View Full Version : Transgender Protections Law Trigger Backlash, Referendum

08-03-2008, 10:00 PM
Group seeks to repeal county's law at ballot box

The law allows people to use the bathroom that matches the gender they identify with.
Translation: A Homosexual Pedophile may use the woman's room to change cloths next to young children because he feels feminine !

The Laugh Of The Day :
Transgender rights advocates say it is dangerous to allow the majority to decide which minorities deserve rights.

TheNot in My Shower campaign is not focusing on whether gender change is immoral but asserts that cross-dressing men could use women's restrooms and locker rooms, and possibly assault the women. "Our concern is this would leave the door wide open for an individual to dress as a woman, giving him access to private areas," said Michelle Turner, a spokeswoman for Not in My Shower.

WASHINGTON Maryanne Arnow has learned not to cringe at the stares and whispers that follow her whenever she leaves her house.

Arnow, 42 and a resident of Montgomery County in Maryland, was born male. But on her birthday five years ago, she said, she realized she didn't fit in her own skin, and she began transitioning that day. Now living as a woman, she wears make-up and dresses, paints her toenails and worries about how her long hair looks.

She also struggles to pay her bills, because she can't find a job. She said she was fired by the country club where she cooked when her bosses found out she was switching her gender, and now no one will hire her. "Everyone is worried what the other employees will think," she said. "It's just sad."

The lawmakers of Montgomery County, a wealthy and generally liberal enclave outside Washington, D.C., responded to such stories by enacting a measure earlier this year that forbids discrimination based on gender identity. Thirteen states and about 90 municipalities have similar protections, including Illinois, which passed its law in 2005. Chicago has had a similar policy in place since 2002.

Anti-discrimination legislation What was different in Montgomery County was what happened next. A group called Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government launched a campaign called "Not in My Shower" to repeal the measure through a voter referendum. Last month, a judge ruled that the county must put the question on the ballot in November.

Proponents of the bill have promised to appeal. If they fail, this will be the first time voters decide the fate of gender-identity legislation.

This potential precedent has groups on both sides of the issue watching closely. Transgender rights advocates say it is dangerous to allow the majority to decide which minorities deserve rights. Conservative activists view the Maryland fight as a test case for overturning transgender protection laws nationwide.
"These laws have been passed mostly without controversy," said Chris Edelson, state legislative director for the Human Rights Coalition. "The concern is that people will say, 'Let's repeal these laws.' "

The ordinance's supporters say transgender individuals have never been accused of harassing anyone this way. But that has not dissuaded opponents from making their case, sometimes vividly.

One of the group's fliers shows a gaggle of happy kids and a mom in a pool. "It's pool time!" the flier says. "But who will you and your children see in the showers? ... Your fines could actually be as high as $5,000 for failing to accept a man in a dress as a female or for complaining about indecent exposure when the male undresses right next to a young girl in the female locker room."

The law allows people to use the bathroom that matches the gender they identify with.

Turner and a group of like-minded activists have been involved in similar issues for several years. In 2004, they launched Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, which sued to prevent Montgomery County schools from teaching that homosexuality was innate; they lost the suit.

The activists are locally funded but have received support from national conservative groups.