Alabama’s version of the controversial bathroom bill that plunged North Carolina into a political chaos has raised concerns from businesses and economic development organizations. The controversial bill that is called “Alabama Privacy Act” regulates access to public restrooms inside businesses.
The bill that has been brought to the spotlight has created unique alliances; the left-leaning ACLU and the conservative Eagle Forum of Alabama that are usually at odds with each other both oppose the bill. If access to public restrooms will be regulated, it will create a severe economic blow to the State of Alabama.
On the other hand, State Senator Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City who is sponsoring the bill in undeterred because he believes that there is a lot of misinformation circulating and hand-wringing that is unnecessary. He believes that there is nothing about his bill that will severely affect commerce; instead it would create three types of bathrooms:
- A restroom, bathroom or changing facility designed for the use of one person at a time
- A restroom, bathroom or changing facility designed for multiple individuals of the same gender
- A restroom, bathroom or changing facility designed for multiple individuals at once irrespective of gender.
On the third type of restroom, an attendant is required to monitor appropriate use and answer concerns of users. According to Williams, businesses in Alabama will not be affected by the bill except Target that has policies concerning transgender customers that must use bathrooms designated for their gender identity.
The bill respects the privacy and security of the citizens of Alabama. Williams denies that his bill is similar to the North Carolina legislation that was the subject of boycott from professional sports leagues and entertainers. Businesses have suffered from a collective loss of $630 million due to the bill. In Alabama, businesses do not want to travel the same path as those in North Carolina.
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