Justice says he will sign “Women’s Bill of Rights Bill” if it is passed

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Governor Jim Justice has thrown his support behind a divisive bill that some say protects women and others say erodes the rights of transgender people.

In an event with former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines and director of the Independent Women’s Voice Law Center May Mailman, Justice announced that he would sign the Women’s Bill of Rights Bill, HB 5243, should it be passed by the legislature.

The bill looks to define sex-based terms in state law based on a person’s biology at birth.

It would replace the word gender with the word sex wherever it is used in state law.

It also declares that the state will continue to provide dedicated single-sex spaces, like bathrooms and locker rooms. It also would require public data collectors to identify people based on the law.

Opponents of the bill have raised concerns.

The ACLU for West Virginia condemned the bill in a statement, saying that the bill is bad for both trans and cis women and that it is “punching down” on the trans community instead of working to improve conditions for West Virginians.

“Women want things like access to health care and equal pay. We don’t want to
micromanage where people can go to the bathroom or to kick transgender people out
of homeless shelters, which is all this bill will accomplish,” ACLU-WV Community Outreach Director Mollie Kennedy said.

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