Category Archives: transgender rights

Tick Tock and the Parrott Flies Away

fairness_MD_53114_blog263Del. Luke Clippinger, Sen. Rich Madaleno, EqMD’s President Carrie Evans, EqMD’s Advocacy Director Keith Thirion

From a blog post by Marty Rouse of the Human Rights Campaign:

The deadline to submit the first third of the required signatures to the Secretary of State was midnight last night, May 31.
Standing at the Secretary of State’s office in Annapolis at midnight key leaders in the effort to pass the law were overjoyed when no one appeared to submit signatures.  Therefore, the Fairness for All Marylanders Act will go into effect as planned on October 1.
HRC was proud to be a leader in the effort to pass the bill along with Equality Maryland and others.  We also recognize the strong and strategic support from Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegate Luke Clippinger.
P.S. On a personal note it was very special to be standing in Annapolis at midnight with others for whom the fight for LGBT equality is more than just politics; it is personal. Why else would we all be standing outside the Secretary of State’s office at midnight?  For years, it has been my pleasure and honor to get to know Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegate Luke Clippinger.  Their personal commitment to and leadership on marriage and transgender equality has helped make Maryland a national leader on equality.  They are dedicated public servants.
Carrie Evans, Executive Director of Equality Maryland, and a former colleague at HRC, has fought hard and smart for LGBT equality for well over a decade.  Her personal commitment and political savvy has helped make history in Maryland and beyond.  I’m honored to be standing alongside such leaders, no matter the hour.

 

FAMA Bill Signing Photo

Transgender_Rights_Bill_signing

Read the full article in the Washington Blade. The three signers of the bill are Senate President Mike Miller, Gov. Martin O’Malley, and House Speaker Mike Busch.

Legislators I noticed in the photo include Sen. Rich Madaleno, the lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate. Other legislators present included Jennie Forehand, Roger Manno, Susan Lee, Bonnie Cullison, Maggie McIntosh, and Jamie Raskin. Equality Maryland’s Carrie Evans and Keith Thirion, who worked tirelessly on the bill, are also in the photo.

 

Parrott Skewered by Hometown Press

From the Hagerstown Herald Mail:

As a rule, I try to stay away from bathroom humor, but sometimes the bathroom must go to Mohammed, even if Mohammed doesn’t go to the bathroom.

We should have seen this coming, truth be told. Republicans already want to get into the bedroom, but now they want to get into the bathroom as well. And the closet. And the library. Really, they’re about a pantry away from taking over the whole house.

So, in his tireless quest to fulfill his campaign promise of bringing jobs to Washington County, Del. Neil Parrott is now on a two-pronged mission to roust pornography from libraries and defeat transgender-equality legislation, which he believes will touch off an epidemic of cross-dressing men entering women’s restrooms.

Read the whole for a good laugh on April Fools Day that is unfortunately no joke.

 

FAMA Passes the House–Vote Tally

FAMA

Today, the House voted 82-57 to pass the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, the transgender equality bill. This day would not have come without the hard work of many people. The Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality along with Equality Maryland’s Carrie Evans and Keith Thirion worked indefatigably on this issue.

Of course, the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Rich Madaleno and Del. Luke Clippinger, also deserve much credit. While she was not the lead sponsor this year, Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk worked hard for many years on this issue, as did Sen. Jamie Raskin. I know Del. Bonnie Cullison did much to move the bill forward this year as well.

A total of twelve Democrats voted against the bill. No Republicans voted for the bill. Here is the vote tally in the House of Delegates (listed  by district):

YEA (all D): Busch, Clagett, Olszewski, Bromwell, Jones, Nathan-Pulliam, Cardin, Morhaim, Stein, Bobo, DeBoy, Mallone, Guzzone, Pendergrass, F. Turner, Kaiser, Luedtke, Zucker, Dumais, Fraser-Hidalgo, A. Miller, Frick, A. Kelly, Lee, Barve, Gilchrist, Simmons, Carr, Gutiérrez, Waldstreicher, Arora, Cullison, Kramer, Hixson, Hucker, Mizeur, Barnes, Frush, Peña-Melnyk, Gaines, Healy, A. Washington, Holmes, Hubbard, Valentino-Smith, Howard, Swain, Braveboy, Davis, Griffith, V. Turner, Valderrama, Proctor, Vallario, Murphy, Beidle, Love, Cane, Barkley, Reznik, S. Robinson, Conaway, B. Robinson, Tarrant, Carter, Oaks, Rosenberg, Lafferty, Anderson, McIntosh, M. Washington, Haynes, Mitchell, Stukes, Branch, Glenn, Clippinger, Hammen, McHale, Ivey, Niemann, Summers.

NAY (all R unless indicated): Beitzel, K. Kelly (D), Myers, Donoghue (D), Parrott, Serafini, Hogan, Hough, Afzali, Elliott, Schulz, Kach, Ready, Stocksdale, Minnick (D), Weir (D), Impallaria, McDonough, Szeliga, Boteler, Cluster, Bates, Krebs, W. Miller, Burns (D), Vaughn (D), Walker (D), Fisher, Jameson (D), Wilson (D), Bohanan (D), O’Donnell, Wood, George, McMillan, Dwyer, Kipke, Schuh, Sophocleus (D), Costa, McConkey, Vitale, Glass, James (D), Rudolph (D), McComas, Norman, Stifler, Arentz, Jacobs, Smigiel, Eckardt, Haddaway-Riccio, Conway (D), McDermott, Otto, Aumann.

NOT VOTING: Frank (R), Harper (D)

Del. Mike McDermott Against FAMA

His press release on the Fairness for All Marylanders Act. Note the effort to whip up fear of the other–the transgender minority–regarding problems that have not occurred elsewhere with the same legislation. Apparently, an inability to capitalize “Democrats” is also the latest chic Republican tic. The House of Delegates is debating this legislation today.

Today the House of Delegates will be debating SB-212 on final reading. The bill would make transgender identified people a special protected class of citizens to allow them full access to any and all public accommodations.  There is great concern that this will create a host of problems for Maryland businesses. There is no real exceptions, and those that exist require similar accommodations be provided if these folks are not allowed in certain areas of an establishment (spas, locker rooms, etc.).

 “We have issues in Maryland that need to be addressed,” said Delegate Mike McDermott, “and insuring that a teacher can be ‘Sam’ on Monday and ‘Sally’ on Friday is what the democrats choose to make the object of their attentions in the State House. The bill is misguided at best, and destructive at its core.”

The Republicans are making an effort to make bathrooms excepted from this bill as well as other private accommodations where people are disrobed or partially disrobed without the need to create another space for transgenders, but no floor amendments were allowed yesterday when the bill was on Second Reader. It is doubtful that the democrats will allow any changes to the bill today.

The potential outfall and burdens that will be placed upon our businesses and families cannot be fully appreciated. The failure of the House democrats to allow for us to function as a deliberative body so that this legislation can be properly scrutinized is a great injustice to our citizens.

 “The fact that we are even debating this issue on the floor of the General Assembly is disturbing; but the probable passage of this legislation should make every Marylander shake the democrats from their seats” said Delegate McDermott.

The vote will occur around noon today.

The Way Del. Neil Parrott’s Mind Operates

MD Petitions - Bathroom Graphic

Republican Del. Neil Parrott thinks that if the General Assembly passes transgender equality legislation that men will dress up as women in order to peek over the stall at women. Really, this is how his mind works. Even though, of course, this is not what the bill does. But hey, crazy doesn’t stop for truth.

The only way I could imagine how Del. Parrott came to this brilliant conclusion is if this is what he would do. Apparently, transgender inequality is all that stands between him dressing up like a woman so he can peek over the top of the stalls at women in the bathroom.

I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out how this could work. I’ve been watching Friday Night Lights lately–it’s a show about a high school football team in a down-and-out Texas town–and this is sort of how I envision a show guest starring Parrot would go:

Landry Clarke (math geek): Man, I sure wish I could see Tyra nekkid.

Tim Riggins (fullback): Dude. Been there, done that.

Neil Parrott: I know! Why don’t we dress up as cheerleaders and follow her into the bathroom and peek over the stalls.

Matt Saracen (QB): (shy and somewhat incoherent) Uh, uh guys, I, I’m not sure that’s a real good idea.

Smash Williams (tailback): The Smash does NOT do drag.

Neil Parrott: C’mon guys. It’ll be fun. Just like powderpuff.

Landry: Shoot Matt, you’re always puttin’ down ideas about how to get a girl to like me.

Coach Eric Taylor: (walks on field) Hey Matt, what’s goin’ on over here?

Matt: Uh, uh hey coach. We’re, uh, just thinkin’ about dressin’ up as girls so we can see ’em naked in the ladies room.

Eric: Well shoot, Matt. I know my daughter won’t put out for you but that’s just really, really dumb. I thought you were smarter than that.

Neil Parrott: C’mon Coach. Everybody’s doin’ it in Cumberland!

Jason Street (quadriplegic ex-QB): I’m a quad in a wheelchair and I’m not that desperate.

Women who serve in the House of Delegates, watch out! Because if this bill passes, you better keep eyes on Neil.

Bathroom Time

Del. Neil Parrot (R-2B, Washington) is attacking the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, the transgender equality bill, for taking away your right to use the bathroom in privacy. Seriously:

Good afternoon. This is Delegate Neil Parrott with an important update.  Just about an hour ago, the Maryland House of Delegates HGO Committee voted Maryland’s “Bathroom Bill” out of committee. Now only one vote stands between your right, and the rights of children, to privacy in bathrooms all over the state.  In just a few short days this bill will take away those rights.

And, of course, he has to drag the kids into it because he’s doing it all for the children.

The only violation of children occurring here is the hijacking of their interests, particularly egregious in this case as Parrott has completely falsified the bill’s impact. He’s certainly not acting in the interests of transgender kids.

Parrot is being aided by Republican gubernatorial candidate David Craig, who has decided to get political mileage out of the issue, via twitter. It’s not encouraging when an aspiring political leader goes after a small minority on his climb to power.

FAMA Passes Committee

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act, the bill to promote transgender equality sponsored by Del. Luke Clippinger, has now passed the Health and Government Operations Committee in the House of Delegates. Del. Bonnie Cullison was especially helpful in seeing the bill through the committee.

Next step to final passage is the full House, though it still has to go through the amendment process and a final vote there. Any changes would require compromise with the Senate, which has already passed the legislation.

Voting YEA on the bill were: Hammen, Pendergrass, Bromwell, Cullison, Hubbard, Kelly, Morhaim, Nathan-Pulliam, Oaks, Peña-Melnyk, Reznik, Tarrant, and Turner.

Voting NAY on the bill were: Costa, Donoghue, Elliot, Kach, Kipke, Krebs, McDonough, and Ready.

Delegates Murphy and Frank did not vote.

All of the yes voters were cast by Democrats and all but one of the no votes were from Republicans. Del. John Donoghue (D-2, Washington) was the only Democrat to vote no.

Note: An earlier version reported Frank voted yes. My intel was off.

Trans Marylanders Make Their Voices Heard

The following are excepts from testimony by Trans Marylanders from the committee hearing in the House of Delegates:

Zane Walsh is a trans teen:

Things about me– I’m not a dirty prostitute or a pervert lurking in the men’s bathroom which is the image that comes up in a lot of people’s minds when the word ‘trans’ is mentioned. I am a normal kid. I love animals and rock music. I play drums and I sing. I cherish my dog Bebe. I love punk music and Billy Idol.

Maybe I love playing music so much because it does not judge based on appearance, like so many bigots do. The people who are watching me in concert don’t care about my sexuality or what gender I was assigned at birth, just my music. I LOVE dogs.

I am not that different. I get up, I eat breakfast, I take care of Bebe, I go to school, I come home, I eat, I listen to music and play with Bebe and sometimes even play with my sister who by the way has more rights than me which is downright unfair.

We are normal children so why don’t you support us?

Jennifer Fischetti spoke about being fired from her job:

The tension that week broke at 8:30am Wednesday as I arrived for a managers’ meeting and was pull out by a peer. I was to find out; it was his job to terminate me. I was being let go for what was described as performance deficiencies. I could easily refute any allegation with facts and stats, for I had to keep those records, but the peer who dismissed me simply shrugged his shoulders as if to say “It’s out of my hands”.

Yet when I filed unemployment, the agent at unemployment was astonished at the fact the company did not contest my claim. They replied I was dismissed for lack of work; that they could not afford to pay me because business was off. Yet the very next day someone else occupied my old office, holding the same capacity as I had just held. The auto industry is a very small and close-knit. Word traveled quickly and I have not held a position in my given career of 19 years since. That was nearly 10 years ago.

Blake Wideman is a police officer in Prince George’s County who worries about losing his job and ability to support his family:

I was born African American in Baltimore City which seemed to be a curse that I learned to turn into a gift. I grew up in poverty and learned to persevere through all the discrimination and hatred I had to face on a daily basis because my skin was darker, even darker than the average black person. My black features were prominent and afforded me many opportunities to be ostracized from jobs and housing that were rightfully mine. All adversity aside I and many like me not only survive but thrive.

At a very young age I knew that I was different, and not due to the color of my skin but because I had a burning desire to become great in every facet of my life. And honestly for a while I did very well, I was the first of my mother’s children to graduate high school and attend college. I have no criminal record, and even more exciting I am a part of the law enforcement sector. Every day I wear that bullet proof vest, gun, and badge to serve and protect a state and city that will not protect me because I am Transgender.

Even though I currently have a job. I work in Prince George’s County a jurisdiction that does not currently protect me from discrimination based on my gender identity. I am afraid what might happen to me and my family if I get a supervisor that doesn’t like transgender people.

I put my life on the line. I am a law abiding citizen. I pay taxes. Yet I am not protected by Maryland’s anti-discrimination laws.