Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
The Montgomery county council, left to right, bottom row: George L. Leventhal, Marilyn J. Praisner (President), Phil Andrews. Top row: Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Roger Berliner, Duchy Trachtenberg, Nancy Floreen, and Mike Knapp (Vice-President)>
A surge of outrage is developing in Maryland, where the governing council in Montgomery County is planning to vote on a plan to open the doors of its public restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities to those who “perceive” they are that gender.
“From what I’m reading, the person with the gender identity confusion is being protected by what she or he FEELS he or she is. Thus, we’d have to protect this person’s gender based upon what is in his or her MIND. So, if I’m in a bathroom all by myself late at night, and a man walks in, I am supposed to be okay with this? If I’m at a pool, in a women’s locker room, and a man walks in – I’m supposed to be okay with this? This is truly unbelievable, and I’m embarrassed that Montgomery County is even spending its time on this piece of nonsense,” a resident, identified as “Lisa,” wrote to her elected representative on the board.
The report caught the attention of a Canadian WND reader, who notified his friends, who live in Maryland.
Lisa told WND she first called her county offices and asked them about the proposal, and was told that such “open doors” for those who perceive themselves of a gender other than their physical characteristics wasn’t possible.
“I heard about Bill 23-07, and, frankly, was shocked. I went to your website and pulled up the bill and read it,” Lisa said in her letter to county officials.
“It does, indeed, open the door for males to enter women’s bathrooms, shower facilities and other women’s facilities – and vice versa. I called Council member Trachtenberg’s office … and the person who answered the phone told me that my above statement was incorrect.
“After reading the bill myself, I do not see how I could be told that I’m incorrect. The very definition you have given for the proposed protected party (“gender identity”) is that a person can be the gender of his or her choosing. Thus, this means that the bill is protecting the person’s PERCEIVED gender, not the person’s actual gender,” she said in her letter.
A similar proposal made at the federal level by homosexual congressman Barney Frank includes an exception for facilities where full nudity exists, such as in shower facilities. But Peter Sprigg, a spokesman for PFOX, said correspondence with the county staff shows such a provision was considered, and deliberately rejected in the county plan, up for a Nov. 13 vote.
“Montgomery County is unwilling to make any such exception,” he told WND. “It’s very extreme.”
According to notes from city council meetings, Sprigg said, the only requirement will be that the person using the public facilities, including showers and locker rooms, be of the gender they present in public.
“Gender identity disorders exist in the diagnostic statistics manual,” added PFOX Director Regina Griggs. “Why would we want to promote cross-dressing, changing your sex. You’re not a man’s brain in a woman’s body and vice versa.”
The county plan, Bill 23-07 specifically would augment the state’s non-discrimination plan by adding “gender identity” as a protected class.
“In addition to prohibiting discrimination in the areas of employment and housing, Bill 23-07 adds ‘public accommodation’ to the list, causing many to question the judgment of allowing men who merely claim they feel female to have complete access to women’s restrooms, showers and locker rooms in schools, and other places of public accommodation such as health clubs, swimming pools, and store dressing rooms,” PFOX said in its statement about the issue.
“The council defines ‘gender identity’ as ‘an individual’s actual or perceived gender…,’ meaning biological males who see themselves as females, including cross-dressers, would obtain the right to use facilities now designated solely for women or girls,” PFOX continued.
“The Montgomery County Council has voiced callousness and arrogance to the concerns of parents who object. When asked by a mother concerned about her 10-year-old daughter who swims at the Germantown Indoor Pool, where she must undress in front of women since there are no separate changing rooms, if under this law she could be changing next to a person with male genitals, Council member George Leventhal responded via email: ‘I cannot absolutely put to rest your concern that girls might find themselves in a locker room or dressing room in the presence of a person who expresses or asserts herself as a woman but who still has male genitals, but based on my own sense of the prevalence of that condition in the population, I think the likelihood of that occurring is remote,’” PFOX said.
Lisa told WND she very’s upset that such a development would be occurring in her back yard, and she’s notifying friends and neighbors about the situation.
“I have a 4-year-old. I’m just appalled,” she told WND. She said when she contacted county offices she was told the county manager would be returning to his office soon to a bundle of related messages.
“We are endangering children,” Griggs told WND. “We are trying to normalize mental illness. We’re supposed to help these people.”
According to the organization, Leventhal’s opinion that “we should not worry if a child comes face to face with a nude male stranger (who merely has expressed he feels he is a woman) seems nothing short of condescending.”
The bill was sponsored by Council members Duchy Trachtenberg, Valerie Ervin, and Marc Elrich with the support of Equality Maryland, an organization promoting “gay,” lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, PFOX said.
A protest has been scheduled Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center, said PFOX.
Not only would the proposal govern facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms in public buildings, other public facilities such as those in McDonald’s, Chucky Cheese and others would be as opened as well.
This is just the latest battle Griggs and PFOX have encountered in the region. The pro-homosexual group Truth Wins Out earlier accused her of fabricating a report that a “gay” assaulted a volunteer at a county fair booth. Police later confirmed for WND that the incident did happen as Griggs reported.
In fact, police said they located the suspect based on the victim’s description and ended up escorting him off the fairgrounds.
PFOX also is engaged in a fight in Montgomery County seeking a court order to halt a public school sex curriculum because it contains “scientifically flawed and politically biased” information.
The organization joined with Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and the Family Leader Network in filing the request for the court-ordered stay of the program targeting middle school and high school students in the district.
The organizations said the local board, headed by Nancy Navarro, adopted the curriculum that teaches anal sex as unexceptional and “intentionally excludes” warnings issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health of the high medical dangers related to those behaviors.
“The curriculum also teaches students that homosexuality is ‘innate,’ a controversial and unproven theory advanced by gay advocacy groups serving on the Montgomery County School Board’s curriculum advisory committee,” the groups’ statement said.
Edward L. White III, trial counsel with the Thomas More Law Center, a prominent public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., is assisting PFOX and the pro-family groups in their lawsuit against the school board.
The curriculum includes lessons intended for eighth-graders and adopts the language and points of emphasis employed by promoters of homosexuality. Also, 10th-graders will be taught about making announcements that they are homosexual and how to use a condom.