QUEER VOICES
04/15/2013 05:25 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Ally Robledo, Transgender Woman, Cited For Trespassing After Using Women's Bathroom In Idaho

An Idaho transgender woman was cited for trespassing last week for using the women's bathroom in a grocery store.

Ally Robledo, 25, was cited April 8 after leaving Rosauer's grocery store in Lewiston, according to CBS local affiliate KLEW TV.

"A male subject ... was using the female restroom, and that made some women customers uncomfortable because of the appearance that a male was using their restroom," Lewiston Police Captain Roger Lanier said, according to KLEW.

Robledo told the station that she has already undergone one gender re-assignment surgery. In the past, Robledo said using male restrooms led to feelings of embarrassment and harassment, and that she sometimes she even feared for her safety.

"I'm a female trapped in a man's body," Robledo said, according to Reuters. "It's natural for me to go to the ladies' room. Getting the no trespassing order for a public restroom was really painful."

Lanier stressed that "store employees didn't want any further problems" and have the right under Idaho state law to refuse service. Customers had complained because someone was urinating standing up, according to Reuters.

ThinkProgress notes that Idaho is one of 37 states that do not offer nondiscrimination protections for transgender Americans.

According to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, 13 states have anti-discrimination statutes that protect transgender people from "discrimination in public accommodations." There is no such federal law, according to the Associated Press.

Nationally, the issue of transgender rights and discrimination has been in the news recently, due to an attempt by an Arizona state politician to police the way transgender people use public bathrooms and locker rooms. In February, Rep. John Kavanagh (R) proposed an amendment that would prohibit a person from entering a “public restroom, bathroom, shower, bath, dressing room, or locker room” with a biological identity not matching the facility's official gender association.

Kavanaugh's comments dovetail with those of Michigan state Rep. Tom McMillin (R), who last week said a bill offering protections to transgender Michigan residents "violates the privacy rights of women and children."

“Why the city would want to force places like schools, businesses and fitness centers to allow men to use a women’s restroom or locker room – and allow boys to access girl’s restrooms and locker rooms in schools, is beyond me," McMillin said in a statement, according to Michigan local news blog MLive.com.

"At the very least, the council should have also included a requirement for warning signs on women’s and girl’s public restroom and locker room doors saying that women and girls may be confronted there by men who think they are women," he added.

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