January 19, 2017 at 4:14 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Va. House subcommittee kills bathroom bill

Bob Marshall, gay news, Washington Blade

Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) introduced House Bill 1612 that members of the Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee killed on Jan. 19, 2017. (Photo public domain)

A Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee on Thursday killed a bill that would have banned transgender people from using public bathrooms based on their gender identity.

Members of the Republican-controlled House General Laws Subcommittee rejected House Bill 1612, which would have prohibited people from entering “a restroom or other facility designed for use by members of the opposite sex,” by a voice vote. The measure that state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) introduced earlier this month would have also required public school principals to notify a parent or guardian within 24 hours if their child “requests to be recognized or treated as the opposite sex, to use a name or pronoun inconsistent with the child’s sex, or to use a restroom or other facility designated for the opposite sex.”

“If this bill were to pass, it would make it illegal for me to use the bathroom,” Theodore Kahn, a trans man from Richmond, Va., told members of the subcommittee before the vote.

Kahn told the Washington Blade after the vote that he is “relieved.”

“It feels like a great weight has been lifted off of me,” he said.

Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, also welcomed the vote.

“Equality Virginia applauds this decision by the committee and recognizes decisions like these keep Virginia on the path of full equality, being a state that is a safe, welcoming, and equal place for gay and transgender individuals,” it said in a statement.

The Blade will have additional reaction once it becomes available.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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