Marylanders Meet To Debate Transgender Rights Bill

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Strengthening human rights for transgender people has ignited a firestorm of protest in Baltimore County. Late Tuesday afternoon, the public had their last chance to influence the council ahead of next week’s vote.

Mike Schuh has more.

Transgender woman Chrissy Polis was beaten at a Rosedale McDonald’s. It’s clear no one—not the people who support this bill or the people who oppose it—want to see a human get beaten because they are transgender.

“This bill is an anti-discrimination bill,” said one councilman.

He is close to giving transgender people more protections, but the road to protecting them has hit a wall. Well, actually a door…a men’s and a women’s. On paper, it’s section D, line 4. The words, “Public Accommodation.” About half of those testifying who passed through the doors of council chambers to testify against the transgender bill don’t want a person who is biologically male but who hasn’t had the gender reassignment surgery allowed into a woman’s bathroom.

“I do not want my grandkids going into the bathroom where there is a man dressed as a woman going into the bathroom,” said Jackie Auburn.

“We’d be forced to allow men to use ladies’ restrooms, women’s locker rooms, women’s gym dressing rooms at department stores, pools, beaches, women’s clubs and so forth,” said Betty Labrun.

But those wanting the protection the bill affords are quick to rebut that.

“This bill is not a bathroom bill,” said Tom Quirk.

“We live, work and play among you and pay our taxes as well as go into fast food bathrooms and have done so for many decades with no untoward consequences toward others,” said Dana Beyer.

Reminded of the Rosedale beating, one speaker used her two minutes to read the names of people killed because of who they are.

But many of those against spoke of religious objections.

“Woe to those who call good evil and evil good,” said Labrun.

Four votes are needed. The bill has four co-sponsors.

The vote on this will happen next Monday at 6 p.m.

Maryland is one of 34 states which offer no special protections for its transgender residents.

More from Mike Schuh
  • Michelle

    Do not these people who want to force someone to use the restroom for the gender that was given at birth will force men who could have a 24 hour shadow to use the women’s restroom? I think they are ignoring the Female to male transgender persons. I think an man with a full beard would be as scary if not more scary to their children.

  • peter o neil

    No one should be beaten over their sexual orientation & preference but at the same time we should not be creating separte laws to provide for special service to these individuals. We all have maladies so deal withj it. Let this Transexual travel in the communities that accept this behavior. This is what straights & gays do.

  • shoot it down

    what about the construction worker chomping on an unlit stogie who just got off work and hasn’t had time to don his dress and lipstick ,will he still be allowed to pee in the little girls bathroom if he wants to get in touch with his feminine side..And so what if something happens then the genius lawmakers can just come up with another bill and put that kid’s name on it.Let’s stop this before it happens!!!

    • Dash

      America. The land of free speech. Apparently you are free to show your ignorance. Clearly this law is needed to protect transpeople from the likes of you.

    • Shannon

      Wow you have shown you knowledge. A transgender doesn’t change it’s not like one min they are mighty man and the next a”DRAG QUEEN TRANSSEXUAL”. A transgender is someone who seriously believes they should have been born another sex. Not someone who gets their jolly off wearing the opposite sex’s clothes.

  • Nick Mathieson

    This article is the same old drivel. The religious nuts saying oh no and the frightened parents showing their ignorance. This is about giving people protection! They just want to be able to pee safely! What are the statistics on assaults in bathrooms? I think it is straight heterosexual people that are guilty of assaulting transpeople.
    And what exactly is “the” surgery? That shows complete ignorance on the reporters behalf. Not every transperson has surgery. Transwomen and transmen have different surgeries if they have them at all.

    This IS about discrimination. It is a necessary bill. I wonder if there is a reporter at this paper that might actually be a little more critical in their reporting skills. Might look in depth into what went on for the three hours this took! That might comment on what the lawyers and doctors and other educated people had to say. Transwomen are women. Transmen are men. They are not people cross dressing. How about another article interviewing people that actually know what they are talking about? Lee Ann Hopkins, Owen Smith are two very well informed individuals that spoke yesterday, how about some real reporting starting with them?

  • RavenLude

    Polis is not a martyr for transgender rights….he/she is nothing more than another criminal who contributes nothing to society. stop glorifying her/him. its pathetic

    • NNM

      How is this person a criminal? You are uniformed and hateful. Equal rights for all americans. There is nothing wrong with that.

      • sick of liberals

        Because there was an article on WJZ where Polis was arrested.

        Why do we have to bend over backwards and change laws for a narrow band of people who are transgendered? When they decide to live their life that way, they should be prepared for people being rightfully confused about issues as which bathroom is acceptable for a transgendered? Do we have to have 3, or 4 options for public bathrooms now?

        Liberals and their push for “equal righ!ts for all Americans” are missing a big point here: IT IS ALREADY AGAINST THE LAW TO BRUTALLY BEAT SOMEONE. We do not have to be forced as a people, with bu!!sh1t PC ideaology, to accept things we don’t want to accept, but if you do not go along with PC you are hateful, WHATEVER!

        Wow, it would be nice if there is a bill to protect working people from the onslaught of tax increases and fee (a fee is a tax O’Malley, your words, idiot) and the ever reaching grip of Liberal Maryland on our property rights. This bill is just like the Gay Marriage fiasco, appeasement to the liberal PC base so the same liberal idiots will forget getting robbed for the tax dollar and continue to vote in “D”.

        Wake up please! Polis took a ruthless beqting, that is ALREADY ILLEGAL, so there is no real need for this

  • RavenLude

    because i know…..and ill leave it at that!
    if those of u who think there is a halo over Polis’ head and want to glorify her/him go right ahead. i know the facts about him/her

  • Kath

    Well – I sure am glad to learn that trans people don’t already have to use rest rooms. This law would give them bladders. They of course do. And have been doing so since those grandparents were kids.

    You’re worried about something happening in the future that has been happening as long as you’ve been alive. To no ones harm.

    I’d be much more worried about my grandkids seeing someone like Ms. Polis being assaulted – and being at risk for being around those assaulting her.

    And be more worried about the loss of human potential caused by discrimination. You would think conservatives would support things that help keep people off the safety net.

  • the Truth

    check Chris Polis under Maryland Judiciary

    • Kath

      So – you’re saying she wasn’t assaulted? Or just that she deserved it?

      That’s some skanky truth you’re draping yourself in.

  • RavenLude

    Kath-conservatives do support things that keep people safe and believe in criminal punishment and incarceration…..something liberals dont. im not doubting Polis had a right to use a public restroom w/o getting beat, im just tired of the media putting a halo over Polis’ head, cause it couldnt be more wrong

    • Kath

      No one’s putting a halo over her head – where did people say she’s a candidate for sainthood?

      And why the need to point out a victims shortcomings when discussing the crime against them? What’s your motivation kiddo?

  • Concerned Mother

    In my opinion, biological women don’t have any rights anymore. Transgender assignment is a CHOICE. If a perv wants to dress like one and enter a ladies room, isn’t this leaving women and children vulnerable to rape? This shouldn’t be an issue right now. I don’t believe a person with an alternate lifestyle should be hurt or killed, but I want to know that I am safe when I use the bathroom with my children.

    • Kath

      Hi Cathy Brennan!

      Actually – since no cases of trans women anywhere have been found where they’ve abused children or other women in the rest room; they be safer than if it was a non-trans woman.
      According to Child Maltreatment 2010, the most recent report of data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), a nationally estimated 754,000 duplicate and 695,000 unique number of children were found to be victims of child maltreatment in the Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2010.

      “In analyzing the victim data by relationship to the perpetrator, the 2010 data found that approximately one-half (53.6%) of child abuse and neglect perpetrators were women and slightly more than 45 percent (45.2%) were men.”

      So – roughly 370,000 kids were abused by non trans women last year.

      None ever by trans women in rest rooms. So – where is the danger really coming from? Not trans women.

      Reading your stuff reminds me of that scene from Blazing Saddles where the Clevon Little character jokes “Hey, where the white women at?” when trying to inflame the Klu Klux Klan. Except he was trying to stop bigots, you’re trying to help them..

      Have a nice life!

    • Ann

      Only as safe as you have ever been. These are not men dressing up, playing at being women or women playing at being men. These are people who honestly believe they were born in the wrong body, they believe that they are meant to be the other gender. It is entirely possible that you have shared a bathroom with one in the past and never known it.

      • Kath

        Given that there’s roughly a million trans people in the US by the conservative estimate of the Williams Institute – pretty much everyone has shared a rest room with either a trans woman or trans man.

        That’s a million people using pubic rest rooms every day for as long as everyone here has been alive – and no reports of abuse.

        Clearly – there is no problem but the bigotry this law seeks to redress.

    • moved away for safety and rights

      I am a parent AND transgendered. We have families, too. We want our families safe and our families want the same for us. By demonizing us, you endanger us becuase those that would hurt us hear your words and it allows them to rationalize hurting us since they are just dealing with a “pervert problem.” You might as well assault us yourself since you provide the rationale. Being transgendered is about as much a choice as what eye color you are born with.

    • Robert Grumbine

      The system seems to have swallowed my original comment. Much briefer: you (all) are calling ‘perv’ people you have never knowingly met. You are slandering people you have no experience of.

      And your dramatic scenarios, entirely from your (all) imaginations belittle the very real and traumatic experiences of my friends, both male and female, who have been raped.

      Transgender is no more a ‘lifestyle’ choice than is being left-handed. Both show up obviously in modern brain scans.

  • Steve Wilson

    At first I thought the world might be looking up with the comments of the likes of Dash and Nick Mathieson. Then I read the comments of RavenLude and I’ll bet we are dealing with a Conservative Republican religious nut. Concerned Mother you should be more worried about the likes of RavenLude than a transgender person.

    • sick of liberals

      And the Liberal Idiots once again think someone with religion with their own opinion is a “nut” because they do not agree with bu!!sh!t PC ideaology.

      Since once again your head is deep in your rear end, let me explain a simple concept: BEATING ANOTHER PERSON IS ASSAULT, AND IS ALREADY ILLEGAL. Sorry for the caps, but you have real issues with common sense.

      If someone choose this life they may have to deal with people not liking their choice, but they can expect that under CURRENT laws that they are protected as much as anyone else from being brutalized. People have the right to accept strange behavior or not accept it, WE CAN THINK WHAT WE WANT, WE DON’T NEED LIBERALS TO THINK FOR US!

      Laws on top of laws on top of laws, the Liberal way

      • Robert Grumbine

        When did inspecting the contents other peoples’ underwear become a conservative principle?

        Are you also going to yell at those people who were complaining about their fear of they or their daughters being raped in the bathroom? They were, after all, complaining about something, rape, which is already illegal.

        What is currently legal, and this law seeks to change, is to deny people jobs for who they have sex with or what gender their brain tells them they are. Or to deny them homes. Unlike the fear which has come from people against the bill, these concerns are based on actual experience.

        And if you have a legal right to discriminate, then some level of force (violence) is also permitted — so that you can enforce your discrimination. Just how much violence do you think is ok to prevent someone from using a bathroom that you don’t think they should? That’ll take some laws and court cases to settle.

        The old fashioned conservative principle — keep you nose out of other peoples’ business — is much more straightforward and involves fewer laws.

    • think again

      Steve, what’s really scary, is that RavenLude implied that she is a police officer, though she was passed over by Baltimore City. I wonder why that is.

  • This Is Crazy!

    You are missing the point of concerned mother. I am also a concerned mother. The point is if it’s “legal” for a transgender to use a womans restroom what stops a sicko from dressing like a woman just to use the bathroom in public. And then raping our children. Is it really wrong for this to be a topic? Has anyone ever met a sick child molester? I wouldnt put it past a man who is into raping children to do something like this and get away with it.

    You are taking my rights away as woman to safely use a public restroom. My concern is not about the “real” transgender people. It’s about the sicko’s who just found a loop hole!

    • Robert Grumbine


      I agree that the world can be a scary place. But the truth is, anybody who is sick enough to rape a person (and I know both men and women who have been raped) is not for a second going to be stopped or even slowed by a bathroom sign.

  • ashley

    i know chrissy, she is cool. and i agree nobody should be beat up just becuase they are transgender. However i think that they should not be able to use the girls bathroom because then you have these crazies out here who dress up like woman just to get in the bathroom to rape or hurt somone. So i think they should still have to use the mens bathroom. sorry chrissy still mad love. but thats how i feel.

    • big tom

      it is a HE not a she

      • T.A.M.

        big tom…an un- educated conservafool with nothing backing your argument except for hate, and fear, and misinformation. Your choice of calling trans people “it” speaks for itself. Perhaps we should call you “it” because there certainly is no humanity..human decency coming from your corner. Angie Zapata, a young trans woman in Colorado was murdered by someone who called her “it” ALan Andrade was convicted of a hate crime for this, and sentenced to life with no possibility of parole. Perhaps also you, and Mr. Andrade might end up roommates? That would be a match made in heaven!

    • Robert Grumbine


      Nobody has yet been able to produce an example of someone who got raped by someone ‘dressing up as a women’ and hiding out in a bathroom. Do you have one, or is this your fear speaking for you?

  • zeke

    Transgenders are females from the neck up only. Leave these fudge packees alone.

    • NNM

      I do not understand why CBS Baltimore even allows such rude, useless comments. You zeke, are an ignoramus. Turn around, let me check to see how red your neck is. Now I feel I have stooped as low. How sad to be dragged down. I honestly feel that comments like yours show EXACTLY why we need laws to protect transpeople.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Track Weather On The Go With Our App!

Listen Live