ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A battle is brewing in Baltimore County over transgender rights. One lawmaker is pushing to protect those individuals from discrimination, but his plan is meeting stiff resistance.

Andrea Fujii has both sides of the argument and the vicious attack that started it all.

The councilmember sponsoring the bill says he wants to stop discrimination, yet critics argue what seems well-intentioned is misguided.

The videotaped beating of a transgender woman named Chrissy Polis inside a Rosedale McDonald’s last year spotlighted the issue of violence and bias against those who are transgender.

“You don’t have to explain yourself to nobody. Be who you are and go as you are,” Polis said.

Two girls, one 19 and the other 14, were charged and later convicted for the assault.

“It’s hard to believe in today’s society that that type of behavior was allowed to happen,” said one person who attended Tuesday’s meeting.

Tuesday night, the Baltimore County Council addressed the Chrissy Polis case. Councilman Quirk proposed a gender identity anti-discrimination bill.

“Well, I think it’s all about we don’t discriminate in Baltimore County. We’re an open county, we’re a progressive county and we welcome everyone,” Quirk said.

“This is about discrimination. This is about getting a job and keeping a job,” said Dana Beyer, supports bill.

The bill would have language that would allow those who are transgender to freely apply for jobs and also use public restrooms and other accommodations. That’s where opponents draw the line. Many are afraid that sexual predators may disguise themselves and use the law to get into private areas and prey on women and children.

“Some sexual predators are gonna take advantage of this bill and not just them coming in here who deserve to come in but the predators are gonna come in and hurt people,” said Anita Schatz, opposes bill.

Councilmembers stress that this was the first reading of the bill. It’s not etched in stone and there’s still room to craft it before trying to pass it into law.

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

Quirk says there will be a discussion about the issue outside of the council meeting next month.

Comments (18)
  1. Anita Schatz says:

    Great job of reporting, Kai. Suggestions were submitted to the Council last night by those of us opposing the bill as is to hopefully close that dangerous loophole that will leave women and girls as risk. We will be there Feb. 14th for more discussion with the Council before it’s signed into law.

    Right now, the bill has nothing at all in it to keep women’s privacy in place or to keep any man from dressing in women’s clothing to enter our private areas to prey on us. It’s the sexual predators we are concerned with. Short of requiring that armed female security guards be posted in every ladies room, dressing room, dorm, etc. where females go to safely disrobe, I just can’t see how this bill will work to the satisfaction of anyone.

    I hope in the next meeting, there will be no name calling by those supporting the bill. We are not hate or fear mongers. We are simply concerned for the safety and peace of mind of the female gender.

    There have been 4 rapes as a result of a similar bill in recent months and we don’t even want 1 in Baltimore County. Ask any rape survivor how she would feel about that. Those supporting the bill will tell you statistics show that no rapes happen due to bills like this. Do we want to be the first County to rack up statistics showing that it can and will happen? It’s not worth taking that chance.

    Once the rape happens, the woman or child is damaged for life. It’s not something you put a bandaid on until it heals.

    I say keep the parts of the bill about no discrimination on job hiring and put firm wording in the bill to keep any man dressing as a woman from entering those private areas for females only. How hard is that to do?

    1. Anita Schatz says:

      I accidentally hit Report my own comment as Anita Schatz. I meant to hit the Reply button. Please disregard. Thanks.

  2. Jackie Phillips says:


  3. RavenLude says:

    yes, lets all put a halo over polis’ head and make him/her an icon for transgender rights…….if only u all knew that he/she is nothing but a criminal himself/herself

    1. big tom says:

      how true go on maryland judicary and put in chris polis and see how many times been arrested for first time for being a prostitute just after turning 18 so tell me

    2. Anita Schatz says:

      Good point. What was a man doing in the ladies room? He should have criminal charges brought against him.

  4. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    We don’t need any new legislation, we need to respect all citizens rights no matter the sexual preference. If abused, the might of the law should come squarely down on their hard heads until they get it or get prison.

  5. Ann Miller says:

    Not only are there serious privacy and safety issues with this bill, but there is no definition on any part of it. It’s purely open to future interpretation. Shall we follow the Pelosi legislative MO of sign now and ask questions later?

    The Education requirement is also bothersome. Does this mean that transgender issues will be written into school curriculum? Does it mean transgender teachers can cross-dress at work? Does it mean transgender boys can play on girls sports teams and share locker rooms? What a can of worms.

    Already, one testifier asked for “ex-gays” to also be added to the list of protected groups. What other behaviors shall we next include?

  6. Fro says:

    Would the bill considere a person to be transgender either pre-op or post-opp? or no op? Would a transvestite be covered by this bill? How would you know if a person is transgender, or in a halloween costume? What does the beating of this individual have to do with getting and keeping a job? Is that a problem? Certainly the case at hand doesn’t establish it as such.

  7. Jean Cronhardt says:

    I think these people have some serious issues. If they don;t want to attract attention to themselves then maybe they should dress gender appropriate. They are not special so why do we need special laws to protect them.

    1. CFS says:

      You’re not special either, so why do we need laws to protect you? Honestly.

  8. josecanuc says:

    Does this mean a prostitute can dress in a business suit ,walk in to the men’s room and size up her potential John’s at the urinal.Great bill .

  9. Liz League says:

    Forget about jobs, lower taxes, business friendly climate, getting people off the dole! Let’s propose a Transgender Discrimination bill!!! Just what we need. I
    read specifics about the McDonald’s beating and the perps did it because “Chrissy” made a pass at a boyfriend, and then they found out he/she was a tranny. “Chrissy” has a pretty long rap sheet him/herself. MOM’s big push will be gay marriage, so this ties right in. Worst. Administration. Ever.

  10. Where are we going with this? says:

    I am a Democrat and an immigrant to Maryland. All I can say is that I am looking to defect to the GOP as well as a red state due to the every increasing super ultra-liberal stance of the Democrats. The increasingly civilization altering mentality of this very silly party is just becoming very frightening now. Gay marrige is one thing, but simply allowing men who think they are women to enter women’s bathrooms is just incredible. I mean I’m supposed to feel comfortable that my young daughter is going into a public restroom with a man? Really? Really? Really? The agenda of Maryland’s democrats are just going beyond Communism now. I can’t get a gun permit to protect myself and now I’m supposed to feel ok with my daughter going to pee pee with a man. Democrats: You’re loosing more and more of us. It’s time to rie you like a bad cold.

  11. Good gravy says:

    So, you’re saying that it’s ok to beat someone into siezures for hitting on your boyfriend? Or because we can’t identify with the way they live? Whatever her offenses may have been up to that moment meant nothing, because the animals that nearly beat her to death didn’t know anything about her or her “rap sheet”. Honestly, don’t you people think before you write this stuff??? …and what does a transgendered person’s ability to use a toilet have to do with gay marriage? By the way, If you didn’t know that Chaz Bono wasn’t born Chastity Bono, would you have any clue he didn’t really BELONG in the Men’s room? So only those that can “pass” can get away with it, huh? I think I’ve heard that phrase before.

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