Student Government opposes Florida’s transgender bathroom bill

Officer in FAU’s Multicultural Programming used social media to promote petition against “anti-transgender” bathroom bill


Transgender bathroom located in Tom Oxley Athletic Center. Mohammed F Emran | Web Editor

Dylan Bouscher, Contributing Writer

It’s been called the “show your papers to pee” bill, and FAU’s Student Government wants nothing to do with it.

Last week, Florida state Rep. Frank Artiles introduced a bill that would require “that use of single-sex public facilities be restricted to persons of the sex for which the facility is designated,” according to the bill itself. You can read the whole thing here.

If it passes, anyone who violates the bill, like a female who stumbles into a male restroom when rushing at an unfamiliar rest stop, would be guilty of a misdemeanor charge punishable up to one year in jail.

Similar bills were considered in Arizona and Utah. In Arizona, the lawmaker withdrew the bill after public backlash. In Utah, it never passed both state houses.

Frank Artiles (R). Miami. Photo courtesy of
Frank Artiles (R). Miami. Photo courtesy of

“It’s their plumbing that determines where they go to the bathroom,” Artiles told Buzzfeed News. “Their anatomy is going to dictate where they go to the bathroom.”

Artiles says his bill closes a loophole that allows male sexual predators, who claim to be women, to keep lurking in women’s restrooms. But the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, a non-profit group of civil rights activists and attorneys, has called the bill “absurd” and “anti-transgender.”

“This ‘show your papers to pee’ bill denigrates both transgender and non-transgender people alike,” says Daniel Tilley, the ACLU of Florida’s LGBT Rights attorney. “In addition to dehumanizing transgender people in particular, it invites humiliation and harassment of anyone who is not considered.”

Here at FAU, it’s not like transgender students are fighting for the right to use any bathroom they want. They’re petitioning for more gender-neutral bathrooms to avoid the harassment they claim to face in those single-sex loos that cisgender students — who identify with the gender they’re assigned at birth — primarily use.

So when Brendon Lies, a transitioning female-to-male former graphic design major, read about Artiles’ bill, he took to Facebook:


Brendon, who is a former employee at the University Press, isn’t alone. Logan Israel, the Director of FAU Student Government’s Multicultural Programming, a student organization “charged with the responsibility to create and enrich cultural unity,” posted the status below from the official Multicultural Programming Facebook page a few days later.

Israel’s post not only opposes the bill, but links to this petition for lawmakers to vote against the bill.


“Being transgender or gender non-conforming isn’t something a person chooses to be. Gender is so much more than the anatomy you’re given at birth,” Israel says. “As human beings we are each more than entitled to be able to live in a way that makes us feel the most at peace.”

Photo courtesy of Michael Cepeda
Photo courtesy of Michael Cepeda

She added “denying someone the right to use the restroom because of how we might interpret their gender is possibly the worst thing you could do to another person… It sends the message ‘you are not who you are because of the way I feel.'”

Student Body President Michael Cepeda hasn’t been as vocal as Israel on either his Facebook page, or the official FAU SG Facebook page, but he agrees with her, Tilley, and Lies.

“I don’t support criminalizing the transgender community,” Cepeda says. “I don’t support the bill.”