As my readers know, a law was rammed through the Montgomery County Council regarding gender identity. One of the problems with this law, is that there was no provision for religious institutions. They would be required to hire those who “felt that they were a woman or a man.” They would have to put up with those who decided since they felt like a woman, to use the woman’s restrooms.
The opposition has disenfranchised over a million voters by not allowing this bill to be put to a vote. They keep telling us that they were confident that the people of Montgomery County would not strike down this law, and yet, they spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to fight it in court.
On Sunday, Sept. 28th, a Mr. Robert Nelson had a fantastic piece published in the Washington Post (can you believe it!). Here it is a part of the piece:
The Sept. 15 Metro article "Ruling Inspires New Hope for Transgender People," about the Maryland Court of Appeals' rejection of a petition drive to hold a referendum on Montgomery County's poorly constructed transgender anti-discrimination law, unfortunately omitted some of the significant objections to the law that have been raised by residents.
First, the "transgender" discrimination law never actually uses the word "transgender." It includes a broad definition of "gender identity" that lacks qualification or exemptions and that has caused many residents, business owners and religious leaders to speak out about the bill's defects. The county did extensive research on similar but quite different gender identity and gender expression bills from communities across the country, but the County Council needed to look no further than the city of Baltimore, the only other jurisdiction in Maryland with such a "gender identity" law.
Baltimore's definition of discrimination includes five exemptions that would have protected Montgomery County residents, but the County Council chose not to include them in its bill. Thousands of people wrote to the council voicing concerns, but the council ignored them. Thus residents had no recourse but to mount a petition drive.
The process of collecting petition signatures was proper and should not have been invalidated. In November, the Board of Elections determined that signatures from 5 percent of the active registered voters would be required to place a referendum on the bill on the ballot. That was fair, because including inactive voters would not be appropriate. Most of them are inactive for a reason -- they're not available. The Board of Elections validated signatures that were collected from 5.36 percent of active voters. It is grossly unfair to now contend that the petitions needed to include signatures from 5 percent of all registered voters, active and inactive.
Regrettably, council member Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At Large) has taken this occasion to post inflammatory accusations on the county's Web site and to attempt to marginalize residents who take a different view from her own. Her Sept. 9 press release contained inaccuracies and distortions; it should be removed from the county's Web site immediately.
For example, in June I led a freedom-of-speech gathering outside an Equality Maryland gala. In her news release, Trachtenberg called my fellow demonstrators and me "anti-LGBT" and said we were holding signs "attacking all of us." I personally produced those signs, and they were not hateful. Two signs questioned why Equality Maryland was challenging the democratic process by suing the Board of Elections. Another sign thanked Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who was attending the gala, for having his office file a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Board of Elections in Equality Maryland's lawsuit.
And to make matters worse, the Archdiocese of Washington DC stood silently while this all happened.