Westport Rep. Struggles to Defend Vote with WBSM Host
Westport State Representative Paul Schmid was grilled Thursday on WBSM over his vote on the transgender anti-discrimination bill. WBSM's Barry Richard repeatedly asked Schmid if the bill was necessary, considering that it is already illegal to discriminate against anyone because of their race, creed, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Representative Schmid responded, "I'd have to....I'd be glad to....uh....I don't know the specific law."
Richard then inferred Schmid had voted on the bill to expand rights to people that he didn't know were already being protected. Schmid said, "I do have the knowledge, but I can't quote the law to you."
Schmid continued conversation with Ricard, at one point saying he did not know for sure if the anti-discrimination law under Massachusetts General Laws applied to transgender individuals. Schmid claimed transgendered people had no protection under Massachusetts laws:
Schmid: Before we did this, it would have been possible for a restaurant or a bar to exclude transgendered people from the toilet.
Richard: How? That's highly illegal. You can't do that.
Addressing concerns of malicious abuse of the law, Schmid said 16 other states have passed similar transgender anti-discrimination laws, and he was not aware of any incidents of abuse in any of those states.