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Quirk to Propose Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Bill

The proposal, spurred by the Chrissy Polis assault, will look similar to a bill passed by the Howard County Council in December.

Councilman Tom Quirk said Monday he will introduce a gender identity anti-discrimination bill in the Baltimore County Council later this month.

The bill will be similar to a law passed last month by the Howard County Council, Quirk said.  Proponents of the law say it was spurred by a highly- publicized attack on Chrissy Polis, a transgendered Rosedale woman, last year.

Quirk, a freshman Democrat from Catonsville, said the primary aim of the bill is to protect transgendered workers from discrimination and firing because of their sexual identity.

"It's my strong belief that the only thing that should matter is someone's qualifications for a job," Quirk said.

The bill will also contain language dealing with the use of public accommodations, including public restrooms. The language in the bill will allow employers the flexibility to set their own rules on the use of restrooms, Quirk said.

Quirk said he expects to introduce the bill by the end of January. Councilwomen Vicki Almond and Cathy Bevins, both Democrats, are likely to cosponsor the legislation, he said.

Mark Patro, president of the Baltimore County chapter of  Parents, Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians, said the issue of addressing potential discrimination arose after the highly-publicized assault of Chrissy Polis.

The transgendered woman was assaulted in a Rosedale McDonald's in April. A woman and teenage girl were both convicted of the assault, which was recorded on video and uploaded to Youtube.

"That was the incident that got most people thinking about this," said Patro, a Perry Hall resident.

The incident involving Polis was handled in the courts but the county is unable to investigate discrimination on the job, Patro said.

"There are issues all the time with transgendered people being fired from their jobs," he said.

Baltimore County is one of four counties exempted from a 2001 state law, according to Matthew Thorn, chair of the Howard County Chapter of Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Thorn's organization worked with the Howard County Council to that makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of gender identity.

Housing and public accommodations are also covered in the law. Violations of the law are addressed through the county's human rights laws.

"Transgenders are the last social group that it's OK to discriminate against," Sharon Brackett, board chairwoman of Gender Rights Maryland , told Columbia Patch in December. "A law like this sets the tone that it's not OK to discriminate."

Brackett spoke last month of some of the struggles faced by the transgender community.

Nearly one half of individuals who openly identify as transgender are fired from their jobs or can't find employment at all, she said.

Of those who find employment, almost 90 percent are harassed on the job.

"And here's the big one: 41 percent of trans have either considered or attempted suicide," Bracket said, according to Columbia Patch.

Howard County's bill is similar to laws passed in Montgomery County, Thorn said.

Patro said he expected the bill would also contain language protecting transgendered residents from discrimination in using public accommodations such as restaurants and hotels.

"One thing that is up in the air is who can use a public bathroom," said Patro.

Quirk said his bill will cover bathrooms as a public accommodation.

The issue of bathroom use helped derail a similar bill proposed in the Maryland General Assembly last year.

The proposed law did not contain language regarding bathroom use, but several legislators linked the issue to the bill during floor debates. The law ultimately failed.

Thorn said he expects the bill will return this year. This time, public accommodations will be included, he said.

Josephine Hlatki January 29, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Yes, Cheryl, I agree with you and the employment issue that Mark Petro talked about is already covered in BC Law. What has to be considered is the OPEN INTERPRETATION of this bill. The best way I can describe it is ANYTHING GOES once it's passed. All that will need to be done is lodge a complaint and add more to the bill. I think everyone deserves to live life in their own skin. What I don't agree with is when someone decides it's time for CONDITIONING of others to their way of living by forcing that lifestyle on others. I don't go around talking about the sex I have in my home with my husband with others. I don't want anyone, whether heterosexual or homosexual or somewhere inbetween, to be talking about it the the CHILDREN. This is what it's all about, after all. The LGBT Community want to teach children about their sexual lifstyle. You need to read the agenda the LGBT National Conference has going on this week in Baltimore. http://www.creatingchange.org/sessions.php Click to download the schedule and read the sessions. Be prepared to have your eyes opened. There are 2 sessions on MD legislation alone. I've copied 4 for you so you see what they really want...INDOCTRINATION Gender identity Legislation in MD We Got the Laws Passed. Now What? Education about trans inclusive civil rights gains. Inclusive School Policy and Messaging: Organizing Strategies to Reframe the Debate Trans youth & Schools: Creating Advocacy and Policy Change
Josephine Hlatki January 29, 2012 at 04:11 PM
OK Mark, YOU'RE NOT GETTING AWAY WITH THAT ONE. I was at the meeting and introduction of the bill on 1-17-12 testified and heard the testimonies just as you did. No one said those rapes were LGBT related...NO ONE. The LGBTs and the liberal media did a huge spin on that one. The point being made was that if rapes already are happening, how much more will happen once this opens up all Women and Girls only areas to men dressed as women. Stop taking things people say out of context to use it for your agenda. When I was interviewed by the press, most of what I said was tossed to the cutting room floor and not put in print or on TV. Again, you use the liberal media to your benefit.
Josephine Hlatki January 29, 2012 at 04:22 PM
David, talk about not being fair or equal protection. What about the children who will be faced with Mr. Smith on Friday in School, showing up as Mrs. Smith on Monday and a detailed explanation as to why for them by the teacher? Children are very impressionable. Parents have every right to raise their children in the moral way they decide and Government should not be able to take that from them. It's not about discrimination...there are laws against that already in every area talked about. Just enforce them. What is so wrong is the rights of many others will be taken to further the LGBT agenda. Pure and simple. I suggest some reading up on this to get the facts. As I posted above....see what their National Conference was about this week in Baltimore...such timing...this and the Same Sex Marriage Bill. http://www.creatingchange.org/sessions.php Gender identity Legislation in MD We Got the Laws Passed. Now What? Education about trans inclusive civil rights gains. Inclusive School Policy and Messaging: Organizing Strategies to Reframe the Debate Trans youth & Schools: Creating Advocacy and Policy Change These 4 are only a minute part of what they talked and trained about. You really need to see the session schedule.
David Taylor January 29, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Yes, children are impressionable, which is why we need to stand up for equal protection and not allow fear mongering and bigotry to win out. You personally may be afraid of people who are different, you may have "taught" your kids that some people were born "immoral" or that allowing them to be in public is immoral, you can rant all you want about "INDOCTRINATION" and your conspiracy of "CONDITIONING" people to accept other members of society and treat them equally, but those of us with half a brain aren't buying that argument. Even the people who you imagine oppose the bill with you are not "with you" - there are other reasons why a bill may not be supported, but I would hope that in most cases, it's not blatant bigotry like yours. Your paranoid rambling gives you away... we know what you are. And yes, you are correct that parents like you have a right to teach bigotry, but decent society is under no obligation to support such nonsense, and in fact, we all have an obligation to stand up against people like you and protect the rights of everyone in America from discrimination.
Mark Patro January 29, 2012 at 05:16 PM
To Anita Schatz. You keep saying there are already laws in place to protect people from discrimination. This is simply not true. In fact it is a blatant lie. There would not be organizations in absolutely every community in this country working toward social justice if your statement was true. Just because you say it a thousand times does not make it true.
Mike McAuliffe January 29, 2012 at 05:31 PM
circadia...I couldn't agree more with your comments in regards to the bill's language. Well said. I've never taken time to educated myself on these transgendered issues before, simply because they don't concern me. I've got my job, family, and community occupying my useful time, so felt no need to investigate it. But with the transgenders now shoving this stupid crap into our faces and duping our legislators into infusing into the law, I thought that I would look into the subject matter a little more, before commenting on it. I've read the numerous above comments from the pro-trannies, visited their suggested web links, scoured the internet in hopes of possibly understanding it. All this research has made me more confused about the subject than the trannies are about their sexuality.
Mike McAuliffe January 29, 2012 at 05:39 PM
The sponsors and co-sponsors of this bill apparently realize that this subject is so damn confusing that they have attempted to further explain the definitions of SEXUAL ORIENTATION, IDENTITY, AND EXPRESSION within it's language. No doubt this is just "cut and paste" legislation from other counties newly enacted laws. The council members could not possibly have come up with these terms on their own and no doubt wording drafted by PFLAG for the Councils' ease. The existing law that this bill would amend has never attempted to explain the various RACES, CREEDS, RELIGIONS, PHYSICAL OR MENTAL DISABILITIES, SKIN COLORS, SEXES, NATIONAL ORIGINS, AGES, OR MARITAL STATUSES, to whom it establishes protection, so why does the Council all of a sudden feel the need to explain all the various types of sexual orientations, identities, and expressions. My feeling is that this group of people feel dejected by their families and society and as a way to force acceptance from non-supporters of their life style, they have turned to our legislators to do the job and the Council has coward down to them. Remove all the nonsense language and let the existing word SEX cover these folks. After all these folks are claiming the be one of the sexes covered within the existing law--male or female. Councilpersons, leave the existing law as it stands. Your intentions are good, but you are over complicating things for yourselves.
Mark Patro January 29, 2012 at 06:01 PM
The reason "Sex","Sexual Orientation" and "gender identity/expression" need to be listed differently in the county code is because they are as different as "race" and "color". And "sex" is different than "sexual orientation". And "Gender Identity" is different than "sex". If you want to be educated you should go to a presentation that discusses what gender identity is. PFLAG has invited everyone in the county to two different presentations right here in Baltimore County in the last two years.
Josephine Hlatki January 29, 2012 at 06:25 PM
OK....read it for yourself. http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/humanrelations/index.html
Josephine Hlatki January 29, 2012 at 06:29 PM
The only problem with attending those presentations is that they are geared toward conditioning and don't tell the whole story. Someone is better off googling for the information and getting facts from doctors on it. I can tell the BCC has been conditioned to belief all will be well if this bill is passes as is....from speaking with them.
Mark Patro January 29, 2012 at 06:39 PM
So, instead of actually coming to a presentation and making a point about something that was actually said at the presentation you are making a blanket statement based on a preconceived idea of what will be presented. That appraoach is exactly how discrimination works. Thank you for proving my point. I am inclined to believe you are doing the same thing about this legislation. And by the way. We frequently have professionals at our presentations. At the most recent presentation on gender identity PFLAG had a professional from the Chase-Brexton Clinic.
David Taylor January 30, 2012 at 12:56 AM
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." - Simple enough, eh?
Buck Harmon January 30, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Mark Patro... I respect the energy that you have added to this issue... I also disagree with you. There should be equal protection for all... key word ~equal. No segment of society should receive special treatment. Same laws should apply to everyone...period. If certain people feel as though they are somehow being slighted or overlooked, then perhaps the way current laws are being enforced should be addressed. To create new law that can not be fairly or effectively enforced is wrong. Transgender human beings have the exact same laws to protect them that everyone else has.... why should they receive special treatment under the law that would by design discriminate against the majority. This entire issue can never be legislated away... the only winners in these cases will be lawyers profiting from the grey zones. The arguments made for this law are not realistic or valid. I asked for someone in support of this law to kindly explain the reason that it is needed. So far no one has done so. This has more to do with bad law than transgender human beings that seek perceived additional protections.... a can of worms at best. If this is the best that our elected officials have to offer, they need to be replaced.
Buck Harmon January 30, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Professionals get paid to create illusion with these issues. Please... simply explain the need for new law with facts, not hired professionals that say what they are paid to say.. Why should transgenders receive more special treatment than me?
Mark Patro January 30, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Buck, the current law: i.e. the Baltimore county code has holes in it. It describes precisely who is protected, and those not defined in the current code are simply not protected. Men or women who identify with a gender that does not match their appearance are, and can be discriminated against in the areas of housing, employment, education, and public accommodations right now and it legal for people to do that precisely because there are no laws to protect them from these types of discrimination. People in Baltimore County who do not fit into the heterosexual-norm can also be legally discriminated against because there the state law gives four counties an exemption to the state law that was passed in 2001. Baltimore County is one of those counties. The exemption allows for the list of protected classes in each of the particular counties' codes to be defined by that county. This is what this bill will do. So, your point about there already being laws in place to protect the two classes of people listed in bill 3-12 is simply untrue. This law is absolutely necessary.
Buck Harmon January 30, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Thanks for the response.. several questions: How many cases with claims of discrimination against transgender human beings have been lost in Maryland courts? Are these laws intended to identify discrimination related specifically for transgender human beings? Who will decide who a transgender is, or is not?
Buck Harmon January 30, 2012 at 02:52 AM
I refuse to associate human beings and classes... Those that remain stuck in the class mold need to seek education related to being a human being first.
Josephine Hlatki February 01, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Sorry, just finding this, Mike. No, it wasn't well embraced. In fact the LGBTs used it as some sort of leverage to make us sound like fear mongers, while mocking me. I guess we ARE afraid of several things, men in Women and Girls restrooms, showers, dressing rooms, locker rooms, dorms, etc. We are afraid of what cross dressing in schools and other jobs where children are involved, day care, etc. will mean. Little children are very impressionable, which is what they are counting on. Mr. Smith is now Ms. Smith will have children asking and getting answers from them. If Baltimore County does what some other States and Countries already do, the curriculum could include videos showing vivid homosexual activites, and forced participation in LGBT studies. Parents will no longer have say over their child's sex education and this time it will be a lot more than boys have their parts and girls have theirs, it will be now let's experiment with each others parts because this is the norm. I don't see any religious or public school exemptions in this at all. We need to call BCPSchools and the Archdioces about this. If you want to see what the LGBTs are really planning, it's not so innocent. Read their sessions schedule from the National Conference they just held in Balto. this week. It is very revealing and I found out there are 2,200 of them coming from this Conference to get this bill past. http://www.creatingchange.org/downloads/cc12_sessions_12_13_11.pdf
Josephine Hlatki February 01, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Mike, we figured out their silence...the bathrooms is a bone they threw us while they are working on the indoctrination of children. Councilwoman Bevins called me and told me she met with 2 of the proponents, one I recognized the name of as being one who confronted me after the bill introduction night. The same one who said it was feaer mongering. Bevins said I should be comforted with the thought that "they" would be in the bathroom (as an example) with my little granddaughter because "they" told her that they are "nurturing" towards children. I could tell she had been thoroughly convinced by "them" that nurturing was a good thing because of the way she used it over and over and over, saying they told her they were nurturing. Well, after reading that sessions agenda from their conference and looking up the definition of "nurturing" in the dictionary, I am more convinced than ever they want our children. Here's the link to the defninition...make sure to scroll all the way down the page. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nurturing We cannot sit still on this. Call Talk Radio about it, Call the 5 Democrat Councilmembers and remind them who hired them...and that they are not listening to their constituents. If this bill passes as is, what happens after that will be on them.
Josephine Hlatki February 01, 2012 at 01:13 AM
I found out Chrissy Polis has a long rap sheet, with lots of violence in her background. I had the opportunity to speak with one of the officers present when she was arrested and she is one nasty person, verbally abusive to the police. After what I was told, I'm surprised they didn't press more charges on her for her interactions with the police. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if she instigated the assault with her verbal abuse. I'm not condoning what the 2 girls did...that was way over the top. They could have screamed and calle the police, but not attack in the way they did. I think their attack was immaturity on their part and obviously the first time they were confronted with a man entering their private area.
Josephine Hlatki February 01, 2012 at 01:16 AM
I suggested unisex restrooms and the many businesses that have 1 stall restrooms that are private to anyone using them to Bevins, and she sounded surprised. I guess she hadn't thought of that. We have been trying to get a meeting with the Democrats who sponsored this bill. So far, no success, but they met with the LGBTs on it. Don't you think we should have equal time on this and not just 3 minutes at a hearing where you're cut off while making your point?
Bart February 01, 2012 at 01:18 AM
David, it does seem simple enough, doesn't it? But, in reality, it just doesn't sink in for some people.
Josephine Hlatki February 01, 2012 at 01:24 AM
There you go again, throwing the bathroom bone again. We know what it's about now, so you can bury that bathroom bone. If this is all you want, then tell the Council to put exactly that in the bill and exclude everything else. Since you bring up rent, what about the widow who has to rent a room to make ends meet and a Transvestite Male answers the ad. If she refuses to rent to him, she will be breaking the law and will 1. Be sued to the hilt 2. Be forced to rent a room to a man that she wanted to rent to a woman so she wouldn't be afraid of a man taking advantage of her in her home. They should now put something in the bill exempting people renting rooms or apartments in their private homes. Again, the education is vague. Education could mean every aspect of it, getting education to giving it to children against their will and their parents. This bill is a mess. The sheer simplicity of it makes it dangerous. All the LGBTs will have to do once it's passed is lodge a complaint and have the bill amended to their liking...and they will do it. It's been done elsewhere.
Josephine Hlatki February 01, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Mark, I thought you said I lied about there already being legislation to protect people from discrimination....now you admit there is. I guess you read the link I posted.
Josephine Hlatki February 01, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Buck, that was another thing I asked the council...what guarantee do we women and girls have that the cross dresser entering the women and girls labeled areas has had the sex change surgery. Will they carry and ID card of such and who will monitor those entering? Most Transgenders have not had the surgery, thus the word TRANS. They are in transition and not a woman yet. They still have male genitalia and even after the surgery and hormone therapy that is supposed to complete the transformation, suffer much confusion about their sexual identities. Could it have something to do with cromosomes and not cutting off one part and upping the hormones? I've done a lot of research on this and I found so much to support the argument that Trans people have emotional issues, not physical ones and the physical change just doesn't fix things.
Lorna D. Rudnikas February 01, 2012 at 04:25 AM
No it is the one "accommodation" you have inadvertently or purposely avoided and it is the one "accommodation" that must be addressed beforehand....lest you bring it forth after the fact and try to grandfather it in. Concerns regarding predator opportunists is not being "used" as a fear factor.....honey child, it is a very real and very legitimate "concern" factor.
Mark Patro February 01, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Anita, you continuously divert this conversation. Men are not protected if they appear effeminate. Women are not protected if they appear masculine. And people who identify as gay or lesbian are not protected. I have personally met with the Human Relations commission to discuss which events of discrimination they are able to investigate and which they are not. You are wrong when you say there are already protections in place. You want to convince others that there are protections in place so that we are left defenseless when we have to go to court to defend ourselves.
Mark Patro February 01, 2012 at 08:36 PM
If these rapes were not committed by LGBTs (or straight me posing as transgender women) then why would it be appropriate to bring them up at a hearing that focuses on protections for LGBT people?
Mark Patro February 03, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Beat a transwoman and get released early. Where is the respect in our system? http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/02/02/md-juvenile-authorities-seek-release-of-youth-charged-in-transgender-beating-case/
Tim February 03, 2012 at 02:46 AM
yikes

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