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January 17, 2012 Print

Maryland County Proposes Bathroom Bill

by Karla Dial

On Tuesday, a Baltimore County, Md., commissioner introduced a bill to give anyone the opportunity to use any public restroom or dressing room, regardless of whether they are male or female.

The Act Concerning Human Relations is an attempt to force employers to make all accommodations for transgender employees, said its sponsor, Tom Quirk. But if it’s passed, it will actually go far beyond the walls of the workplace, said Derek McCoy of the Association of Maryland Families.

“When you look at this bill, the terrible thing about it is you’re talking about allowing someone who self-identifies (as a man or a woman) — meaning I can get up any given day of the week, especially if I have inclinations that are not right, like being a pedophile or a sexual deviant — and putting in harm’s way children who are using public facilities,” he said. “They can be taken, they can be molested. We need to be on our guard and understand what’s at stake.”

The bill’s proponents point to the case of a transgender woman who was beaten after using the women’s restroom at a Maryland McDonald’s last spring. But Ruth Jacobs, president of Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government, points to a 2004 incident in Pennsylvania, in which a 48-year-old man living as a transgendered woman dressed up as a cheerleader to gain access to Greensburg Salem High School’s locker room. He later admitted having taken photos of the girls while they were dressing.

“The bill is a direct attack on women’s privacy,” Jacobs said.

Learn more about the Maryland Family Alliance.