BLOGThis Seemingly Innocent Ordinance Is a Major Threat to Your Privacy

By Sarah Kramer Posted on: | May 23, 2017

Many sexual orientation gender identity (SOGI) ordinances will allow members of one sex who self-identify as the opposite sex to use the other sex’s restroom and locker room facilities. These SOGI laws regulate access to privacy facilities based on subjective self-perceptions of “gender” and not objectively known biological sex.

These laws apply to public facilities or accommodations – including showers, locker rooms, restrooms, and other sex-specific places open to the public. And while proponents argue that SOGIs promote “equality,” in practice, they pose a major threat to privacy.

ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb discusses this threat in the following video.

In places where these laws are enacted, children at school will often encounter members of the opposite sex in the restrooms or be forced to change with them in locker rooms before gym class. Parents taking their children to the public pool in the summer will have to be wary of people of the opposite sex changing into a swimsuit and showering in the locker room.

In fact, these types of interactions are already happening.  At Evergreen College in Washington, a 45-year-old student – who is biologically male, but identifies as female – undressed and exposed himself on several occasions in the women’s locker room, which is also used by children from a nearby high school and a local swim club.  Elsewhere, public school districts have changed their policies to open their locker rooms and other sex-specific facilities to students who identify as the opposite sex.

To counter this agenda, Alliance Defending Freedom is working to protect privacy in sensitive areas such as locker rooms, shower facilities, restrooms, and overnight accommodations. That’s why we are:

  • Providing a model state law and local school policy that protects privacy for all students in these sensitive areas
  • Defending school districts that maintain good student privacy policies from enforcement actions by the government officials backed by state or local SOGI laws
  • Filing lawsuits on behalf of students, their parents, and other individuals who have been harmed by enforcing SOGI laws
  • Providing legal expertise to city and state legislatures on the constitutional right to bodily privacy and the legality of policies and laws that protect such privacy

Government has a duty to protect the privacy of its citizens, just as it has a duty to uphold our fundamental freedoms.

That’s why local governments should be wary when considering these SOGI ordinances. While proponents of these laws claim that they ensure ”equality” and fair treatment, they actually threaten every citizen’s privacy, not to mention freedom of religion and conscience rights.


This is the second post in a series on sexual orientation gender identity ordinances. To learn more and read the first post in this series, visit the link below:

Part 1: What Are Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Ordinances? 

Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

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