Missouri lawmakers deliberate over controversial 'bathroom bill' - KMOV.com

Missouri lawmakers deliberate over controversial 'bathroom bill'

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(Credit: AP Images) (Credit: AP Images)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Lawmakers in Missouri are tackling the 'Bathroom Bill', a controversial and divisive proposal that could affect students across the state.

If passed, students at public schools will only be allowed to use restrooms or locker rooms that correspond with their biological sex, which the bill defines as the physical condition of being male or female or the sex on a person’s birth certificate.

The bill adds that alternative accommodations will be provided for students who claim their gender is different from their biological sex.

In a standing room only hearing room, the bill's sponsor said the purpose of the bill is to ensure students' privacy and safety.

Testimony was at times very emotional.  Some young children and their parents testified about their personal experiences of being bullied and targeted because they were transgender.

However, critics said the Senate bill is a dangerous proposal, saying it would stigmatize and already vulnerable group of people.  

Many people spoke of feelings of depression, anxiety, and attempted suicide in dealing with their life as a parent of a transgender individual.

The committee did not take any action on the bill today.  If lawmakers pass the bill and it is signed by the governor, it would become law in late August.

The bill addresses the same issues as the one passed in North Carolina last year, which ultimately led to protests and the NBA moving their all-star game out of the state.

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