TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A bill filed in the Florida House and Senate would make it a crime if a person refuses to leave a bathroom that does not match their sex assigned at birth.
CS/HB 1521, dubbed the “Safety in Private Spaces Act,” would make it a second-degree misdemeanor for people 18 years or older to use a restroom or changing facility designated for the opposite sex if they refuse to immediately leave when asked.
The bill would also require educational institutions to establish “disciplinary procedures” for violators under the age of 18.
“Florida does not currently make it a crime for a person of one sex to enter a restroom or changing room intended for use by the opposite sex,” a House of Representatives staff analysis states.
However, the bill states, “the Legislature finds that females and males should be provided restrooms and changing facilities for their exclusive use in order to maintain public safety, decency, and decorum.”
Exceptions are included for the following circumstances:
- For assisting or chaperoning a minor child, elderly person, or disabled person
- For law enforcement or governmental regulatory purposes
- For emergency situations
- For custodial, maintenance, or inspection purposes, if not in use
- If the appropriately designated restroom or changing facility is out of order or under repair and the opposite designated restroom or changing facility contains no person of the opposite sex.
This bill does not apply to individuals born with genetically or biochemically verifiable disorders of sex development.
If passed, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2023.