Metro Weekly

Pee Shy

Group hopes to block Maryland anti-discrimination measure

”Cross-dressing men in your daughter’s locker room” and men lurking in women’s restrooms are just some of the things Citizens for a Responsible Government, a group from Montgomery County, is promising will happen as the county moves to protect transgender residents from discrimination.

The group is hoping to block implementation of the anti-discrimination measure unanimously passed by Montgomery County’s City Council and signed by County Executive Isiah Leggett in November. Citizens for a Responsible Government is tracking the progress of its campaign on its Web site, www.notmyshower.net.

The measure, Bill 23-07, prohibits ”discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, cable television service, and taxicab service on the basis of gender identity; and generally amend[s] County laws regarding discrimination.”

The group submitted more than the 25,000 signatures required to Montgomery County’s Board of Elections by the Feb. 19 deadline.

Equality Maryland, the state’s largest gay and lesbian equality organization, has responded to the anti-transgender petition by recruiting volunteers and by hiring an attorney ”to make the case that many of these signatures are invalid, and the law shouldn’t be put on the ballot” in November.

Dan Furmansky, executive director of Equality Maryland, could not comment on the process the group is using in determining how many of the 30,000-plus signatures are legitimate. He did say that the effort is costing Equality Maryland about $20,000. ”We need money and we need more volunteers,” he said. ”It’s of paramount importance that we don’t let anti-LGBT forces bring this issue to the ballot, where they can spread malicious lies and drain our resources.”

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