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[COMMENT: Still believe that our government is
innocuous, even helpful? This is not a school board edict, it is the city
council. But it is intended to include school restrooms. See
my email below...
OF “GENDER IDENTITY” BILL
SPARKS LEGAL REACTION BY CITIZEN GROUPS
News Advisory: November 14, 2007
Contact: Regina Griggs, Director, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX)
Montgomery County, MD - The controversial Gender Identity Bill passed by the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday may be headed to court. Advocates of Faith and Freedom (AFF), a public interest law firm based in California, was asked to become involved in the issue by several of the groups opposing the measure and has warned the council that the bill is a fatally flawed piece of legislation.
“Anytime politicians write a law that violates the rights of others by forcibly invading their privacy, and forcing faith-based organizations and small employers to hire cross-dressers, is bad law,” according to Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. PFOX, along with The Derwood Alliance Church and Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Maryland, is seeking legal guidance by AFF.
In an email sent Tuesday, AFF advised the Council that the bill’s vague language renders it unconstitutional; infringes upon the rights of religious organizations regarding whom they may employ; and puts the safety and privacy of citizens at risk by allowing people with a mental disorder to decide which restrooms, locker rooms and other private facilities they may use. The American Psychiatric Association classifies gender identity disorder as a treatable mental illness.
“The female residents of Montgomery County clearly have a right of privacy that prohibits all persons of the opposite sex…from using a restroom, locker room, or other similar facility designated for females….It is ridiculous to place the desires of persons suffering from gender identity disorder in front of the constitutional rights and safety of 99% of the residents in Montgomery County,” according to Robert H. Tyler, AFF’s general counsel, in his letter to the Council.
PFOX contacted the firm when passage of the bill seemed assured.
The wording of the bill is intentionally vague, according to Tyler, in order to allow claims regarding use of these facilities to be decided by the county’s Human Rights Commission without any guidelines concerning accommodations that are distinctly private or personal.
The bill adds ‘gender identity’ to the
list of classes protected under the county’s over-arching,
non-discrimination code. It forbids discrimination in the areas of housing,
employment, public accommodation, and taxicab and cable services. The bill
now goes to Ike Leggett, county executive, who has expressed support for the
bill and promised to sign it.
PFOX leads the nation in providing outreach, education, and public awareness in support of families and the ex-gay community. They can be reached via their website at www.pfox.org
The County Executive and Council can be reached at:
Sign the citizens’ referendum to overturn the bill at: http://www.mcpscurriculum.org/pdf/REFERENDUM.pdf
A copy of this news alert is online at: http://pfox.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=214#214
an Email about the above piece
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