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Bathrooms: the new battleground for LGBT rights




The gender-neutral door to the bathroom at the endocrinology wing at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. The sign is designed to make all patients, including transgender patients, comfortable.
The gender-neutral door to the bathroom at the endocrinology wing at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. The sign is designed to make all patients, including transgender patients, comfortable.
Leo Duran/KPCC

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On Tuesday, Houston voters shot down an anti-discrimination law that would have protected a broad class of people, including LGBT people.

The debate was not about discrimination, however: it was about bathrooms.

Opponents of the law zeroed in on language that emphasized transgender people, who they deemed sexual predators, would enter bathrooms and invade other people's privacy.

In the end, that may have been the issue that led to the law's defeat.

That argument about bathrooms may find its way to California ballots, too, at the same time as the 2016 presidential elections.

Called the Personal Privacy Protection Act, it would restrict the bathrooms than trans people can use. Its supporters have until late December to gather enough signatures to get a referendum question on the ballot.

Sasha Buchert, staff attorney with the Transgender Law Center, explains why bathrooms are the new battleground for LGBT people.