LITTLE ROCK — A state senator says she may amend a bill that would require a person using a bathroom in a government building to use the bathroom that matches the gender listed on the person’s birth certificate.
Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, R-Pocahontas, presented Senate Bill 774 in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday but decided not to ask for a vote yet. She said she will meet with Sen. Trent Garner, R-El-Dorado, to discuss concerns he raised about the bill.
Under the bill, every bathroom or changing area in a government building would have to be designated as for use by only one sex, and the government entity in charge of the building would be responsible for ensuring that a person using a bathroom use the one that matches the sex on the person’s birth certificate.
The bill also would allow a person to file a lawsuit against a government entity that failed to protect him or her from encountering a person of a different sex in a bathroom.
Garner said he had concerns about creating liability for government entities where none exists now.
The committee’s chairman, Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, R-Little Rock, said he was concerned that the bill would create problems by, for example, forcing a person who is identified as male on a birth certificate, but to all appearances is female, to use a men’s bathroom.