Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Referendum Killed: Huge Victory for County Civil Rights

Here's the whole document, so far -- it says "opinion later to be filed:"
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND
No. 61
September Term, 2008
JANE DOE, et al. v. MONTGOMERY COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS
Bell, C.J.
Harrell
Battaglia
Greene
Murphy
Adkins
Barbera,
JJ.
PER CURIAM ORDER
Filed: September 9, 2008

PER CURIAM ORDER
For reasons to be stated in an opinion later to be filed, it is this 9th day of September, 2008, ORDERED, by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, a majority of the Court concurring, that the judgment of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County be, and it is hereby, reversed, and the matter remanded to the circuit court with directions to enter judgment in favor of Appellants. Costs to be paid by the Appellee. Mandate to issue forthwith.

/s/ Robert M. Bell
Chief Judge

With these few words the appeals court threw out a referendum to relegalize gender identity discrimination in Montgomery County, Maryland, after the County Council unanimously passed the law, the County Executive happily signed it, and a small gang of bigots used lies and misrepresentation to get people to sign petitions against it.

The court will issue an opinion at some point, explaining which judges supported and opposed the decision and why. We'll get that to you when it happens. For now: celebration time.

49 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justice prevails!!
From the press release of Equality Maryland today:
"This long overdue, crucial law is all about assuring that unchecked bias is not allowed to inhibit our neighbors' abilities to make a living or rent a home, and as a Montgomery County resident, I breathe a sigh of relief that this campaign to roll back anti-discrimination protections is now over," said Dan Furmansky, Executive Director of Equality Maryland. "While we were ready to make our case to the voters of Montgomery County, it is far better that our transgender brothers and sisters be spared the rhetoric that the referendum proponents have subjected them to over the past year. Equality Maryland thanks Lambda Legal, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the law firm of Arnold and Porter, and the many volunteers who came together to assure that our laws in Montgomery County are on par with the 100 other jurisdictions nationally that protect residents from discrimination on the basis of gender identity."

Another blow against ignorance, bigotry, and hatred!!

RT

September 09, 2008 2:00 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Hooray!!!! Best wishes to Montgomery County! Thanks to all the people who were leading the fight against this awful awful injustice!

September 09, 2008 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Well, now strange old white haired guy can work with NARAL since we know he supports abortion and "Notmyshower" was a real loser campaign.

September 09, 2008 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a small gang of bigots used lies and misrepresentation to get people to sign petitions against it"

No one lied except TTF spokesmen.

"The court will issue an opinion at some point, explaining which judges supported and opposed the decision and why. We'll get that to you when it happens. For now: celebration time."

Well, you guys really have something to celebrate. Now you can keep make baseless allegations that the voters of MC agree with the gay agenda without any objective test of that proposition. We had you scared for a while there, thinking a vote could blow your cover and show what MC voters really think.

Where's the party?

September 09, 2008 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Anon. Tell it to the judges!

Are you shower nuts going to post pictures of your leaders crying the blues?

I'll bet Liberty Counsel is sighing in relief they didn't back the CRWackos again.

September 09, 2008 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I will write really slowly so Anon can get this. A-n-o-n, Read the election results for the past two elections in MC- if the voice of most of MC is not clear to you, you will never get it.

You never had us scared- we aren't scared of small minded bigots, little screaming ones, old yelling ones, weepy doctors or out and out liars.

When Obama/Biden win- will you leave? I'm upping my contribution to $10- towards your bus fare.

September 09, 2008 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Since it will be our party, it will definitely take a much, much bigger place than the shower stall you had your party in!
What is going to be your next issue in your attempt to stampede Mongtomery citizens into panic and rage? Perhaps the really HUGE issue of how GLBT marriage equality is going to rip the seams of Montgomery County's "Christian" family values to shreds?
Diogenes

September 09, 2008 3:56 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Given that the opinion on the 17 year olds voting issue was decided in February and has yet to be published we should not hold our breath waiting for this document.

There are clearly many process issues which need to be clarified. CRG will be very disappointed, but they can take home the knowledge that they are safe in Montgomery County, their campaign tactics to the contrary.

September 09, 2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Read the election results for the past two elections in MC- if the voice of most of MC is not clear to you, you will never get it."

Dreary, if you think anyone is voting based on gay issues, it just goes to show how wacky you are.

"You never had us scared-"

If you weren't scared you wouldn't have worked so hard to stop a vote.

You know the referendum would have passed.

Now, where's the party?

September 09, 2008 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 09, 2008 5:22 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, I just came back from the party. It's over in Silver Spring, just walk around and you'll probably come across it.

As for that last comment: unh-uh. Stay back on the other side of that line.

JimK

September 09, 2008 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What is going to be your next issue in your attempt to stampede Mongtomery citizens into panic and rage?"

The bigger issue, dye-yo-jeans, is what the heck will be the topic of discussion here.

How about the resurgent McCain campaign?

Does anyone know why the Obama campaign has failed when everyone has been saying for the last two years that the Dems will win in a cake walk?

September 09, 2008 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As for that last comment: unh-uh. Stay back on the other side of that line."

I have no idea what you're talking about so I'd appreciate any enlightenment.

I don't want to hear about you guys torching any vehicles over in Silver Spring.

September 09, 2008 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When Obama/Biden win- will you leave? I'm upping my contribution to $10- towards your bus fare."

I'm not going anywhere.

If those idiots eek out a win, I'll start my own blog called: "Why did we give two guys from the most incompetent institution in America offices in the West Wing?"

September 09, 2008 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a new cause for TTF:

"The biggest scandal of the election campaign is going unreported, for the most part, by the mainstream newspapers and TV shows. Imagine if John McCain or Sarah Palin had a half-brother who was living in a hut. Imagine if McCain, a multimillionaire, did nothing to help the guy. Imagine if McCain came to the convention and spoke incessantly about compassion and how he was inspired by the biblical mandate: we are our brothers' keepers! This would be the lead story on the evening news.

So why aren't the networks covering the fact that Barack Obama's half-brother George lives in a 6 by 10 foot hut in the slums of Kenya? It took a reporter for the Italian edition of Vanity Fair to locate George Obama. Obama noted that when he met his famous half-brother in 2006 “we spoke for just a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger.” George Obama also told the magazine that “I live here on less than a dollar month,” and “if anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed.” Obama has done absolutely nothing to help his unfortunate half-brother.

Apparently alarmed that this report could hurt Obama, CNN dispatched one of its reporters to do cover-up work for the Obama campaign. This is a hopeless enterprise; anyone who sees pictures of George Obama's dwelling place on the web knows that they reveal the worst images of African poverty. Moreover, for all its propagandistic intent, the CNN report is unintentionally damaging to Obama. The reporter cannot hide the fact that George Obama comes from a "ramshackled slum." A neighbor tells CNN that Barack Obama really should connect with his half-brother and "see how he's living" and do what he can to "improve our way of life."

CNN attempts to portray George Obama as a self-reliant fellow who doesn't want any help. The network quotes him saying, "I was brought up well. I live well even now." George, however, speaks in a halting voice; he is trying to maintain his self-image. George also says, "I'm Kenyan...I would love to live in Kenya." Presumably George gave this answer to a question asking whether he'd like to move to the United States with Barack Obama's help. These answers, however, in no way suggest that George doesn't want Barack Obama's intervention to relieve his grinding poverty. A man's effort to maintain his dignity should not be exploited to pretend that he doesn't want a helping hand.

When I posted on my AOL blog about George Obama last week, the Obama apologists could do no better than to say that Barack Obama doesn't owe his half-brother anything. But sibling assistance is not a matter of debt. Rather, it is a matter of family values and compassion. Obama has cited as his favorite Bible verse Jesus's statement: whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me. It seems that the Republican allegation that this man is full of pretense and empty words--in other words, a modern-day Pharisee--is more than justified.

Obama may not want to help his 26 year old half-brother, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't. I'm starting the George Obama Compassion Fund which has the goal of raising some money to help George Obama move out of his one-room hut. George also wants to become a mechanic and surely he could use some funds to get the training he needs to fulfill his humble aspirations. Currently George lives on a few dollars a month. Even a few thousand dollars would completely transform this man's life.

I'm putting up $1000 to get this fund started. I invite people to send me small contributions--$5, $10, $25, whatever you can spare. Send them to P.O. Box 3384, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067. Make your checks to "George Obama." I will then contact the Obama campaign and offer them the money on the condition that they forward it to George Obama in Kenya. The advantage of this approach is that not only does George Obama benefit from our generosity, but also Barack Obama can use the opportunity to improve his relationship with his half-brother. Let's foster Obama family values, and give a break to a guy who really needs it."

September 09, 2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

AnonBigot-

Didn´t your mother tell you that bigots never prosper??

I guess now you know.

September 09, 2008 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-
Gosh, even when I write really, really slowly, Anon can't understand.

Anon-start your own blog now- because President Obama and VP Biden are coming. You can give all your little friends -Showernuts/CRC/CRG/impeachthe montgomerycountyschoolboard people a place to comment and whine.

September 09, 2008 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Maryanne A. Arnow said...

For here, for now, for all that it's worth.

I just wanted to say to the CRG/CRC folks - many of whom i have had mostly peaceable, and even meaningful and intelligent debates with, even though we may disagree to the utmost extent - yours was a battle well fought.

To Ruth - you have always treated me with kindness and respect in person except for the first time we met. To Theresa - who had the decency to refer to me by my proper name - to Emily - who kept her ground against no less than 5 people of opposing viewpoints on the Tribune blog - for/to all of you - at least no one can ever say you did not stick to your core beliefs and values, and fought hard and well to the very last.

You are fellow citizens of my home, fellow human beings and fellow countrymen and women - moms and dads and hardworking people that believe in what you are doing.

I may not agree with many of the ways in which it was done, nor the underlying principles on which it was based, but nonetheless, no time for that now.

It's over.

Kudos on a well fought battle. Thank you for helping to bring these issues more clearly into focus in the public eye, so that we could all help people to have a better understanding, on both sides of this issue.

This was a rare blessing indeed, no matter how badly it hurt, or at what cost it was gained.

Most Sincerely and respectfully

always,


Maryanne

September 09, 2008 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Gosh, even when I write really, really slowly, Anon can't understand."

Oh, everyone understands you.

You're an idiot.

You think the County Council was voted on with the gay agenda in mind.

Obama/Biden haven't got a chance.

September 09, 2008 6:47 PM  
Anonymous David Weintraub said...

Maryanne, you are amazing. After all the hatefulness these folks directed at you, you can still see the decency and humanity in them. You put me to shame. Thank you.

Congratulations, all.

September 09, 2008 7:03 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Hey all,

Just wanted to commend you on this awesome victory today ;p

You stood firm and right won out.

September 09, 2008 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

Well done! On the same day that CRG sent out another sad hysterical email, no less. Montgomery County deserves better than their fear-mongering. Civil rights should never be consigned to the will of the majority.

September 09, 2008 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Civil rights should never be consigned to the will of the majority."

Thought you guys said CRG is a minority.

Can you make up your mind?

September 09, 2008 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
MN Anon calls me, Obama and Biden idiots-a comment is not necessary on Anon -but I am proud of my company. People of principle winning today and in November.

September 09, 2008 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I've explained to you previously, dreary, five battleground states are Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia.

Whoever wins three of the five gets the election.

The latest polls show McCain leading in Ohio, Virginia and Florida. Obama clings to a one point lead in the other two and the Obama campaign is very worried about the trends in Michigan where he has no organization because he skipped the primary there. Anyway, we'll give 'em those two for now.

Go to the electoral map.

That's 274 electoral votes for McCain.

Whatch you gonna do?

September 09, 2008 8:30 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

This ain’t over. They’ll never give it up, they can’t.

Their god is pride (supremacy) - their most deeply held and cherished “belief.”

To take away their feelings of superiority, is to take away their religion and god itself.
---
Oh CRG, the pain of equality, the pain of it all...

September 09, 2008 8:40 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

(Sorry Andrea, I’ve got to respond to this.)
---
Sybil says…

“As I've explained to you previously, dreary, five battleground states are Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia.

Whoever wins three of the five gets the election.
[…]
Whatch you gonna do?”

---
As I’ve explained before as well -- even with the anti-gender identity referendum -- however it turns out, some of us will retain our souls (or conscience if you’re atheist).

We win either way, you lose either way.

September 09, 2008 9:17 PM  
Anonymous David Weintraub said...

Emproph,

LOL, yeah, we just keep on existing. So inconsiderate of us :)

September 09, 2008 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes and, apparently, you don't really feel like you exist unless you have a law saying so.

Here's a question:

Discrimination on the basis of sexual "orientation" has been illegal in MC for a while. (BTW, the same scenario that just played out all happened before when that law was passed. The council passed a law, citizens of MC tried to get a referendum, a lunatic fringe gay group challenged the signatures, a handful of activist judges over-ruled the people of the county). How many times has any employer been found guilty of violating the law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

September 09, 2008 9:57 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Congratulations on the victory to all who worked for justice, fairness and equality. And lots of laughs on Red Baron who had yet again over-confidently assured us the law against discrimination would be repealled

September 09, 2008 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would have, preya, had a bunch of nut job judges not voted to overturn democracy.

By the by, when's that huge backlash against Palin that you keep talking about going to show up?

September 09, 2008 10:16 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Oh democracy worked all right Red Baron, your side failed to get enough valid signatures despite your overconfident assurance that they would.

September 09, 2008 10:22 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The slow march towards justice inexorably goes on! Hooray again for human rights!

September 09, 2008 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, all employers should be forced to hire boys who want to wear a dress.

That's justice for you!

We're getting there.

But, let's not forget that transgenders also sometimes start a business. And, let's say, they have a right to start a business and a right to have people buy the stuff they make without discriminating.

Shouldn't the government make sure you can't discriminate when you buy things?

That's just justice.

September 09, 2008 10:47 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Hey, Anon, now that's it's over, how about unmasking yourself. Show a little courage.

September 09, 2008 10:47 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

Sybil says...

“By the by, when's that huge backlash against Palin that you keep talking about going to show up?”

When you turn on your TV.
--
“How many times has any employer been found guilty of violating the law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?”

None have been found guilty? What is it then that you seem to be so worried about this bill then?
--
“Yes and, apparently, you don't really feel like you exist unless you have a law saying so.”

You mean unlike those of any age, race, religion, color, sex, handicap, national origin, or marital status - who also need a law saying they exist?

How did they respond when you said that to them?

September 09, 2008 11:47 PM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

Our work here is done, Kimo Sabe.

Now onto Gainesville. And Hamtramck. And anywhere else where human rights are under threat.

And you know what? I'm in Australia, and shamelessly interfering in another country's internal affairs, aren't I? Never mind, Americans have been known to do that too....

September 10, 2008 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, everybody: check out Dana's picture in the Post this morning.

Almost as bad as the ride down the street in a rickshaw with Duchy at the Labor Day parade.

Now, Dana's threatening to go statewide.

Maybe that will give TTF something to talk about.

Well, that was some party last night. See you guys at the big Palin rally in Fairfax today.

September 10, 2008 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You mean unlike those of any age, race, religion, color, sex, handicap, national origin, or marital status - who also need a law saying they exist?

How did they respond when you said that to them?"

Well, that list encompasses everyone and, yes, they exist apart from the law.

No one else, however, is making pathetic statements like this:

"yeah, we just keep on existing. So inconsiderate of us"

September 10, 2008 8:03 AM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

"Costs to be paid by the Appellee"

I hadn't picked up on that.

September 10, 2008 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" - You are a mean-spirited, nasty, ignorant, smarmy, egotistical ass! Your comment: "Hey, everybody: check out Dana's picture in the Post this morning. Almost as bad as the ride down the street in a rickshaw with Duchy at the Labor Day parade." merely exposes you for what you are...a hate-filled, low-class. ill-educated (if at all) bigot.
I am going to try to exhibit some of your so-called "Christian charity" by dismissing your remark as that of a sinner who hasn't the foggiest understanding of what your religion teaches: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
Take your germ-laden toys with you and go play in somebody else's yard!
Citizen

September 10, 2008 9:41 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Oh, leave 'em alone. Let them grieve. I can imagine how it feels to have victory in your grasp and then to discover that the people upon whom you relied and who are responsible to "count the votes" don't know how to count. A comedy of errors.

That, of course, doesn't excuse the lies and fear-mongering of CRG, but, as MaryAnne points out, they put up a good fight. The process worked.

I invite Ruth and Theresa to come in and sit down with me and let's talk science and morality, so we don't have to go through this again on some other issue. We've had our moments -- let's build on them.

Anon, still masked, had you bothered to look you would have noticed that Duchy wasn't in the energy-efficient pedi-cab. But don't let facts get in your way.

And I'm not "threatening" anything, though I can see how a "Christian" such as yourself might imagine such.

Zoe, those costs to be paid by the Board of Elections are pretty minor -- filing fees and all that. They don't, unfortunately, include attorney fees.

September 10, 2008 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dana

I thought it was obvious that I was simply poking fun at you guys. Didn't think any big offense would be taken, especially since you kids seem pretty happy.

Hey, I'd never seen an energy efficient pedicab but I thought it looked a little like a rickshaw.

September 10, 2008 10:41 AM  
Blogger Emproph said...

Sybil said...

Emproph: "You mean unlike those of any age, race, religion, color, sex, handicap, national origin, or marital status - who also need a law saying they exist?

How did they respond when you said that to them?"


Sybil: “Well, that list encompasses everyone and, yes, they exist apart from the law.”

So the law itself, exists independently of the law...itself?

Interesting take. I’d give it some more thought, but I just noticed that I'm running low on Q-Tips.
---
“No one else, however, is making pathetic statements like this:

"yeah, we just keep on existing. So inconsiderate of us"


Oh totally I know, I fer sher would have like said: “Golly garsh darn it, just my being alive must be totally pissing the hose off them acronym peoples'!”

So we’re totally on the same page on that one.

September 10, 2008 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-
I feel the need to be as smarmy as Anon- well, that's not possible but..

The correct word is "eke". "Eek" is no doubt what you will be saying on election day.

September 10, 2008 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The correct word is "eke". "Eek" is no doubt what you will be saying on election day."

Heck, I say that whenever I see you manning the table at some TTF event.

But, then, who doesn't.

September 10, 2008 2:42 PM  
Blogger Lisa Harney said...

Congratulations to everyone who worked on this.

Maryanne, you are truly gracious.

September 10, 2008 7:44 PM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

I'll quite Sir Winston Churchill:

In War: Resolution.
In Defeat: Defiance.
In Victory: Magnanimity.
In Peace: Goodwill.

September 11, 2008 2:57 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Hooah for MoCo.

rrjr

September 11, 2008 11:31 AM  

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