Rep. John Kavanagh (R-District 8) plans to introduce a new amendment to a bill that would effectively restrict part of the new anti-discrimination laws that Phoenix City Council passed this February.
The new law would replace the amendment Kavanagh proposed late last week, which would criminalize someone using a restroom of the sex not listed on their birth certificate.
"I've actually taken an entirely different tactic," explained Kavanagh.
"Some members (of the Arizona House of Representatives and state Senate) were concerned that I was expanding criminal law to deal with this issue," he continued.
Under the previous bill, SB 1432, people could be charged with a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct if they used the incorrect bathroom. The deciding factor would have been what was written on their birth certificate.
That amendment caused controversy with the transgender community. Many of its members showed up for Wednesday's House Appropriations Committee hearing, but that hearing was postponed.
The new bill would not criminalize restroom use. Rather, Kavanagh said, it would prevent municipalities from making it a crime or allowing a lawsuit against a business that restricts someone from using a bathroom, changing room or dressing area.
"I'm going to simply take the law back to the day before Phoenix passed (its latest laws) and simply state that these areas where there is an expectation of privacy based on gender are off limits to government tinkering, criminalizing and lawsuits."
Phoenix's newly passed ordinance would allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. Business owners could be sued civilly if someone claimed they were discriminated against and not allowed to use a certain restroom.
"Government can't say to a business, 'If you want to have a separate men's room and a separate women's room, you're under arrest and we're suing you.' That's ridiculous," said Kavanagh.
Those who disagree with Kavanagh's amended bill said they're closely watching the changes.
"I think there are some serious constitutional questions at play," stated Anjali Abraham, a policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.
"Clearly the intent of the amendment is to undo what the Phoenix City Council did very recently in terms of expanding its protections against discrimination to certain groups that have traditionally experienced a lot of discrimination and harassment," she continued.
Abraham believes the amended bill is unconstitutional and could be challenged in court if passed.
"When you have a City Council that has expanded its protections in terms of protecting people from discrimination, the state faces a really high bar in trying to undue that. This legislation does not meet that high bar at all," she stated.
The amended bill is expected to be heard during Wednesday's House Appropriations Committee hearing.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, July 28 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:59:54 GMT
Neighbors struggled to make sense of the shooting deaths of a family of five in which the father was known to many throughout their apartment complex as a friendly maintenance worker.More >
A maintenance worker with financial problems killed his wife and three children with a shotgun, then committed suicide, over the weekend in what state police called one of the worst cases of domestic violence in Maine...More >
They were born just two weeks apart. A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old pit bull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other! Louisiana native Brandi Hodges, 25, has posted photosMore >
A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old Pitbull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other!More >
Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:28 AM EDT2014-07-29 04:28:54 GMT
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is asking for a temporary restraining order on the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to keep MCAO from investigating allegations of campaign mismanagement.More >
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is asking for a temporary restraining order on the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.More >
Monday, July 28 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:46:51 GMT
A player for the Phoenix Suns who was arrested in May on drunken driving charges had a blood alcohol content level of .222, police reports said.More >
P.J. Tucker was pulled over May 10 after a Scottsdale police officer notice the 2011 Mercedes-Benz Tucker was driving had slowed to 10 mph and ran a stop sign at Camelback and Buckboard, a police report stated.More >