Sunday, June 01, 2014

MD Anti-Transgender Petition Fails

The group led by Maryland State Delegate Neil Parrott to re-legalize discrimination against transgender people has failed. Midnight last night was the deadline to get one-third of their signatures filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections, to call for a state referendum on the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014. They needed 18,579 signatures by last night, and their email blast, sent in the wee hours this morning, says they came up about a thousand names short.

And you can be sure a good proportion of their signatures were forged, fraudulent, and otherwise illegal, like when they tried to pull this in Montgomery County.

The group insisted on calling the law "The Bathroom Bill" and focused on the argument that the bill would allow predatory men to lurk in women's restrooms, leering and groping and drooling at women and girls. As they say in this morning's email, "As you probably know, the 'Bathroom Bill' will let men in the women’s bathroom and vise versa if they simply claim to feel like the opposite gender."

The law doesn't do that. At this point we don't need to debunk the argument or even make fun of it. The shower-nuts tried to overturn a law and they could not find enough people to sign their petitions. In a state with approximately six million citizens they couldn't find eighteen thousand registered voters who would add their names to the referendum petition.

Note that there wasn't very much of a fight this time. Groups disagreed on whether to go out and talk to potential petition signers, but in the long run I don't think there was very much of that. The fact is, the "bathroom bill" angle is pure ignorant bigotry, and Maryland residents really don't mind if transgender people can expect to be served at a restaurant, or hired for a job they are qualified for.

OK, people, move along, nothing to see here. You won't be able to discriminate on the basis of gender identity in the state of Maryland.

In the meantime, enjoy the new cover of Time. You have to subscribe to read the article, though there is a nice interview with Laverne Cox outside the paywall HERE.