Monday, May 23, 2011

Maine LD 1046 Update- 'Ought Not To Pass'

While I was rightfully concerned with political developments in my own backyard, trans Mainers were concerned about LD 1046, an unjust bill proposed by Republican Ken Fredette.   The bill would repeal part of the Maine Human Rights Act to take away existing protections for trans people when accessing appropriate public restrooms.and allow discrimination against them.

Fredette was on the Maine Human Rights Commission when the successful trans rights cases were voted on.

On May 13 a bipartisan group of five Democrats, 2 Republicans and one independent voted 8-5 to recommend that LD 1046 'Ought not to pass'. 

It was strongly opposed by Mainers such as NAACP board member Bob Talbot of Bangor; Elizabeth Ward-Saxl, executive director of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault; Jennifer Finney Boylan, an openly trans professor at Colby College and acclaimed author; Westbrook High School student Marissa Exchange, a member of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s Jump-Start Student Leadership Team; and many other trans Mainers and their family members.

In most states a negative committee vote is enough to kill a bill, but in Maine the process is different.    Only a unanimous 'Ought Not To Pass' vote kills it at that stage.  

Our trans brothers and sisters in Maine will still be keeping an eye on LD 1046 along with our allies.

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