Tom Cotton Senate bill would separate prison inmates by birth gender, not identity

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01/16/2022

prisoner’s gender at birth, not their gender identity, would determine where they would be housed, under a U.S. Senate bill proposed last week by Republican Tom Cotton of Arkansas. The bill introduced Wednesday came in response to a report that President Biden may sign an executive action requiring the Federal Bureau of Prisons to allow transgender inmates to go to a prison that fits their gender identity. “President Biden’s plan to house male and female prisoners together will put women in danger,” Cotton said in a statement. “Documented cases prove that placing men — including ones who ‘identify’ as female — in women’s prisons puts female inmates at increased risk of sexual assault. My bill will stop the president’s ill-conceived plan and keep men and women separated in federal prison.” Last November, the Women’s Liberation Front sued the state of California for its policy allowing transgender inmates to be housed according to their identity. One plaintiff claimed she had been sexually assaulted by an inmate who transferred from a men’s prison, the Los Angeles Times reported. “The foundational basis of our lawsuit is that these are male offenders being housed in women’s prisons,” Lauren Adams, of the Women’s Liberation Front, said in a statement, according to the Times. “To pretend that they are female, in language or what we say about them or how we talk about them, goes against the whole basis of the lawsuit.”

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