Transgender Debate Shifts To Massachusetts
The debate over where transgender folk can relieve themselves in public accommodations shifts this week from North Carolina to Massachusetts as lawmakers are expected to take up two versions of a transgender rights bill.
The Senate is set to vote on Thursday on the original bill which has languished in committee for months while the House is expected to take up a new compromise version unveiled last month by the legislative leadership. Both versions are designed to protect transgender people from discrimination in such places as restaurants, malls and other public places including restrooms. Opponents of the legislation say it would allow male sexual predators a free pass to begin scoping out the ladies bathroom under the guise of being transgender. Supporters say to deny males who are going through the transgender process access to the ladies room is a violation of their civil rights.
North Carolina is being sued by the U.S. Justice Department for refusing to allow males access to ladies restrooms and Governor Pat McCrory has filed a counter suit. It is an emotionally charged issue that is being driven by the LBGT community and it's supporters with a lot of support from the entertainment industry.
Fewer than one percent of the general population claims to be transgender. A larger but still small segment is gay, lesbian or bi-sexual. The LBGT lobby is powerful and wields a lot of influence over the political establishment which is terrified of being labelled as homophobic. Existing laws both on the federal and state level adequately protect the LGBT community from discrimination. This is about expanding power base and asserting an agenda.
While the rights of transgender individuals should most certainly be protected and respected so should the rights of the overwhelming majority of citizens who do not want to open their restrooms, locker rooms and showers to those of the opposite sex.
Massachusetts lawmakers should show courage and reject this bill, particularly as it pertains to public restrooms.