Pol Predicts 'Violence From Dads Like Me' on All-Gender Bathrooms

Illinois state Sen. Neil Anderson: I'd 'beat the living piss' out of men in unisex bathrooms with my child
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2023 9:25 AM CDT
Pol Predicts 'Violence From Dads Like Me' on All-Gender Bathrooms
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/CRobertson)

An Illinois lawmaker is making headlines for his reaction to a bill that would greenlight mixed-gender bathrooms in his state. On Thursday, Illinois senators debated HB 1286, which would allow for the creation of public multi-occupancy restrooms that individuals of any gender can use. Per the Washington Post, these bathrooms would have floor-to-ceiling stall dividers and lockable doors, and there would be no urinals. There are already single-use multigender bathrooms in the state. The new bill introduced earlier this year by Democratic Rep. Katie Stuart—which wouldn't mandate multi-occupancy mixed-gender bathrooms, but simply allow for them—was designed "to promote the privacy, safety, and gender inclusivity of all Illinois residents and visitors."

Not everyone is seeing the bill through such a positive lens—notably Republican lawmakers, who are decrying the mixing of genders in restrooms. "If all you ladies want guys in your bathroom, be careful what you wish for," Sen. Chapin Rose said, citing his fears of sexual assaults, per WMBD. But it was comments made by GOP state Sen. Neil Anderson that are drawing the most attention, after he predicted during Thursday's floor debate what he and others might do if the legislation passes and they don't like who uses these bathrooms. "This [bill] is gonna cause violence, and it's gonna cause violence from dads like me," he noted, adding that if he ever saw anyone he perceived to be male entering the bathroom along with his 10-year-daughter, he would "beat the living piss out of him," per the Post.

After Anderson made his remarks, "shouts of support could be heard from other Republicans," per WMBD. Sen. Mike Simmons, a Democrat and Illinois' first openly gay state senator, was not among those cheering for Anderson, calling his remarks "dog-whistling against LGBTQ+ communities." Simmons asked for Anderson's comments to be stricken from the record, noting, per the Post: "I wouldn't want a single person in the state to read that record and think that anybody here would come after them if they would do something so mundane as ... use the bathroom."

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A joint statement from Aids Foundation Chicago, Equality Illinois, and Pride Action Tank concurred, decrying Anderson (though not by name) for calling for "transphobic violence." Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy on Friday had even more advice for her GOP colleagues. "Y'all [Republicans] need to get yourselves together and stop being so obsessed where people pee," Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy said on Friday, per the State Journal-Register. The bill passed the Senate in a 35-20 vote, and the House also gave its thumbs-up on Friday. The legislation now heads to Democratic Gov. JB Pritzger's desk for signing. (More Illinois stories.)

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