Friday, February 15, 2013

Exactly Zero Men in Dresses in MoCo Ladies Rooms Since Law Passed

The state of Maryland is considering a new law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity. The City of Baltimore and Howard, Baltimore, and Montgomery Counties already have such laws in place, covering the majority of Maryland residents, and this new bill would extend rights across the state.

There might be real arguments to be made about the effects of interfering with naturally-occurring social processes, about government second-guessing individuals' judgments about who they want to work with, who they will allow on their property, and so on. You could argue about the long-term effects of laws that protect minorities, whether such laws are really good for them in the long run or serve to weaken them. You could look at the possible expense of enforcing a new law, the possible economic effects of making your region more or less attractive to certain kinds of individuals and businesses -- there are lots of rational points to debate in deciding whether to pass a bill like this.

But that isn't what happens.

Instead, the debate will be framed in terms of how dangerous transgender people are, and argument about the probabilities of imagined ways that they can harm innocent people. There will be vivid descriptions of men in dresses hanging out in ladies rooms, leering at the ladies and little girls and molesting them, and nobody can do anything about it because they are protected by a terrible new law that makes good Christians defenseless against sin. You can expect the Nutty Ones to refer to this proposed legislation as "the Bathroom Bill."

This blog mostly reports on events in Montgomery County, Maryland, where more than five years ago the County Council unanimously voted to ban discrimination based on gender identity, and the County Executive signed the bill into law.

When that law was being debated, and afterwards, when a referendum drive was being pushed, people literally stood outside grocery stores and churches with petitions, saying, "Sign this petition to keep men out of the ladies rooms," and they got a lot of signatures that way -- mostly invalid, but that's another story.

So let me point out the obvious. There have been exactly zero reports of men dressed as women in our county going into ladies rooms, shower-rooms, dressing-rooms, or any other place where women's privacy is important.

In our county, a Republican leader stood up at a 2007 County Council meeting and shouted, "Wait until little girls start showing up dead all over the county because of freaks of nature." After five-plus years, let me count the score here. Little girls murdered by transgender individuals or men pretending to be women in Montgomery County since the bill became law: zero.

A guy from PFOX wrote to the County Council that same year and said, "Hopefully, it will be one of your daughters who gets raped first!" Daughters raped in our county by transgender individuals or men pretending to be women since the bill became law: zero.

Maybe this time the state legislature will debate the merits of the nondiscrimination bill, consider its costs and benefits, hear testimony from people with lucid arguments against and in favor of the bill, and a vote will be taken and the bill will either pass or not-pass in one chamber and then the other. It should be a simple thing, every legislator will vote according to his or her beliefs, or perhaps their perceptions of the beliefs of the community they represent, and the bill will either fail in a vote or it will go to the governor, who will either sign it or he won't.

Before the county laws were passed it was permissible to speculate that there would be some horrible result, that little girls would be murdered, daughters would be raped, men in dresses in ladies rooms, but that point has passed. Laws have been enacted, and no harm of any kind was done. There is simply no rational argument to be made, that prohibiting gender-identity discrimination will result in any kind of sexual offenses or violence.

It has been proven empirically. Gender-identity nondiscrimination laws have no negative effects.

Any such arguments that are made now are demonstrably irrational. People who make these points from now on are not arguing about any real phenomenon that might happen, they are expressing their own insecurity, anxiety and hatred. Let's not humor them this time around.


Anonymous Robert said...

The PFOX guy really said that? Good lord. That's real hate.

February 15, 2013 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This proposed law has an unconstitutionally vague definition,

February 15, 2013 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No it doesn't.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that

[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The Supreme Court has interpreted the language of the Fourteenth Amendment to provide for the equal treatment of all citizens, particularly those in the minority or meeting the criteria of a suspect class.

An important impetus for the grant of equal rights for all individuals was the recognition that one holds national citizenship in addition to one's state citizenship, and thus cannot be denied due process and equal protection by one's state. The Supreme Court thereby recognized the necessity of protecting the liberties of individuals and groups from intrusion by the states.

February 16, 2013 9:41 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Anon complained:

“This proposed law has an unconstitutionally vague definition”

Poor reading comprehension skills on the part of certain bloviating right-wing conservatives have never constituted unconstitutional vagueness.

Have a nice day,


February 19, 2013 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK if that is true, how would you describe a gender related identity?

February 19, 2013 11:22 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Gender Identity" means a gender related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual regardless of the individual's assigned sex at birth.

"OK if that is true, how would you describe a gender related identity?".

The viewing of oneself as male, female, or some combination thereof.

What's so hard about that?

February 19, 2013 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is meant by genders related identity, appearance, expression OR behavior? Does one have to have all of whatever they mean to qualify? Who is doing the judging?

February 19, 2013 8:04 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

I already explained gender related identity to you.

Gender related appearance is the appearance of onself as male, female, or some combination thereof

Gender related expression is the expression of oneself in ways that are seen as male, female, or some combination thereof.

Gender related behavior is behaving in ways that are seen as male, female, or some combination thereof.

The "Or" in the law means any one of these may be a basis for prohibited discrimination.

Judges do the judging of course.

Once again, what's so hard about this?

February 19, 2013 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You still have not answered the question. What expression? What appearance? What behavior?
Give me an example and then I may understand. Are there universal expressions, appearance or behavior?

February 19, 2013 10:36 PM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Anon asked:

“OK if that is true, how would you describe a gender related identity?”

My definition of gender identity is irrelevant. After all, I’m an engineer, not a lawyer, and I don’t write laws – unconstitutional or otherwise.

According to there are 16 states, D.C, and 143 cities and counties that have enacted non-discrimination laws that include gender identity and expression. Some of these laws go as far back as the 1970’s. I should note that this list has NOT been updated yet to include our lovely Montgomery and Howard Counties in MD, so there are probably more. Although these laws probably have similar wording, there is no reason to believe that so many laws written in so many places over the last 4 decades are precisely the same. Nor do they need to be.

I’m going to go way out on a limb here and say that the number of these laws that have had to be re-written or rescinded due to “unconstitutional vagueness” is a very small number, very close to, and perhaps even exactly, ZERO. (Where have I heard that “exactly zero” phrase before?!?!) If any of them had been, the CRG would have found it on the web already and been waving this fact around on flyers at every gathering they could think of.

Anon then asked:

“What is meant by genders (sic) related identity, appearance, expression OR behavior? Does one have to have all of whatever they mean to qualify?”

If one had “to have all of whatever they mean,” it would have been worded with the conjunction “and” instead of “OR.”

Your confusion on this most simple definition in the use of conjunctions in the English language amply demonstrates the “poor reading comprehension skills” I referred to above.

Here’s a helpful hint: If you can’t understand simple, basic English sentences, you should not be trying to parse out the fundamental meanings of a legal text. You should be investing in a few English courses.

“Who is doing the judging?”

And a U.S. civics and government course wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

I’d stay away from those “home schools” though. I’m not sure the teachers there actually have to be accredited.

Have a nice day,


February 20, 2013 10:26 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

anon, you asked what was meant by those terms, I explained it to you. Now you're moving the goalposts. I should refuse to answer you because of that but I'll respond one more time and then that's it, I'm through playing your neverending games.

"What expression?"

Saying "I'm not a tomboy, I'm a girlygirl.".

"What appearance?"

Wearing a dress.

"What behavior?"

Rythmic gymnastics.

You of course are well aware of many appearances, expressions, and behaviors that are typically associated with either men or women. You're just dishonestly pretending you don't understand it because you're looking for a cheap excuse to oppose the law - you don't have one.

February 20, 2013 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, you have just proved my point.

February 20, 2013 10:28 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

If I farted you'd think that proved your point. You thinking one of your points has been proven has no bearing on whether or not it actually has been.

February 21, 2013 11:26 AM  

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