GOP lawmakers file bill to strengthen law for trespassing in bathrooms

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — Republican lawmakers just filed a new bill that changes current law for trespassing in restrooms and changing facilities.

This comes about a week after HB2 or the bathroom law was repealed.

Representative Brenden Jones and Holly Grange sponsored HB562 which was filed yesterday. Jones posted on his Facebook page about drafting the bill last week in response to the repeal of HB2.

“I have joined with Senator Britt in drafting a bill that strengthens existing law and offers even more protections for everyone in restrooms and changing facilities,” Jones said. “My bill will do two things: First, it will specifically state it is a second degree trespass for entering the restroom or changing room of the opposite sex; secondly, it would enhance the punishment from what is now, a class 3 misdemeanor punishable up to only 10 days, to a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable up to 120 days in jail.”

Democratic Representative Deb Butler said she cannot believe we are bringing bathrooms back in the spotlight.

“The fact that we are still talking about legislating bathrooms is about the most preposterous notion I’ve ever heard,” Butler said. “We just put this thing to bed not two days ago.”

Not everyone feels that way.

“I think it should be at least a misdemeanor if not a felony,” Larry Dustin said.

Wilmington resident Larry Dustin said he agrees with the idea of having to use the bathroom that corresponds with your gender at birth.

“I don’t think I should be able to go into a woman’s restroom, because I feel feminine today,” Dustin said.

Butler said that is not a crime that has ever been a huge problem.

“I have not seen one statistic indicating that this is a problem,” Butler said.

For now, whether the crime becomes more punishable is up to the general assembly.

We reached out to both Jones and Grange for more information about the bill. We are still waiting for a response.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News

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