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Public Accommodations A Concern in Transgender Bill

Council chairwoman Vicki Almond says she "opposes discrimination" but is "not sure we should go there" on controversial public accommodations language.

 

A controversial component of a proposed bill may need to be removed, according to Council Chairwoman Vicki Almond.

Almond, a Reisterstown Democrat, supports the legislation sponsored by Catonsville Democrat Tom Quirk, but acknowledges the public accommodations portion of the bill could be problematic.

"I'm not even sure we should go there," said Almond. "I just think we should look at that. If we try and legislate that part of it, people today, transgender folks today are doing whatever it is they need to do and that's going to continue. I don't think it's going to change anything if we have it in the bill."

Almond and other council members said their offices were inundated with a large number of calls opposing the bill before it was introduced last week.

"I just don't believe in discrimination at all," said Almond. "That's my take on it. That's why I was one of the co-signers.

"There are a lot of people calling who are really quite hateful," said Almond. "There are some others who are questioning parts of the bill."

Specifically, the public accommodations portion of the bill.

Quirk, in an interview earlier this month, said the goal of the bill is to protect transgender workers from discrimination and firing because of their sexual identity.

The bill would allow employers and business owners to set their own rules regarding use of public areas such as restrooms.

More than two dozen people testified on the bill last week on the same night it was introduced. The majority of those testifying opposed the bill and many brought up the public accommodations portion of the bill.

A state version of the bill failed last year. Public accommodations were not part of the bill, but proponents say they hope to add it to the state version this year.

Almond said testimony against the bill won't derail the process.

"We're definitely keeping it on the agenda,"said Almond. "We've got two weeks to work on it before we need to have it ready.

"We have a lot of questions to answer before we have a final version ready," she said.

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Josephine Hlatki February 03, 2012 at 03:35 PM
What is sad is that we need to fear what our government officials impose upon us without our VOTE. The people have spoken out on this in droves.....we will speak out again in the next ELECTION. Mark, I'm not wasting anymore of my precious time arguing with you.
Mark Patro February 03, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Anita, you are a fountain of disinformation. CREATING CHANGE was a convention of leaders within the LGBT community. We do take the initiative to educate ourselves and our leaders. The people who attended this convention traveled from all over the nation to attend and they paid to be at the convention. They WANTED to be there. Your innuendo seems to imply that we are trying to convert people to homosexuality. This further implies that people chose their sexual orientation. There is more than twenty years of scientific research proving that idea to be incorrect. There is, as you know plenty of propaganda that poses as science which is not. Please make an effort to distinguish between the two when you cite your opinions. Society, Science, and most religion has moved on from the archaic ideas that you promote.
Christie Pulvino February 03, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Your statements are ridiculous Anita. Besides, I'd be more worried about the fact that you have to use a public restroom so often; seems to me like you may have issues with your digestive track, I'd go see a doctor STAT.
Tim February 03, 2012 at 03:56 PM
What Christie said. Seriously, I can count the number of times my then 4 year old has used a public restroom in the past year on one hand. Besides, aren't you ladies all in your individual stalls anyway? I mean, I can't say I've ever toured a ladies bathroom, I'm just guessing here...
LalainMaryland February 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Non-transgendered people are just as likely as transgendered people to expose themselves, attack others, lie, cheat, and steal. There is no way that being transgendered impacts your behavior in that way. In fact, most people undergoing this transition won't draw unnecessary attention to themselves. They want to simply live their lives.

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