Georgia State Capitol Building Dome. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)
ATLANTA, Ga. | Last week Republicans in the Georgia House introduced a bill, the “Georgia Women’s Bill of Rights,” defining sex as only biologically male or female in state law and altering the Georgia state criminal code so that attacks based on someone’s sexual identity or gender no longer qualify as a hate crime.
“An individual’s sex can be observed or clinically verified at or before birth and in no case is an individual’s sex determined by stipulation or self-identification,” the draft legislation reads.
House Bill 1128 was introduced Friday by five women Republican state representatives Jodi Lott, Leesa Hagan, Kimberly New, Penny Houston and Bethany Ballard and a male colleague.
The New Republic reported that this would define transgender people out of the law, stripping them of many rights and protections. The bill also stipulates that everyone must use utilities such as bathrooms, locker rooms, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, and sports teams that correspond to their gender assigned at birth.
Under the bill, “laws, rules, and regulations that distinguish between the sexes are subject to intermediate constitutional scrutiny.” This could affect measures aimed at eliminating gender discrimination, such as ensuring equal pay or barring discriminatory hiring practices.
The measure also changes state criminal procedure so that attacks based on someone’s sexual identity or gender no longer qualify as a hate crime. Trans people are over four times more likely than cis people to be the victim of violent crimes. If H.B. 1128 becomes law, trans people could no longer seek legal recourse if they are attacked, The New Republic noted.
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