The city of Oxford is looking at revisions to its bathroom ordinance. The changes come after an ordinance was passed and later was recalled after it caused controversy that made national headlines.
Proposed revisions to the bathroom ordinance were announced Saturday by councilmember Charlotte Hubbard. Hubbard said there would be serious penalties for those committing a crime in a multi occupancy facility which includes bathrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms.
In the proposed ordinance it is a crime to enter a multi occupancy facility for illegal or improper purpose. Councilmember charlotte Hubbard said some of crimes the ordinance would try to prevent would be molestation, voyeurism, and assault. Fines would be increased from $500 up to $6,000, and jail time would be doubled.
“It does not matter who you are, what you look like, if you violate this ordinance in our city you will be arrested and punished and fullest extent of the law,” said Hubbard.
This ordinance does not mention gender. The recalled ordinance had language that could have targeted members of the transgender community, by making it illegal to use a public restroom different from the gender listed on a person’s birth certificate.
There were also concerns the prior ordinance would have violated title nine laws. Council member Hubbard said this new ordinance would not discriminate and not violate federal laws.
Many people part of organization Equality Calhoun said they approve of the new proposal.
“I am glad it does not mention gender. It seems like a move in the right direction. If there is a way to truly crack down on sex crimes I am all for it,” said Oxford resident Anjelique Pegg.
“as long its not being used an excuse to attack transgender people than it’s a great thing,” said Equality Calhoun member Jan Bunten.
The proposed revision will be discussed at the next city council meeting.