Transgender people in Oxford, Alabama, could now face six months in jail for using restrooms labeled for the gender with which they identify.
The Oxford City Council passed an ordinance this week saying residents must use public restrooms corresponding with their biological sex. The move came after retail giant Target announced it would allow transgender employees and customers to use the restrooms they feel comfortable with.
Target has a store in Oxford, and residents told council members they were concerned about the store’s policy, city attorney Ron Allen said.
In the ordinance, the council says people in public restrooms “do not reasonably expect to be exposed to individuals of the opposite sex while utilizing those facilities.”
“The council further asserts that single sex public facilities are places of increased vulnerability and present the potential for crimes against individuals utilizing those facilities which may include, but not limited to, voyeurism, exhibitionism, molestation and assault and battery,” the ordinance states.