Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fighting Back

Montgomery County recently adopted a law adding gender identity to the existing nondiscrimination law. The Citizens for a Responsible Whatever were anti-gay when the school district was going to teach about sexual orientation, and now they're anti-transgender. They are trying to get a referendum to take back the new law, and they are doing it in a devious way, by telling people it will let men go into ladies rooms. The idea is absurd, and the fact that anybody at all believes them is disheartening for those of you who were not cold-bloodedly cynical to begin with.

I wasn't going to link to this, because I didn't want to give these people any attention, but I want to show you why there is a need for a law preventing discrimination against transgender people. Dana Beyer is a well-known local public figure, a retired physician who has run for office and now works in the County Council offices. She is an activist and well-respected member of the community, and a transgender woman. Look at how the Traditional Values Coalition presents the news that Dana told some CRW petition-pushers that they were about to be evicted from their place in front of a Giant supermarket: Hillary Clinton She-Male Advisor Harasses Maryland Signature Gatherers.

I'm sorry, I can't even comment on that. It simply makes me sick.

Let's look at the other side of it. The community is mobilizing to oppose the efforts of these liars. Here's a story from Wednesday's Gazette:
Advocacy group Equality Maryland is trying to raise $5,000 in three days to match grants it has received to fight opponents of the county’s plan to add transgendered people to its anti-discrimination law.

Last week, opposition group Citizens for a Responsible Government filed more than 32,000 signatures with the Board of Elections to place a referendum on the law on the November ballot. At the beginning of this week, the board had certified 13,000 of the signatures and was still checking the remaining signatures.

Proponents of the county law, including Equality Maryland, have argued that CRG misled residents to acquire the signatures and used scare tactics. CRG established a Web site, sent out robo-calls to residents and collected signatures at various places in the county including grocery stores and churches.

In response, proponents launched their own ‘‘Decline to Sign” campaign and are challenging the signatures in hopes of stopping the referendum. Equality Maryland has received two matching grants totaling $5,000 to help pay for legal bills associated with the challenge. The group has sent out e-mail messages to its members and distribution lists asking for contributions to match the grants.

CRG needs 25,001 certified signatures for a referendum.Group raising cash to fight transgender rights opposition

Even as you read this, there is a team of volunteers, public officials, and lawyers working, preparing to respond to these petitions. It's a well-organized effort, and it costs money.

This is not about men in the ladies locker-room, it's about hate. It's about the citizens of Montgomery County standing up and saying they won't put up with it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let everyone know that there is a great article on "Reparative Therapy" and just how dangerous, inhumane and disgusting it really is.

It's in the Style section (page C13) and is titled, "When the Arts Mix with Politics".

I looked online and could not find the article... if someone finds it, please copy and paste it! :-)

Have a EQUAL day.


February 28, 2008 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, BTW- it was great seeing everyone this Friday as well as yesterday at the place where we're invalidating A LOT of signatures.

All I am going to say is, "YAY for democracy and policy!!!" :-)

February 28, 2008 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Jim, it's sickening. CRG/CRC are revealed by their actions and the company they keep. It reminds me of the outrageous things said in public board meetings when Fairfax schools was debating policies inclusive of sexual orientation. Westboro Baptist has no shine on these people.

I couldn't find the article Derrick mentioned on line either. I'll go out and buy the paper.

I did find this article on the book in Loudoun about the same-gender penguin family, "And Tango Makes Three." It seems that the efforts of Equality Loudoun (yay David) and others there have pressed back the forces of censorship and repression.

February 28, 2008 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here you go Derrick:

"When the Arts Mix with Politics".


February 28, 2008 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the Arts Mix with Politics

February 28, 2008 8:52 PM  

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