The city of Rockwall is stepping into the national debate over restrooms. An ordinance that would require people to use public bathrooms based on their biological sex will go before the City Council on Monday.
Mayor Jim Pruitt submitted the ordinance, which defines biological sex as the “physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.” City spokeswoman Lauri Dodd said the mayor was the only person who could speak to the agenda item, but that Pruitt was out of town.
Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Lewis said Friday night that he would reserve his comments until the council meeting. It is one of the first proposed ordinances, if not the first, in North Texas of its kind.
There has been national debate on the topic since passage of a similar law in North Carolina. Transgender people want the ability to use a bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Rockwall’s ordinance would require operators of any multiple occupancy public restroom or changing facility, such as a locker room, to designate them as male or female.
“Citizens have a right to quiet solicitude [sic] and to be secure from embarrassment and unwanted intrusion into their privacy,” the proposed ordinance reads. Violating the ordinance, either by using the opposite sex’s bathroom or allowing a patron to, would be a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $500.
The council will take its first turn at the item Monday. If a majority votes in favor, it will come back to the council May 16 for a final vote.