Oxford Alabama

Welcome, unless you’re transgender

The Anniston [Alabama] Star reports that the Oxford City Council has passed an ordinance making it illegal for anyone to use a public bathroom other than one that corresponds to their sex assigned at birth. Violators could be fined $500 or sentenced to six months in jail.

The reason for the ordinance? Oxford, population 21,232, has a Target and, apparently, a rapidly growing, quite visible and militant transgender population of approximately — well, we’re not sure if there are any trans people in town. Oxford is located along I-20 between Birmingham and Atlanta, so it would be quite easy for trans citizens to get the hell out traveling either east or west.

After passing the law, a spokesman for the council read a statement saying the law wasn’t meant to be discriminatory, but “to protect our women and children.”

Target’s unchanged-for-years-but-recently-restated policy that’s causing hysterics says: “We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”

It’s unclear how Oxford will enforce its new ordinance inside Target. Will they post police officers at the restrooms in the stores? Will those officers be doing strip searches of anyone going into a Target restroom?

Will Target just decide its store in a small town — that provides a large portion of that town’s sales tax revenue — isn’t worth keeping open? We’ll find out on the next episode of As the Toilet Flushes.