And I have to co-sign Kat Rose's latest ENDAblog article.
Here's the initial article on HB 235 from the Blade's Lou Chibbaro, Jr.
Here's the comment I left on that article that has yet to be approved as I write this
Monica Roberts March 4, 2011 at 1:33 am
Since you’re going to selectively quote me in this article, I also said this in that Feb 15.’Still Concerned About The Flawed MD Trans Rights Bill’ post on my blog.
Yes Maryland trans peeps, Lord knows... I understand how badly you want trans rights coverage along with everyone else shouting from the rooftops that this bill is flawed. But better to insist on an airtight and properly written trans rights bill from the outset, even if it takes a few more years to pass than settle for a bad bill now.
Any civil rights bill ever written has that no brainer language in it, including the ones that the GL community cut us out of that cover them. But yet Equality Maryland drafted and submitted HB 235 to the Maryland legislature, admitted they did so, and is pimping the ‘incremental rights’ mantra at the trans community while they settle for nothing less than full blown same sex marriage for themselves.
GL community, if legislative ‘crumbs’ aren’t acceptable to you, they aren’t for me and my community either, especially in light of the fact it’s trans POC’s who are taking the brunt of the trans hate casualties and the discrimination.
Jenna Fischetti of TransMaryland had this to say about the Blade HB 235 article:
In responsible journalism, should you wish to investigate a story and write on it, a collection of the purported facts should obtained. In writing this piece you have not interviewed a single person in opposition to the bill, while interviewing or at least reporting the statements of three persons in favor of this weakened bill. You didn't speak with Sandy Rawls, you merely reposted a statement from her Facebook profile, you reference a national transgender activist with as much if not more experience in civil rights than ANYONE currently discussing this legislation and even then, its just one comment about same-sex marriage and the attention the anti-discrimination bill is getting. Nothing on the points of why this is poor legislation. No counterpoint to what amounts to a fluff piece written for the benefit of EQMD and its attempt to ram a flawed bill on the community solely so one politician, a bureaucrat and one civil rights attorney can claim victory.
The political reality is Senator Rich Madaleno, D Montgomery County, the Maryland Senate's only openly gay Senator has called for this bill to be amended with public accommodations. That countless local members of the transgender community do not support the bill because it creates a separate but not equal subclass of citizenship for individuals based on gender identity. Lou, can you name me 5 people this would protect? I can name you 6 million. THE ENTIRE STATE OF MARYLAND as EVERY citizen has a gender identity, just that not all are transsexual or transgender and face the immediate or obvious discrimination, but are still subject to discrimination. Young boys wanting to wear Daphne costumes for Halloween or the softball playing 'tomboys' are affected by gender expression and the discrimination it presents. Public accommodations, what are they? What's your favorite emergency room? What's you preferred ambulance service? We would ask Tyra Hunter, but regrettably she's not able to answer that. She was a DC resident refused basic emergency services based on her gender identity. As a result she died. What bill brings her back? Restores her family to whole?
Additionally due to prior versions including public accommodations, this years draft without establishes legislative intent that separate but not equal classes were the intent of the legislature in drafting the bill, preventing jurist interpretation which might otherwise provide protection not explicitly defined. So even if we might try to litigate a provision of the employment or housing to cover public accommodations we're pinched. And believe me, the logic that shelters are housing is based on the notion they can be 'interpreted' that way.
The transgender community has been sold out on numerous occasions and refuses to accept an empty promise from a group, devoid of transsexual representation and a history of transgender members leaving its ranks on the board in complete frustration of lack in understanding on these issues. If Equality Maryland truly believes and is interested in fighting for the inclusion of public accommodations, it will back an amendment REMOVING sexual orientation from the public accommodations Codes in Maryland (20-302, 20-304, 20-401,and 20-402) and THEN come out saying 'We're now TRULY in this fight just like you!" That's putting your money where your mouth is. But they won't because they know better. Half a loaf? It a dead end street. If our legislators are incapable of recognizing BASIC civil rights, the transgender community prefers to educate and continue to place constituent based pressure on them to wake up to the fact its 2011.
Why is there so much fact and information coming from my keyboard when you were silent on these points? Because I research my facts. I am a woman of transsexual history. I am one of the voices which Equality Maryland wishes to gloss over.
Interesting in that case isn't it Jenna? When we have something to say about legislation that affects us that Gay, Inc orgs don't wanna hear or want to suppress, then all of a sudden I'm an 'out-of-state' blogger. If I'm writing about an issue that affects GL people, then they have no problem with my location.
Bottom line is HB 235 is still a jacked up worthless trans rights bill. Until public accoomdations language is put in it to strengthen it, me and my friends inside and outide of Maryland aren't shutting up about this unjust bill..