Sunday, December 30, 2007

CRW Lies and Ice

I've got something from the Citizens for a Responsible Whatever to mention dismissively, and some pictures from our trip.

Okay, news on the MoCo culture wars. The Citizens for a Responsible, uh, let's see what it says here, okay, Government this time, sent out a notice the other day that they were going to have a meeting to get some momentum going for their referendum petition drive. They're trying to overturn a law that says you can't discriminate against transgender people. Here's some wording from their flyer:
Is this County spinning out of control?

The county has passed a bill seemingly making an individual's day to day sexual orientation a protected class (?!?). If someone chooses to identify themselves as of different genders on different days, our local government, in its infinite wisdom, thinks that is a group that needs special protection in every workplace, in all public areas, like theatres, and, seemingly, even in their choice of which bathroom to use. A "get out of jail free" card for sexual predators who are caught in the wrong public bathroom or public shower.

In brief, the recent legislation adds the category of "transgender" to the list of protected "classes" in Montgomery County's anti-discrimination public facilities ordinance.

Let me say, it wouldn't have been too bad if they'd just stuck with the "In brief" part, not that the word "classes" need quotation marks. Also, the law doesn't say "transgender," it says "gender identity," as far as I know, but they're close enough here that you wouldn't complain about that one sentence.

The words "day to day," italicized in the newsletter, are a total fantasy invented by the CRW. The law doesn't say "day to day," and the whole idea that somebody is going to change their gender identity again and again is ridiculous and stupid. Are they going out and getting signatures on a petition by telling people this? Is that going to be legally acceptable? Can you just say anything? What if you told people you had a petition to put soda in the drinking fountains, when in fact it was a petition to torture and kill all the cute kitties in the county? Would signatures on the petition be binding? As I said before, this petition is going to be a nice list of Stupid People in our county.

The "(?!?)" is a clever piece of irony. You might think they are questioning the wisdom of the new law, but to me the question-exclamation-mark business is a hint that the sentence contains a lie made up to make the law sound worse than it is.

Look at that word "seemingly" in there. "Seemingly, even in their choice of which bathroom to use." Not really, but seemingly. That is good enough for the CRW.

The email went out on the twenty-eighth, apparently inviting people to a meeting on the 29th at the First Baptist Church in Rockville, on Adclare Road, not that they give the date. It just says "tomorrow." This church appears to be over near Woodley Gardens, sort of. Tell me, why would a church allow something like this? Do they think there's something in the Bible saying you should discriminate against transgender people? Do they think Jesus would believe that people change their gender identity "day to day?" Does God tell them that this law will make it legal for creepy men to hang out in the ladies room?

My question: What, exactly, is the religious angle to this?

The flyer has an interesting statement in it:
We need to reach 12,500 (turned in and counted) by February 4th. To date, we have 1000 signatures. There are 20 churches signed up to run referendum drives in January. We need at least 30 more churches to reach or initial goal.

Not long ago, they were saying they needed 25,000 signatures, twice the number they say now. I'm not motivated to go look up the law or anything, so I'm just taking their word for it, but it does not seem like a good sign for them that they have lowered their goal by half. Also, after a month of this, they say they have a thousand signatures. Excuse me for saying so, but ... that's not very many.

I've already said, they can probably get people to sign a petition against perverted men hanging out in the ladies room, or like here, a petition against people deciding from day to day whether they will be male or female. People are more or less uncomfortable with that, and they might sign a petition if they were told that was going to happen, which is apparently the case.

Would people sign a petition to oppose what this new law really says? Would they sign a petition reinstating the right to discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity? Of course not. Sadly, the CRW feels their lying is justified by the goal, which is to allow discrimination. They'll say anything to get that back.

I don't think anybody from our group went to their meeting. If you heard anything about it, please say something in our comments here, or email us and let us know. If you go to a church where they're pushing this, I'd love to have a look at the kinds of materials they're showing.

In other news, you'll be glad to know our luggage finally arrived today. This is great, using deodorant, brushing my teeth, wearing my own clothes.

Hey, some pictures from our trip.

I woke up in the night in Minneapolis and took a couple of pictures of my kids sleeping. Here's where Northwest put us up after they delayed, delayed, and then canceled our flights -- that's my daughter in the foreground, my son is back farther away, if you can see him:

There were other people sleeping all over the place. There were two teenage girls sleeping back by the wall; their mother sat there awake, watching me suspiciously as I took these pictures. It was about 3:30 in the morning.

When we got to Omaha, a morning fog had just lifted, and the mist had frozen on everything. All the trees were white, not just white on the top like when snow falls, but coated with a white icing. It was about a hundred mile drive to Sioux City, and along the way I asked my brother-in-law to pull over so I could take a picture or two. We stopped at the next turn-off. I got out of the car and just took pictures left, right, front, and back -- everything looked like this, everywhere.

Today we will hold the services for my wife's father. They've been getting photographs and things together for it. People will be talking, and then they just start crying and hugging each other. This is going to be a hard day.


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