Earlier this year, a transgender woman was attacked for attempting to use the women’s room at a McDonald’s in Rosedale. The widely viewed cellphone footage of the attack helped make gender rights an issue. Currently, Howard County is considering a bill that adds “gender identity” to the short list of unlawful grounds for discrimination that currently includes race, religion, and political orientation. The law would protect transgender individuals against “discrimination in housing, employment, law enforcement practices and public accommodations in the county.”
Interestingly enough, it seems that most of the opposition to the Howard County bill is focused on what the law might mean for public restrooms. Opponents, including Greg Quinlan of the Arlington based group Equality and Justice for All, fear that the bill will encourage a transgender woman (who was born male) to use the ladies’ room, but a moment’s reflection reveals it as a desperate argument. Certainly transgender women are already using women’s facilities, just as transgender men are using men’s facilities.
Other statements from Quinlan’s press release reveal more faulty reasoning: “These men may dress as women but they are still males and can be attracted to women.” I suppose Quinlan would be shocked to learn that females can be attracted to women, too.
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