Citizens in Maryland have launched a voter initiative against a law approved by the legislature that allows people to use sex-segregated facilities according to their “perceived” gender.
Opponents charge the law effectively allows men to use women’s bathroom and shower facilities.
The new Maryland law, the “Fairness For All Marylanders Act,” would allow the man “to do the same thing in Maryland if he simply claims to identify as a woman,” according to the citzens group MDPetitions, which is collecting signatures to put the issue on the fall ballot.
Critics of the bill also cite the case of convicted sexual predator Christopher Hambrook in Toronto. Hambrook claimed to be a transgender and preyed on women at two Toronto shelters.
But under the new Maryland law, he would be able to go into women’s restrooms.
However, those are not the type of resolutions sought by the citizens organization, they said.
MDPetitions.com asserts the bill isn’t fair for all Marylanders, as it’s title contends.
“It endangers the privacy and safety rights of Marylanders, especially our women and girls.”
While the bill tries “to provide special rights to transgendered individuals, it endangers the rights of parents and our families for the sake of those who cannot accept the way they were created – or simply act that way so they can prey on easy targets.”
It’s not the first time the idea has been adopted by government. It was Montgomery County, Maryland, that several years ago adopted its own “bathroom bill.”
Then, California lawmakers passed a law allowing public school children to represent themselves to school officials as whichever gender they choose, allowing them to use facilities designated for the opposite sex.
The Maryland group said the “most egregious part of this bill will require businesses to open up their public facilities (bathrooms, saunas, shower rooms, locker rooms, etc.) so that men can use the ladies’ room and women can use the men’s room.”
“They can use the wrong facilities simply based on them saying that at the time they ‘sincerely held as part of [their] core identity’ that they were the opposite sex,” the petition site explains.
“There is a reason that bathrooms are separated, and should continue to be. Men and women are physically different in ways that are traditionally held as private. Most humans neither want to reveal nor see intimate aspects of strangers of the opposite sex.”
According to a summary, the Maryland law, SB 212, prohibits “discrimination based on gender identity, with regard to public accommodations, housing/real estate, or employment, or by persons regulated by the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. It also prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation with regard to leasing commercial property and in state personnel actions.”
The law is to be enforced in inns, hotels, motels, restaurants, cafeterias, lunchrooms, lunch counters, soda fountains, gas stations, motion picture houses, theaters, concert halls, sports arenas, stadiums, or any other place that “offers goods, services, entertainment, recreation, or transportation.”
The petition, if it collects enough signatures, would place the newly passed bill on the ballot in November.
Antipathy for opponents of the homosexual-promoting agenda in public education and the public square in Maryland runs deep.
WND reported Joshua Starr, the superintendent of the Montgomery County, Maryland, school district, was the target of a request for a civil rights investigation after he described supporters of traditional marriage as “really, really disgusting.”
At the time, Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays, said Starr “misused his official position as school superintendent to gain access to students and indoctrinate them with his prejudicial bias against the ex-gay community.”
“The Department of Justice has investigated complaints against schools for discriminating against transgenders – those who have changed their gender identity. The ex-gay community – those who have changed their sexual orientation – asks for equal treatment from our federal government,” she said.
WND last August that a well-organized coalition of pro-family and civic organizations in Miami-Dade County, Florida, soundly defeated a state measure that would have given transsexuals access to public restrooms and locker rooms used by the opposite sex.
The Miami-Dade Commission gave initial approval a year ago to adding “gender identity and expression” to the county’s anti-discrimination law by an 11-1 vote but the measure stalled after intense lobbying by opponents, led by the local Christian Family Coalition.
Sponsors withdrew it the bill because they lacked the votes to get it through committee.
The victory in liberal Miami-Dade “is really landmark,” said Christian Family Coalition executive director Anthony Verdugo of the win 36 years after singer Anita Bryant led the successful repeal of Miami-Dade County’s homosexual rights law.
“When we caught wind of it, we had three weeks to organize,” said Verdugo.
His team exhaustively researched the issue, developed a communications strategy and filled a hearing room with nearly 300 opponents when the commission took testimony on July 8.
The move is in the opposite direction to that which many cities, counties and states are moving.
The Miami-Dade campaigners developed a coalition of 17 Republican, Democrat, human rights and religious organizations and worked with numerous churches to educate and mobilize the opposition.
Colorado, however, adopted a radical “transgender nondiscrimination” bill in 2008 that makes it illegal to deny a person access to public accommodations, including restrooms and locker rooms, based on gender identity or the “perception” of gender identity. One consequence of the law is a ruling forcing authorities to permit 6-year-old Coy Mathis – a boy who says he thinks he’s a girl – to use the girls bathroom at his elementary school.
Nationwide, 17 states and the District of Columbia have embraced the transsexual agenda. Rhode Island added “gender identity and expression” to its anti-discrimination law in June with the support of Gov. Jack Markell, and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced his support in an Equality Delaware video.
But other attempts to advance the transsexual agenda were defeated in Montana, Missouri, North Dakota and New York, where state Senate leaders refused to allow a vote.
Here what happened in Washington state:
The Obama administration is solidly behind the move to open locker room doors to some members of the opposite sex.
- President Obama signed the U.N. Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity;
- The White House hosted the first-ever meeting with transgender activists;
- The Department of State made it easier for transsexuals to change the sex indicated on passports;
- The U.S. Justice Department sided in July with a transsexual individual in an employment discrimination suit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives;
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled for the first time last year that “gender identity or expression” in the workplace is protected under federal civil rights law;
- The Office of Personnel Management inserted “gender identity” for the first time into its federal workplace anti-discrimination policy;
- The American Psychiatric Association removed “gender identity disorder” from its list of mental health ailments in late 2012, a move some regarded as a lifting of the social stigma attached to transsexual behavior.
In Massachusetts, a recent state law interpretation by Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester requires schools to permit “transgender” boys to use girls’ locker rooms, bathrooms and changing facilities if the boys “assert” they’re really girls.
“Some students may feel uncomfortable with a transgender student using the same sex-segregated restroom, locker room or changing facility,” the official document admits.
But it then concludes that “this discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.”
In Kansas, activists have been going from city to city demanding sexual orientation and “gender identity” be added to protected classes, a move attorneys warn could impact even churches and other faith-based groups.