Statement from Amy Hunter, ACLU of Michigan Transgender Advocacy Project Coordinator, on Anti-Transgender Legislation Introduced by State Rep. Jim Runestad:

Rep. Jim Runestad today introduced a bill that will deny transgender Michiganders their basic civil rights. HB 5717 will effectively bar transgender people from full participation in public life and endanger the health and safety of transgender students. This bill will violate federal civil rights law, jeopardize Michigan’s federal education funding and subject the State of Michigan to the same ridicule as North Carolina. This bill comes mere weeks after state Sen. Tom Casperson proposed yet another piece of anti-transgender legislation aimed at schoolchildren.

ALL Michiganders deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of who they are. Our Michigan values tell us we should be lifting up and helping those who are at risk for discrimination—not making life harder for them by legislating a problem that does not exist. This bill ostracizes and excludes transgender students and residents of our state. This is not who we are.

The fact is that transgender women are women and transgender men are men, period. Barring transgender people from using public restrooms and other facilities is the very definition of discrimination—and discrimination is not a Michigan value.