Ten Reasons to Vote Against
HB235 “Gender Identity” Bill
This bill failed to get out of committee last year. The bill forces any employed individual, employers (including those managing public accommodation facilities), and individuals of faith, roommates and schools to ignore reality and disregard a person’s legitimate “assigned sex at birth.” Johns Hopkins Hospital stopped sex reassignment surgeries because it does not cure Gender Identity Disorder (GID), yet HB235 enforces ideology over opinions of respected medical professionals and the needs and concerns of the public. The bill continues to have irreparable defects and should be stopped.
2) Overreaching Definition:
HB235 is promoted by special interest groups as a "transgender antidiscrimination bill" but does not even mention the word “transgender” or “transsexual.” A true definition “transgender” has yet to be determined. Even many supporters of rights for those conflicted about their gender identity (transgender) would not provide that same protection for a "drag queen or cross dresser," which this bill does do. HB235 defines “GENDER IDENTITY” as “A GENDER–RELATED IDENTITY, 'APPEARANCE, EXPRESSION, OR BEHAVIOR' OF AN INDIVIDUAL REGARDLESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL‟S ASSIGNED SEX AT BIRTH.”
3) Other protected classes such as race and sex do not change.
How can employed individuals, employers and citizens know what “Gender Choice” is being made or even which pronouns “should be used”?
§ Gender Identity can change at will. Gender Identity is not an immutable class like other protected classes such as race or sex. A recent public example of a changing “gender identity” is the transitioning of LA Times sportswriter Mike Penner to Christine Daniels -- and then back AGAIN to Mike Penner. This bill would give legal protection to a continually changing behavior such as weekend cross-dressers.
§ “Appearance, expression and behavior” can change from moment to moment and with each different situation. The bill equally empowers “Drag Queens,” cross dressing pedophiles and men who enjoy cross-dressing. Crossdressers are often heterosexual males who obtain sexual arousal from dressing like women. HB235 prohibits from making inquiries about birth sex until after a problem or complaint has been raised. Cross-dressing men, including cross-dressing sex offenders, voyeurs in women’s bathrooms, and/or rapists will be protected from questioning by HB235. Women will be afraid to complain about males in changing areas and bathrooms, increasing the risk of attacks.
4) Increases the risk of lawsuits by providing a private cause of action for Gender Identity.
Changes to Maryland's anti-discrimination law in 2007 added a "private cause of action." If gender identity
is added as a "protected class,” employers rocked by the economic crisis will now have to worry about a new type of lawsuit from cross dressing employees who will be empowered to sue for damages
up to $300,000 plus punitive damages. As one law firm has stated ....employers need to be prepared for the very real prospect ....they will face expansive discovery in and a jury trial of the claimant's ... claims. and "unlike many federal statutes, a claimant can file a lawsuit before he receives a right to sue letter."2 Employers can now be sued for failure to deny birth sex, and/or for simply trying to protect the safety of women in restrooms by preventing males from entering the female facilities. Even a simple pronoun such as he or she can be fraught with danger under these circumstances.
Dana Beyer, a transsexual woman who “helped craft” the 2008 Montgomery County Gender Identity Legislation (per 11/18/09 Gazette Article) promptly filed a five million dollar lawsuit against the County under its new 2008 Gender Identity “antidiscrimination law.” In addition, since the bill fails to contain a freedom of conscience exemption, it acts as a reverse hate crimes bill taking away the freedom of Marylanders to recognize biology as fact.
5) Ignores practical safety and living concerns of the entire populace. Separation by sex has been deemed appropriate and even necessary for safety and privacy in a variety of situations by society. With the bill’s vague wording, all an adult male has to do to gain legal access to facilities normally reserved for women and girls is to indicate, verbally or non-verbally, that he has a sense of being female at the moment. If HB235 passes, the use of sex (male or female biology) in such diverse areas as all-girls‟ schools, school games, sports teams, bathrooms, locker areas, showers, or in sleeping and living areas in homes, prisons, and shelters can become a crime and subject to compensatory damages up to $300,000, as well as punitive damages. In Washington, DC. where a gender identity bill
has already passed, relief from the legislation and its broad definition of “gender identity” was requested by the DC detention system because the law is unworkable and unsafe.
6) Unacceptable loss of safety and privacy for women and children. Under the Portland, Oregon Gender Identity Law, a cross-dressing sex offender entered a woman’s locker room and was arrested while changing clothes in front of the children there. Without the Gender Identity law, the perpetrator would not have had such easy access to the female locker room. But with the unreasonable law, businesses could not question why he was there. In Montgomery County at least two rapes in bathrooms have occurred after the new law. Even before the law women were afraid and outraged when a man in a blue dress went into female locker areas in a health club. Under a bill like this, a southwest Texas 51 year male asserting a female identity would have been allowed access to the female
dorms. Without the law such access was denied.
7) Promoted by a narrow special interest group,
At the expense of the rights of minorities such as victims of assault who fear allowing men into female restrooms and showers. Gender identity bills have been controversial in states such as Maine, Florida, and Colorado. Despite 26,813 verifiable referendum signatures in Montgomery County Maryland, the democratic efforts of the people were attacked by officers and members of Equality Maryland, including Dana Beyer (county council aide and EM vice president), who spent over $80,000 in legal bills to silence voters and take away their right to vote on the Gender Identity Bill. Duchy Trachtenberg, who sponsored the bill, was the only MC legislator not re-elected to office, and per newspaper reports: The Examiner stated, “The Montgomery County Ethics Commission found that ... Dr. Dana Beyer improperly tried to stop people at a grocery store last year from signing a petition to have a referendum on a 2007 (Gender Identity) law..."3 The Post stated, “The Ethics Commission has found „reasonable cause‟ to hold a hearing.”4 Beyer also failed to win elected office.
8) Creates a new public policy essentially legalizing Gender Identity Theft
That individual refuses to recognize one’s birth sex, even if it is plainly obvious. HB235 is invasive legislation which eliminates gender and renders it a choice at any given day. If the bill is passed, Maryland effectively penalizes the common sense, freedom of conscience, religious liberty, and free speech of constituents. It is a direct attack on our privacy rights, conscience and common sense.
9) Unexpected „slippery slope‟ consequences.
The bill changes societal norms because it takes away the freedom of Marylanders to disagree with those who cannot accept their gender, mandates acceptance of ideology, can be used to force genderless marriage, and could lead to publicly funded sex change operations.
10) No one has studied the effect that the bill will have on children‟s gender identity.
Bills such as these will require schools that are employers covered by the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law and consequently regulated by the Dept. of Labor Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to begin tolerance training. In Montgomery County, children are taught that transgenderism is doing anything outside of the gender norm and that one can change their body to match the way they feel. There is no mention of the risk of steroids that gender identity confusion is a disorder or that some transsexuals regret their decision. No one has studied the effect on a child‟s developing gender identity of having a kindergarten teacher begin the school year as a male and end as a female. HB235 plays Russian roulette with vulnerable children.
VOTE “NO” ON HB235
1Gender Identity Disorder “can be so pervasive that the mental lives of some individuals revolve only around those activities that lessen gender distress.” The bill sets up untenable situations for Maryland employers who need a work force who are focused on production and not appearance. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV, fourth Edition. 2http://www.winston.com/siteFiles/publications/Maryland_Law_briefing.pdf 3 http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Montgomery-County-councilwoman-accuses-investigators-of-_KGB_-tactics-8548464-70328647.html 4 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/17/AR2009111703825_pf.html