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Lawmakers Say Transgender Bill Dangerous for Women

bathroom_bill_0Two Maryland lawmakers say a recently passed transgender bill that will allow men to use women's restrooms is dangerous to girls and women and are starting a petition drive to get the measure placed on the ballot in November. is reporting that Republican state delegates Neil Parrott and Kathy Szeliga have started a petition drive to let the voters decide if the recently passed Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 should be allowed to stand.

The law, which recently passed in both houses and is expected to be signed by Catholic governor Martin O'Mally, allows transgendered people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender they identify with. This would apply to accommodations in public and private places such as “hotels, restaurants, gas stations, movie theaters and sports arenas,” according to the bill.

Critics of the law say it is so loosely written that any man could simply say he believes he's a woman and get away with walking into a women's rest room.

Szeliga told Fox that she fully supports the rights of transgender people but the "bathroom bill" should have been written better and in a way that protects young girls and women from potential assault in their own restrooms.

“The expectation of women and men is to see people of the same gender in places like bathrooms and changing rooms. We wouldn’t be petitioning this bill if the [sponsors] had crafted it in a more thoughtful way,” Szeliga said.

Proponents of the bill accused "a small group of conservative activists" for trying to jettison the new law and accused them of being insensitive to the needs of transgender people.

"“I am extremely disappointed that a small group of conservative activists launched a misguided and deceptive petition drive against including anti-discrimination protections for transgender Marylanders and their families in our civil rights law,” said Maryland Delegate Rich Madaleno.

The petition drive website calls this kind of disingenuous argument a deception.

"The Maryland legislature just passed SB 212, the 'Bathroom Bill', deceptively named the 'Fairness For All Marylanders Act'. The most egregious part of this bill will require businesses to open up their public facilities (bathrooms, saunas, shower rooms, locker rooms, etc.) so that men can use the ladies’ room and women can use the men’s room. They can use the wrong facilities simply based on them saying that at the time they “sincerely held as part of [their] core identity” that they were the opposite sex.

"This bill is not 'fair for all Marylanders' as its title suggests. It endangers the privacy and safety rights of Marylanders, especially our women and girls. . . . While this bill tries to provide special rights to transgendered individuals, it endangers the rights of parents and our families for the sake of those who cannot accept the way they were created – or simply act that way so they can prey on easy targets."

Parrott also pointed out that 18 other states have a similar law protecting transgendered people, but none of them included the restroom provision. He also maintained that critics of the bill offered numerous amendments that would have resolved the issue.

As a result, they are now forced to take the law to the people and will attempt to gather enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot in November. They will need 55,736 names to do so with a third of these signatures needed by the end of this month. The remainder will be due at the end of June.

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