Baltimore County Council Approves Transgender Rights Bill

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—The Baltimore County Council approves a controversial measure protecting transgender people from discrimination. The bill was brought on by a high-profile attack on a transgender woman at McDonald’s.

Kai Jackson explains it sparked a heated debate in the community.

The high-profile attack at McDonald’s was on Chrissy Polis, a transgender woman. Supporters are happy Baltimore County’s transgender bill passed, but there are people who opposed it.

The Baltimore County Council passed a bill stopping transgender discrimination.

“Whether you’re a woman, whether you’re male, whether you’re female, African-American, gay, lesbian, transgender, this bill is simple. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly,” said Tom Quirk, Baltimore County Council.

Those who are transgender were elated the bill passed.

Many believe the message here is that it’s no longer OK to discriminate against those who are transgender or gay in Baltimore County.

“Trans people will now have an opportunity to keep their jobs or find jobs. They’ll have the opportunity to keep their homes or find housing. They’ll be treated fairly in public accommodations,” said Sharon Brackett, Gender Rights Maryland.

Opponents have been concerned that male predators would use the bill to access women’s bathrooms. As the law is written those who are transgender can use the restroom of their choice.  That concerns opponents.

“Well, I think it’s a very dangerous bill because it opens the doors for those who would want to perpetrate crimes against females,” said Rev. Grace Harley.

Tuesday’s vote by the Baltimore County Council is considered a victory for the transgender and gay communities.

“I’m honored that they treated us as well as they did. And I’m very pleased that there was a willingness to be reasonable,” said Dana Byer, supporter.

Supporters plan to take this momentum to Annapolis to get a similar law passed statewide.

  • rachel

    this is crazy i will never use a public bathroom again! for my safety and my daughters just opens doors for sex predictors! freaken crazy!!!!!

    • Charlotte Kennison

      No, this is the land of the free. Freaking crazy is when certain people in this land are not as free as others. What gives you the right to take mine to pee in a public place like every other person with a bladder?

  • Lee

    Lots of women are attacked in restrooms by men who go in there & wait to get a woman alone or follow her in. Restrooms are a spot where we may be alone & vulnerable, regardless of the gender of the person who wants to commit a crime against a man, woman or child. When was the last time you read about a man in drag who attacked women in the womens restroom? “Transgender” people are not the issue, the issue is those who use a restroom to facilitate finding someone of either gender to commit a crime against like rape, robbery, kidnap, assault etc. If a woman goes into a public restroom and a man intends to assault her, it does not matter how he is dressed, does it?

    I don’t really care which bathroom people use as the issue is that the bathroom be safe for all people.

  • Old Nurse2

    “I don’t really care which bathroom people use ”

    Well, I do! I certainly wouldn’t walk into a Men’s restroom!

    What about the rights of everyone else in this state?

    I don’t know of a single woman who wants a guy hanging out in the ladies room. He can call himself a female till the cows come home. That still doesn’t make him a female. You can’t change DNA.

    I would never allow any child to go to a public restroom alone anymore. In fact, I won’t go either. Not in Balto co. Over the past 40 years, I’ve shopped shop in Balto. co. all the time. Not anymore! Their businesses won’t get a single dime from me or my family.

    As to the McDonald’s incidence, it’s a bad area. I understand he’s from the area. He had to know what would happen. I believe he did it deliberately. I wouldn’t have beaten him but he sure would have gotten an ear full.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      How about instead of complaining here, contact the legislators and council members of Baltimore County and tell them! They are the ones that need to know that businesses will lose money. Contact the Chamber of Commerce in Baltimore County, contact any business organizations there and tell them you will no longer spend your money in their businesses or county. Do something proactive about it instead of complaining on a news website. That won’t get you anywhere.

      • Robin

        Evidently, our representatives here in Baltimore County DON’t listen!!! Guess I will have to purchase pepper spray to protect myself while using a “womens” public restroom. Let’s wait to see how long it will be until we see on the local news about peepers looking over the stalls. Getting closer to moving across that PA line.

    • Holly

      she, a woman was attacked not a man. Before you go accusing people of conforming to their DNA do some actual research and you”ll be surprised to find that DNA doesn’t play much of a role in the social construction of what is viewed as “female” and “male”.

    • Charlotte Kennison

      What about me? I am female, I just dress like a guy but I still use the women’s room and I have been kicked out of the women’s room. This bill protects ME from that kind of assault that you are indirectly approving.

  • oldnurse2

    “I don’t really care which bathroom people use ”

    Well, I do! I wouldn’t walk into a men’s restroom. I don’t want them coming into ours! He can call himself a female till the cows come home. That doesn’t make him one. You can’t change DNA.

  • Wiseguy

    The democrats get what they deserve when they vote these idiots in office…………..unfortunately, the rest of us suffer too.

    • Michelle Gould

      So you are saying that who is known as a women would be forced to use the men’s room and be subject to being raped there. I use the women’s room. to relive myself when away from home. I would object to a man who dressed to look at women and girls. But you solution is to check everyone’s pants and you might be surprised when you do you will have to accept a man with a beard in the women’s room because they happened to be born female.but it a female to male transgender person. We transgenders only what civility.

  • Honest Steve

    Cant wait to tell the kids why a man in a dress is standing in front of the urinal.

    Baltimore City lost my money when they passed their bottle tax I guess the County will lose my money the first time I see a drag in the wrong bathroom.

    Oh and we already have discrimination laws on the books…..another over reach and redundant law.

    • Joan

      Um…. a transman would be in the women’s restroom according to the law…. as far as I know, there are no urinals in the women’s bathroom.

      • Holly

        a transman is a woman who transitions to male actually. A transwoman is a biological male who transitions to a woman.

    • finksburggrandma

      ‘Cant wait to tell the kids why a man in a dress is standing in front of the urinal.

      You won’t have to since this law allows the man in the dress to go into the ladies room and urinate on the seat!!!! This is just CRAZY!!! What about the rights of the rest of us. As normal, it’s the rights of a few that out weigh the rights of the many

  • Baltimore County Council Approves Transgender Rights Bill | Baltimore Christian Radio

    […] Read the full story at WJZ 13 […]

  • State Roundup, February 22, 2012 | Maryland News & Things to Do Blog

    […] Abell has video on the council vote at Fox 45.  Kai Jackson reports on the discrimination bill for […]

  • Mrs. Jaye

    Transgenders may want civility however men will “newly find themselves” just to get into the women’s bathroom. The door has been opened for sexual predators to have an excuse to be in the women’s room. If the so called law makers had half a brain, this law would have not been passed. I guess the council really know what they are doing when it comes to the greater good for everyone ….right???…..yeah right!!!!

    • Charlotte Kennison

      Rape is never justified, and since when has the sign on the bathroom stopped a sexual predator? They’re already doing one of the most illegal things ever, why would a label on a bathroom stop them in doing so? this is why you are not a law maker. I deserve the right to pee as much as anyone else does no matter how I dress or what might be in my pants. I do not have the right to rape, just like everyone else.

  • Megs

    This is horrible. I am not comfortable going into a public restroom anymore. I have two young children…these people should be sensitive to us who have kids and are naturally going to be uncomfortable with this. This is not acceptable and I will absolutely voice my opinion if I ever see this in a restroom. Give those of us with families some respect! I signed the petition today as well as the same sex marriage petition. I’m 32, not some old fuddy duddy who is stuck in their ways. I’m a mother and want to protect my children!

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