairness West Virginia, issued the following statement in response to the governor’s briefing:

“The out of state lobbyists who drafted this bill don’t care about protecting women. Our lawmakers should not trust this group, the so-called ‘Independent Women’s Voice,’ because there’s nothing independent about what they do. They take money from the Koch brothers and use that dark money to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment, oppose the Paycheck Fairness Act and downplay the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Frankly, it’s offensive to introduce a bill called the ‘Women’s Bill of Rights’ when the bill does nothing to support women. It doesn’t give women any new rights, and it does nothing to protect the rights women already have.

Let’s be clear – this is really just a bill to ban transgender people from using the correct restrooms in government buildings. There is no evidence that allowing transgender people to use restrooms that align with their gender identity increases safety risk. All of us, including transgender people like myself, care about safety and privacy in restrooms and locker rooms. Which is why it’s important to know that it is already illegal for anyone to enter these facilities to harm or harass someone or to invade someone’s privacy.”