Saturday, 14 June 2008

Citizens for (Ir)Responsible Government

A modest proposal for a flyer to be letter-dropped in Maryland....

Voters of Montgomery County

Would YOU feel safe if your daughter had to share her washroom with these men?

Because that's what the Citizens for a Responsible Government want her to do!

Do you think these women and girls would be safe from molestation in the Men's room?

Because the Citizens For Responsible Government wants to ban them from the Ladies Room, no matter what the OB/GYNs say!

They also want NONE of these men and women to be allowed to use

(1) restaurants, soda fountains, and other eating or drinking places, and all places where food is sold for consumption either on or off the premises;
(2) inns, hotels, and motels, whether serving temporary or permanent patrons;
(3) retail stores and service establishments;
(4) hospitals and clinics;
(5) motion picture, stage, and other theaters and music, concert, or meeting halls;
(6) circuses, exhibitions, skating rinks, sports arenas and fields, amusement or recreation parks, picnic grounds, fairs, bowling alleys, golf courses,
gymnasiums, shooting galleries, billiard and pool rooms, and swimming pools;
(7) public conveyances, such as automobiles, buses, taxicabs, trolleys, trains, limousines, boats, airplanes, and bicycles;
(8) utilities, such as water and sewer service, electricity, telephone, and cable television;
(9) streets, roads, sidewalks, other public rights-of-way, parking lots or garages, marinas, airports, and hangars; and
(10) places of public assembly and entertainment of every kind.

THAT is why they oppose Bill 23-07! Just Read the Bill for yourself. They admit it on their Website!


This is about safety, the safety of transgendered and non-transgendered people. It's about prejudice. It is about the opponents of the Bill, and their Hatred of those born different from them. It is about both ignoring medical facts and scripture (Matthew 19:12, Isaiah 56:3-5), and substituting bigotry.


Anonymous said...

I loved your Flyer, it is very self explanatory! Really, I love it! “Americans for Responsible Safety of Transgender” would be my slant on it, or any other nationality for whatever country the site would be viewed in. But this is your creation and the decision falls to you. Could this be something that could be placed in Facebook or some other existing site, or would it be best to send on to those in the political realm who need to be informed? Are you going to expand on this?

Zoe Brain said...

It's only a concept at the moment, and we'd need permission from the people whose pictures we'd be using, for one thing.

The language may need fine-tuning too.

But yes, this is exactly the type of thing we need to counteract the emotive and mendacious propaganda of those against us.

We have the dry, dusty facts on our side, but so far they have been able to misdirect and mislead by appeals to irrationality. We must counteract this by showing the consequences of bigotry, graphically and simply.

Battybattybats said...


It's rhetorical and appeals to the emotions and it's true, the perfect weapon against their rhetorical lies!

It's the right weapon for the job. We have to reach those who are reached by the kind of language and argument that these hate-filled liars use and get the clear truth to them in a way that will speak to them clearly and strongly.

This is exactly the tool needed.

How easilly can we get the pictured peoples permission and/or find others of equal value that would eb willing to reoplace them?

Dana Beyer, M.D. said...


If you can get the permissions I will use this in our campaign. I'm also working on putting together a press conference with only trans men should the need arise.



Zoe Brain said...

The pictures are all hyperlinks to Lynn Conway's site.
I'll try contacting her, but the more the merrier, and it's tricky doing all this co-ordination from Australia.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zoe,

I like your approach, but has anyone tried to sit down and talk to these citizens who feel like they were betrayed?

•Bill 23-07 has no exemption for religious organizations.
•Bill 23-07 has no exemption for religious educational institutions
•Bill 23-07 has no exemption for small businesses (less than 15 employees).

I am a proponent of this bill as far as the rights of women and men who are actively transitioning are concerned, but even then shouldn't there be dialogue about the items listed above?

•Bill 23-07 has no exemption for renters looking for roommates.
*This one I understand their point, but I'd say this exemption doesn't need to be given because a person can decide not to room with a man or woman. So deciding to terminate a lease because someone has male or female parts, but is presenting as the sex that was accepted seems to be too close to the line for me (1 vote) to ask that this law be repealed based on the fact that this exemption is not present in the bill.

•Bill 23-07 has no exemption for places of shared nudity.
•Bill 23-07 definition of gender identity is so broad, cross-dressers are included.
I understand what they are saying. Without explicitly defining gender expression aside from gender identity and trying to combine them when they are different is not right and should not be snuck in to legislation. Gender identity (as far as I see it) is the right of a man or woman who has accepted and is living their lives as the sex other than the one they were born.

Gender expression is someone being born another sex and wishes to express themselves in the opposite sex.

Your flyer places these wonderful men and women pictured on your site in the same category as crossdressers or fetishistic transvestites. It's not the right thing to do in my opinion as it's not fair. It's misleading. So to put them in the same category with the men and women in those pictures is being just as political as they are being.

This is about the rights of citizens and it will require negotiation. This law was passed as a "it's right and it's not that big a deal" by Dana's boss. I'm sure that did sting to a lot of Montgomery counties citizens. They do have to grow some and accept our rights, but we must also be honest with ourselves and differentiate between those born with a physical disorder and those born with desire to express their femininity or masculinity without claiming that they are one or the other.

Nicky said...

Heck, the Voters in Montgomery County, MD, have every right to pass any laws in their county they see fit. Even if it means putting the proposed law on Nov ballot and letting the county Voters decide. That's democracy for you.
See, I wouldn't pass it unless it close a loophole where sex offenders, Perverts, pedophiles and sexual predators could exploit it. That's why they should rework the law so that sex offenders don't exploit the loopholes.

Battybattybats said...

Anon. You are right, it is about the rights of citizens. Thats why it has to cover all instances where gender variation is used to discriminate, not just those suffering a medical condition but those crossdressers too and effeminate men and masculine women too. Everyone discrimnated against.

All equally human, all deserving equal rights and none deserving to be discriminated against. You can't cherry-pick human rights and leave any of them valid.

Nick. Do you have any examples where such exploitation really occurs where other places have enacted such laws or is this an imaginary scenario you fear may one day become possible?

As it is sexual predators already have access to a large number of public toilets legally. How do you propose to protect those people already at risk? And there are sexual predators who already illegally enter such facilities without any 'loophole' and commit their attrocious crimes.

The loophole argument assumes predators will gain access to hunting grounds previously unavailable but thats a myth, perpetrators already enter such facilities illegally.

Instead of worrying about imaginary what-if scenarios that have yet to occur wherever these kinds of laws are enacted how about increasing real protections in existing facilities?

For example Anon mentions places of 'shared nudity'. Outside of nudist resorts/beaches should there be places of 'shared nudity'? A lesbian or gay man or can ogle just like anyone else! Unsecure facilities can be used by predators right now, making all more secure will effect real change and prevent real crimes.

Worrying about imaginary what ifs that dont seem to happen in reality wont protect the people currently at risk. Better to deal with real threats that exist now than imaginary ones.

How about protecting the boys that share such facilities with pedophiles right now? Or the girls who share those facilities with female pedophiles which while less common do indeed exist! Make all toilets more secure and you protect everyone with or without this law making closing the 'loophole' a total waste of time that could be spent protecting all children!

Zoe Brain said...

Nick, good idea!

Now let's look at the 13 states and 100+ counties and cities with similar or identical legislation, and see what changes they put in as the result of the "perverts, paedophiles and sexual predators" that exploited the loopholes...

Hmm.. there weren't any. Not one. Not a single incident. Not in 20 years. It's tricky coming up with changes to prevent something that doesn't happen.

You do know that there's no law in place in Montgomery county preventing men from using the ladies' toilet, don't you? Or vice-versa? There are laws about "disturbing the peace" etc, and these will remain unchanged. You see, that's the point: the opponents in Maryland, and Colorado before that, are lying through their teeth.

I specifically *exclude* those like anonymous above, who have reasonable concerns about the breadth of the law. They are not "opponents", merely people who disagree.

It really comes down to one question: is the law overly broad compared to existing laws preventing discrimination on the basis of the old standbys, race, creed, colour, sex, and sexual orientation. If there's no exception for churches and small businesses there, why should this bill be different? Conversely, if there *are* exceptions there, this bill should not be any different either.

Anonymous said...

Hi Batty,

I really do appreciate the dialog.

I think if the law wants to cover all the instances where gender variation is used to discriminate we should just call people women born transsexuals or crossdressers. I believe crossdressers will be mixed with drag queens and that's not fair, but it is a male who has no desire to change their sex to match their mind.

Gender Identity is being used as a definition that isn't really a definition especially when you consider that it was gender indentity and gender expression just a recently as last year.

I'm concerned about transgender becoming and umbrella term and now gender identity becoming an umbrella term. Though I disagree with their paranoia I think looking at the law it's important that the laws be specific and right now you've got me as far as what this means.

The T* movement is starting to get so arrogant with "knowing they are right" that they are not listening anymore. It's like everyone is wrong but the trans-activists these days. Any idea you have is shot down as "won't work" automatically if it's anything other than spearheading their idea of "the movement". Feminists, allies, and now even those who are in the trans arena like me are starting to say, "tone it down." but when power is hungry it eats. It eats people like me especially.

You are debating a point of imaginary instances that has nothing to do with the fact that our fellow citizens have concerns. You are calling them bigots and are pushing them to real bigots who pollute our cause with more fear, more lies, and more deception.

Since it would be hard to go off of fear can you please site the instances where T* people have been dragged out of a restroom? I can site a lawsuit in the UK where someone transitioning decided they wanted to let their bits hang out post op in a woman's locker room.

My point is all of this pointing at incidents drives us further apart. It's time to sit down and discuss this with those who the citizens (both pro-this law and anti-this law) as adults and as citizens who agree that we may disagree, but the ideas of each other will be heard respectfully. It's obvious that both sides who are fighting this are upset and with good cause. The scary thing is both sides don't the other is being reasonable.

I'm a member of the T* community and I have to share that I think that neither group is being reasonable.

I've never heard of the mass toilet scares that are being discussed. It's almost ridiculous to me and the fact that this law has been passed in what seems like the dark of night is the reason why people are upset. So, why did this law get inacted without input from others? It's backfiring and because the trans-activist refuse to admit they are part of the problem here it's going to get worse. The trans-activists are about to face a very bad reality. They are more, the trans-community is less.

I will not support this legislation as it stands. Sorry. :( I truly am because I understand the spirit of the law, but I share the concerns that those who don't understand me have.

Nicky said...

It's something that we let the voters decide. That's why we call it a referendum, they let the voters decide.

But though anything can be exploited, if given the chance. That's why until they roll it out, they should have fixed or even revise it to make harder for sex offenders to exploit it. Given the climate that we have and that sex offenders can exploit anything, they should put it on hold until it can be held up to any court challenge and that it will close any perceive loopholes that sex offenders can find.

As a tax payer, I think that the law is abuse of time and money. All it's catering to is special interest groups and that how many people is it really going to benefit.

Anonymous said...

Hi again Zoe,

As always I appreciate all that you do as a brilliant thinker.

I have to say that when the legislation in the other 13 states and 100+ counties and cities with similar or identical legislation was put through I didn't know about it. I heard that trans people were protected and like others I thought this was transsexuals. I did not think men who identified as men would be permitted in woman spaces.

I'm pretty informed about us as I've transitioned and use to be active until I feel I was bullied out with the strong convictions of activists who do not speak for all things T* related, but say they do. I don't like bullies on either side. btw.. I totally don't think you or batty are bullies. Like I told her, I really appreciate the dialogue and thank you providing a venue to discuss this.

I do also appreciate that you can see that I do have concerns. I will not oppose this law as in stand on the side of those who wish to repeal it, but I do not support the law. I think it leaves a great deal of very fine citizens who are not bigots, but are concerned (albeit ignorant of WBT and MBTs) parents, business owners, and members of the community. They do get crossdressers though and I think that's where the biggest stink is going on right now. A stink that can be cleared up with non-angry discussions taking place.

Women and men born transsexuals are sticking up and risking their lives and liberties for a group that has yet to step up for themselves in a massive way as we have. I do not put them down, but if it comes down to the law saying men and women transsexuals (pre-op, post-op, or non-op) then I will say lets do that. I will stand by crossdressers and those who wish to express their gender when they are ready to stand by me and come out of the closet to help fight legislation that does not represent them as citizens of these great United States of America.

When we dip into expression we take on the talk about nudists, those who have piercings, tatoos, or something out of the norm that can not be tied back to birth condition. Right now the great majority of people believe or accept that WBTs and MBTs are valid. They dont' support what they think are those who do this for a lifestyle.

Anyway Zoe, I have yet to be convinced that this bill is anything other than a bad bill because of it's broad stroke of terms such as gender identity. I hope that no more like it see the light of day or the passing into law until certain things have been vetted and more dialogue is had between two communities that know each other very little.

Anonymous said...


Again another great post. Thank you!

It really helps knowing I'm not alone.

Battybattybats said...


The problem with the democracy argument is that the majority can abuse the minority, thats why things like bills of rights exist to be sure that everyone has equal rights not just those that suit the majority.

Good to talk to you too Anon. It's wonderful discussing different views in such a decent and civilised manner.

Could I ask if you wouldn't mind adding a name to your comments for me to know you by? A cipher or avatar name, anything will do. Just so if anyone else also posts anonymously in this discussion we know your posts from theirs?

Your point about definitions is interesting but very problematic. Let me start with an existing right of protection from discrimination to demonstrate this.

That of religion.

It's language needed to be as broad as possible. It can't just say Protestants and Catholics, the most common religious groups in western countries, as they are just christians and non-christians still get discriminated against. It can't just add Jews and Muslism either, they are all Abrahamic religions and non-Abrahamic religious people can still be discriminated against. So to protect bhuddists and Hindus and pagans etc too all religious variation must be covered! Even lack of religious beliefs must be covered to protect atheists and also the perception of anothers belief too, a philosophical bhuddist discriminated against because someone thinks they are a religious bhuddist also needs protection.

A Sihk man who is forbidden by their beliefs from not wearing their turban in public is a good example of how freedom of religion intersects with freedom of expression.

This is why the language must be as broad as possible.

The recent examples of masculine looking women thrown out of public toilets are good examples that a person need not be a crossdresser or transexual to need to be covered.

Effeminate men, masculine women, all can be discriminated against for not fitting into gender stereotypes because of either their features of birth or their personal expression.

The struggles against the tyranny of kings showed that birth was not the basis of rights. The right of people to choose to be protestant or catholic of their own free will was another of the founding fights of the modern world. Because of these both circumstances of birth or choices of expression are protected. These are the founding principles of modern democracy. The ideas that the USA was founded on and that the free world has by and large adopted. Neither birthright nor free choice of conscience invalidate someone's equality.

The problem is some folk have never been willing to accept others being equals which is why any civil rights fight has ever been neccessary.

The language needs to be broad so that everyone is protected equally, majority and minority, popular, generally accepted and especially the unpopular! Just as the right of the Sihk man wearing his turban is the same right as the christian woman wearing her plain cross necklace so too is this case needing the broadest possible lnaguage.

Thats what ensures its equal rights for all.

Zoe Brain said...

Could all the various Anon's please sign their posts with a unique monicker? Norm D. Ploom, Ann O'Namous, Sue Donim, whatever.

I have to say that when the legislation in the other 13 states and 100+ counties and cities with similar or identical legislation was put through I didn't know about it. I heard that trans people were protected and like others I thought this was transsexuals. I did not think men who identified as men would be permitted in woman spaces.

A full list with some references to the legislation is at

A typical example is that of Seattle, Washington, dated 1986.

F. "Discrimination," "discriminate," and/or "discriminatory act" means
any act, by itself or as part of a practice, which is intended to or
results in different treatment or differentiates between or among
individuals or groups of individuals by reason of race, color, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin; or the presence
of any sensory, mental or physical handicap.

J. "Gender identity" means a person's identity, expression, or
physical characteristics, whether or not traditionally associated with one's biological sex or one's sex at birth, including transsexual, transvestite, and transgendered, and including a person's attitudes, preferences, beliefs, and practices pertaining thereto.

For Portland, Oregon (2000) :
C. “Gender Identity” – a person’s actual or perceived sex, including a person’s identity, appearance, expression or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance, expression or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s sex at birth.

"Gender Identity" or "Gender Identity and Expression" are the commonly used terms in the USA.

As far as I've been able to determine, no jurisdiction protects TS or TS/IS people only.

This is probably for two reasons, one to do with ignorance, the other with power.

Firstly, neither those who are willing to grant human rights to "these weirdoes", nor those against that, make any distinction between TS, HBS, TG, TV, IS etc. The distinctions may be important to us, but not to them.

Secondly, TS people are so vastly outnumbered by the Butch Dykes, Effeminate Gays, Transvesitite Males, and other groups who would benefit from this kind of legislation that we have zero chance (given the above) of getting an exclusionary set of legislation enacted in the US.

This is exactly the opposite of the situation in Australia, where TS/IS people are protected (sometimes), but others aren't.

Zoe Brain said...

A list of terms used - "Gender Identity" or "Gender Identity and Expression" usually - and the various jurisdictions is at

Battybattybats said...

Well latest anonyomous person you do show well the importance of adding a name or codename of some sort to your posts just so we can tell which anonymous person is which.

And I suggest it does matter.
In my family the avergae lifespan has been well into the 80's for many generations and I and I think most people too would rather that than the early deaths from murder or suicide that tend to occur to discriminated against groups of people.

And if you do want to hold a nihilist view consider this quote "it's not whether you live or die that matters. Bacteria can survive so we must be more than that. No, it's not whether you live or die, it's how you live and why you die that matters."

So I suggest that it does indeed matter. That it makes a difference. That it makes peoples lives better. That the more the beautiful dream of everyone actually treating everyone else as equals and with respect comes true that the more worthwhile all human lives become.

Because even when we die, we have had effects upon what we have interacted with, on future generations.

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

I am the same person who responded to both of those posts earlier. I'm the one who's dialog has been civil and in line with a good discussion. Sorry I didn't see I could choose a name.

Batty, thanks! It is good to talk to you again too an honor actually. For us to be able to hold a conversation so civily is just fascinating. I wish I didn't have to go to bed last evening so I could continue the discussion actually.

I see the point you're making about religion. I think calling someone a woman or man born transsexual is actually broad as it is. We are not saying pre-op, non-op, post-op. It's not referring to those who are born with AIS who are also born with or those born with HBS. Women and men born trans is very broad as it stands, without going for gender identity and it falling outside of the norm.

With this law you have someone who has taken the liberty of removing expression to now muddy the water and now have crossdressers and drag queens (lots of beautiful and wonderful people btw) thrown in with women and men who are born with birth defects. It doesn't seem fair to WBTs or MBTs. To me it's wrong and unjust. So to eliminate that, I suggest a specific definition over the now obfuscated meaning of gender identity.

Religion has been understood for multiple millenniums. Gender Identity is new. So to compare that or many other common umbrella terms doesn't seem fair to me. Again I was fine with gender identity until a few people decided to try and skirt controversy by changing the spirit of the meaning gender identity. That's when I got lost with both ENDA and this law actually.

With regard to effeminate men, masculine women, and all who don't fit into gender stereotypes. I don't believe laws should be created for things that aren't a problem. Effeminate men should still use the men's facilities and so should some one dressed in a costume or who are portraying a certain personality. I am removing my feelings of "Wouldn't it be nice" with the understanding that this is not something that should be legislated to force inclusion in religious organizations, small businesses of less than 15 employees, or places where they is shared nudity.

We have a fundamental disagreement, but I will acquiesce if more citizens agree with your summation than mine. At this time I feel that more voting citizens are on the side of changing this law or eradicating it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zoe,

Thank you for quoting what you did. It does help me understand for certain the things you cited are inline with my expectations of what you would cite. (Types of examples not the specifics.. I'm not that psychic)

With all due respect I feel that your examples are inline with what I'm saying because gender identity and expression were not merged in those. The public wasn't as informed about the trans spectrum as they had been up until even last year. So those laws were passed based on ignorance of our community. I think this has less to do with what's right than previous iterations of the law because of the people or persons who spearheaded it's passage.

I object to the gender identity definition listed in these laws and I would not push for or endorse legislation that has that broad term. Women and Men born transsexuals are not transsvestites, crossdressers, or drag queens. Again, let me take an important moment to share that my feelings for this community are feelings of admiration and respect. With that said I would then share my feelings are that just because I respect Latin-Americans doesn't mean I give them protections specifically meant for Native-Americans.

Citing legislation that refers to something from over 20 years ago does ready the claim that gender identity has been included in bills since back then, so what's the big stink about? To me though it is pointing to a time where ignorance about the variances with those who don't fit into the typical realms of gender identities were based on women and men born transsexuals and not crossdressers.

If you want to include gender expression outside of gender identity I'm fine with that as it does cover both pre-op and non-op men and women. It also covers those men and women who do not fit into society and have to live in the trans-ghetto although they are post-op. I think you will find broad support for gender identity if it is defined as these groups. Gender expression is a harder sell to the citizens of these great United States.

I think although no jurisdiction protected TS/IS people, only the spirit of the law as written when it comes to the use of public facilities was not inclusive of male bodied people using the restrooms of female bodied people unless they were actively transitioning to another life.

I can appreciate that Women and Men born trans are vastly outnumbered by Butch Dykes, Effeminate Gays, and Crossdressing, Fetishistic TV males, and Drag Queens would benefit from this legislation, but that is gender expression and not gender identity. So to do something for the sake of being good doesn't help them in the future for challenges to laws like this one. These laws should be sound and based on valid definitions. Currently for me and those who are protesting this law and broad based laws like it, it's overreaching.

With regard to the woman you cited who was pulled out of the restroom and has won her lawsuit she was going into a women's restroom as you know. So for me that example doesn't mesh with my request for records of women and men being discriminated against nor does it justify including legislation that would make it so that religious institutions who look to their religious beliefs for guidance and are told by the federal government that they are not allowed to practice their beliefs in their own institutions. That's not right in my opinion.

I'm not sure I have much more to add here. I just wanted to illustrate that I am a member of the group of women born trans who disagree that this legislation is fair. Gender expression and gender identity are different and should be worded that way if laws are to be put in the books.

As I said before if the voting citizens disagree with me so be it.

Thanks again Zoe. You're awesome.

Battybattybats said...

Hi Evey.
I have no problem with terms like woman or man born transexual for those it might apply to if they prefer it, but the point of anti-discrimination legislation is to remove discrimination, therefore it needs to cover everyone discriminated against. People discriminated against together under the same issue need to be protected against that because of the reason for the discrimination no matter the differences between those people.

You suggest religion has been unerstood for millenia and gender identity is new. But thats not really the case in this context. Let me explain.

Religious beliefs have been around for tens of thousands of years sure, but religious freedom is new, gender identity has existed for tens of thousands of years but the term, the name, is new.

In the past it was considered good to force people to accept the religion the ruling power believed was true. The religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants fought plenty of wars, thousands died, the succession of Englands throne led to alternating religious ascendency with lots of folk burned alive, churches burned, most of the paintings of England prior to the time being destroyed and much more.

The general acceptance of the notion that each person could choose their own religious beliefs is quite new! Only a matter of centuries old!

But then the notion that a person cant be owned by another or the state and can make all their own decisions has only gained general acceptance in the last several centuries too. These all come from the ideas of some of the philosophers of the Enlightenment.

And it is that principle, of individual free will, equality and personal choice that is the underpinning of modern democracy and human rights.

Now the idea of gender identity and gender expression being legally defined in such a broad way is really vital. It's so the law will cover every possible human. Just as antidiscrimination legislation has to protect all races not just some this needs to protect people who are discriminated against because of all varients of gender, external in expression and internal in identity.

Now you suggest that effeminate men or masculine women don't have a problem. Unfortunately this is not the case. Please follow this link this is not a unique case either.

The law has to protect people like her from unfair treatment. She has to be considered equal and have the same rights as others.

Doing the right thing can be difficult and unpopular, treating people of some races as equal is still a slow going process, one objected to by many in the past and yet now the USA has a black presidential candidate.

Some women are fired for being too masculine some men are fired for being too effeminate, this legislation has to cover anyone. Even a guy who might be discriminated against for being too 'macho' or a woman to 'girly'.
While the primary target is to protect transexuals it has to include everyone, every single human. Everyone has some kind of gender expression and gender identity and this must protect all of them from being misstreated and becoming 2nd class citizens. Remember equal rights means everyone must have the same right, if it only protects some catagories it's not equal.

Thats why the language needs to have such broad meaning and you will find similar wording and meaning in other ctagories like religion, race and others.

Battybattybats said...

Conflicts between religious views/rights and human/civil rights are nothing new.

They were involved on both sides of the slavery debate for example along with lots of other issues.

The protections of religious rights determine the legality and appropriateness of religious exemption from this legislation.

A good example would be religious objections to desegregated toilets or to interracial marriage.

Of course there's a crucial legal difference between a religious service in a church and a business run by a church in a building owned by a church. The first is private and the second public.

There are important limits on religious rights, the church-state divide which protects all religions from being discriminated against by whatever is the most popular religion is a good example.

I don't really see any argument for why small businesses should have an exemption at all. Are they allowed to discriminate against people based on race, sex political affiliation or religion?

This anti-discrimination legislation needs to work the same way as all others. If it doesn't then it is unfair and unjust.

No-one should be 2nd class citizens. Discomfort caused by treating others as equal is, while real, simply the discomfort of adjusting to justice.

Zoe Brain said...

I think we're getting a little off-track, seeing the Big Picture but not the concrete present.

Look at the propaganda piece again. Could the legislation be made more acceptable to reasonable people like Evey? Yes. But we have to go with the legislation we have, not spend months, years, or decades getting it "right". BBB has far too much justice on her side for me to be comfortable with exclusion too.

We are confronted not with Perfection vs Imperfection, but the Imperfect vs the downright rotten. To vote against this bill will be seen, rightly or wrongly, as a vote that no TS or IS person should be allowed to use restaurants, soda fountains, inns, hotels, and motels, hospitals and clinics and so on. And no TG person either. I guarantee that a loss here will lead to repeal of existing rights elsewhere.

That's the alternative. So even if you view the bill as grossly imperfect (a view I hold myself), is it worth that cost?

My own views on this are conflicted. On one hand, TS and IS people have vital concerns about access to medical treatment and legal recognition that the vast bulk of TG people do not. There is a strong argument for separation there, on pragmatic grounds.

On the other hand.. I just can't say to BBB and people like her that they don't deserve the same legal protections, simply because TGs can, in general, avoid problems by dressing conventionally. Some can't, and the border between full-time crossdresser and non-op TS is blurry. We can't expect those who are not expert in TG matters to understand the difference, especially when we don't agree amongst ourselves.

Our opponents make no such fine distinctions of course: mulatto, creole, quadroon or octoroon, "passing as white" or high-yellow, we're all niggers.

In some ways that makes things easier, for me anyway. Because otherwise I would be sorely tempted to be exclusionary. On practical grounds, I can't be. Just as well, because at least this way, win or lose, I won't have sold some fellow human beings down the river, simply because I don't understand them, and even feel irrational revulsion at the whole concept of "genderfuck".

While I could look upon TG's as "the other", deviant men making spectacles of themselves as they cavort in drag in "Gay Pride" parades, mocking me and people like me, yes, I could cheerfully ditch them.

But BBB has quietly and calmly asserted her humanity. I can't ditch them without ditching her too, and my conscience won't allow me to do that, no matter how "pragmatic" that may be.

You see many good, decent people don't understand me, and even feel irrational revulsion at the whole concept of "transsexuality". My only weapon against them is to quietly and calmly assert my own humanity. The parallels are just too obvious for me to ignore.

Which is why, although I'm convinced that the evidence for HBS is so strong as to be incontrovertible now, and my interest is only in exploring the finer details, I can't go along with the HBS political agenda. They're right when it comes to the science and medical facts, and I strongly support them any way I can. It's the political conclusions they draw from those facts that even I, a conservative, neo-con, right wing death b*tch of long standing can't accept.

Zoe Brain said...

Evey, one correction. It's not "some", it's "ful".

Please keep the compliments coming though. And even more, thanks to all the commenters here, you've all taught me much. No single view is 100% right and others 100% wrong. Melodrama is the conflict between Good and Evil, but what we have here in the comments is Tragedy: the conflict of Good against Good.

Battybattybats said...

Thanks so very much for your kind words Zoe, they bring tears to my eyes.

While I too recognise that transexuals have some clearly different medical and legal needs to crossdressers or effeminate men and masculine women (needs which I support entirely even though I disagree with a lot of HBS views on non-HBS causality and HBS politics) its still true that we are discriminated against together too so situations like this are ones where we need to learn about each others needs and support each other. Working tegether doesn't make us all the same but we can and should recognise where an issue effects us all. And if we can forge understandings, alliances and friendships we can support each others needs that we don't share, making our struggles for equality easier.

Just as in the recent past a person of a discriminated white ethnic minority like the Irish for example might not have the same needs or degree of discrimination in America or Australia as a black person nevertheless both were discriminated against because of their ethnicity and both are protected under the same anti-discrimination legislation.

We have both differences and commonalities. But we're all still human!

Battybattybats said...

Back a bit more on topic, I'm wondering how the message could be refined or companioned.

Pointing out how gender based discrimination could effect non-TG folk might help. The women thrown out of toilets for not being feminine enough make that argument reasonably well.

Whats a good way to point out that the current law doesn't stop people using the toilets now anyway without contributing to any negative association and phantom predator fears?

Nicky said...

I doubt that this law would protect intersex people, because Intersex is a totally separate issue and I believe that Intersex is protected under the ADA laws in America because intersex is considered a medical condition and that transgender is still deemed a psychiatric condition and not covered by the ADA laws. That's why I believe that the law as it stands is very flawed and overly to broad. They should have reworked and tweaked it.

Battybattybats said...

Hi Nick!
Umm... there seems to be a bit of confusion with this.

This doesn't deal with just one issue like specific medical conditions, thats not how any antidiscrimination legislation works.

Um... how to best explain this...

Lets instead start by asking the question:

Who is not protected by this?

The answer: Not 1 human being.

Again let me use the example of other antidiscriminations legislation:

Which religions are not protected by anti religious discrimination protection?

None of them! Yep, Christians Scientologists, Jews, Pagans and Muslims are all protected because it doesn't matter what their religion is it has to be so broad as to cover everyone or its not fair. If it doesnt cover every religion its wrong. Even atheists who disbelieve in religion are protected from being discriminated against because they have an absence of religion!

It doesn't matter if someone has a medical condition or not. It is the discrimination that is at issue. For example, someone who has a medical condition that causes them to be racially missidentified (theres a couple that can to some extent do that) might suffer mistaken racism. That they have a medical condition doesn't make any real difference it is the racism that is wrong.

You see any person may be discriminated against for their race or ethnicity. Everyone is covered from those who suffer racism frequently like black people to those who almost never do but nonetheless are protected if it happens like white people.

That is why I wonder why people think the breadth of this legislation is too broad. It has to be broad to work. It has to cover everyone! It has to strike down any and all discrimination based on in this case expression of gender and/or gender identity or in other examples race or religion.

Every person has some degree of gender identity and expression and so everyone can be discriminated against because of that. This would protect everyone.

Sure some people have troubles with equality. Take race, many people may be fine with some races being equal but have problems with others. Someone comfortable with black people may have a problem with asians or hispanics or gypsies. When it comes to religion someone might be fine with catholics but find they have a problem with hindus or muslims or atheists.

But being in a less popular minority doesn't mean they shouldn't be protected from the same discrimination as everyone else.

I've never ever heard a good reason why in a country that presumes all people are equal that this or any legislation should consider some more and some less equal than others?

See thats why i cant understand the reasoning behind the 'too broad' objections. They sound just like the objections once raised to all races being protected rather than just some, to all religions being protected rather than just some.

This issue is bigger than just intersex, transexualism, transgender etc. This is about protecting every citizen from being discriminated against on gender expression and identity grounds.

Thats the way anti-discrimination legislation is supposed to work. It's supposed to be so broad as to protect everyone. If it doesn't do that it's not anti-discrimination legislation! It would be discrimination legislation then!

Thats the price of considering everyone created equal.

Nicky said...

The way I see it, this law is to broad and that this law should never been passed without hearings and sending it to a referendum and letting the voters decide if they want the law in Nov.

The way I see it, the T community is becoming so arrogant, so elitist and so power hungry that they are starting to alienate their friends and Allies including the intersex community. That's why I have seen intersex advocates calling for a split away from the T community and cutting off all ties with the T Community because they have become so elitist, so power hungry, and alienating their friends and allies.

Battybattybats said...

Hi again Nick.
I've explained why antidiscrinination legislation is often neccessarily broad. Could you explain specificly in what way you think this one is too broad?

As for referunda, the trouble with those when it comes to antidiscrimination legislation etc is that they can allow discriminatory majorities to abuse minorities. The referenda in Australia that gave women the vote and recognised the rights of indiginous people are very much exceptions.

Thats why the bill of rights was created in the USA, to put limits on the abuse of democracy by the majority.

In what way is the T community being arrogant, elitest, power hungry or alienating their allies?

Those would be issues which can and should be addressed.

Certainly the average T person is far from powerful being over represented amongst the homeless, the jobles and the victims of violence but the community advocates and leaders might be guilty of such.. though I must admit I've not seen any of that that I have noticed. Can you explain in what way this has been so?

Examples, links and/or details would be very useful.

Mercedes said...

Zoe, Dana, if this is still in the works as a flyer and you're still looking for permissions on photos, let me know. I'm pretty much out, so have no issues about that. I'm not on Lynn's site, though, as I don't consider mine a "success" story or anything to look up to, yet.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought.

In the beginning of this issue, when, after being mostly unemployed for almost 3 years, i provided heartfelt and very well thought-out testimony, that focused 100% as regards the overwhelming preponderance of social and workplace discriminations i have faced since beginning my transition, here in this(my home)county several years ago..

This was not "done in the dark of night" which is one of the critics' inflated and distorted arguments.

I provided MY testimony, supportive to this bill, to the county council, in VERY public hearings (full chamber) which also had local media coverage.
This is no excuse.

There is no excuse for the oppositions' members going out into the county, and, either independantly, or under misdirection, and telling my fellow county residents boldfaced lies such as:

A.) There were NO hearings held on this matter, public or otherwise.

B.) What hearings there were(if any) were purposefully underpublicized by the council and it's supporters, that just "snuck one under the noses of the voting public in a unilateral action" -

i heard this statement myself, from a petitioner that had already spread both of the abovementioned lies to hundreds of people before i ever talked to him myself (and continued to sell this specific pitch, even after showing him copies of my own testimony from those hearings.

(gee, since i made a full color full page article appearance in the SUNDAY Washington Post (HUGE local ciculation) during that time as well, i'd call that pretty intentionally underpublicized, huh)...

Guess that throws that argument out the window.

The first Public Pitch Push of theirs made even more good sense. One statement tells it all.

"Say no to legalized indecent exposure".

This came directly from the heads of the opposition groups, several of which have fully studied the issue from a clinical standpoint, and know WAYYYY better, as far as anyone in transition would EVER be concerned.

Do the Math. This is only a few of the outright utter distortions that have been used in this case, and that are still continuing to be used at this time.

Falsification of signatures (proven), questionable signatures (noted by a judge), gathering of signatures at locations using most of the abovementioned lies (one of which, a HUGE high school literally next door to where i live - did not even have permission to be there - INSIDE of the school....

I helped to have them removed by County School security myself, on site, and face to face.

Please. I have spent time defending these good hardworking family folk that have been used as tools and have carried the dirty laundry for these groups.

Even if the law IS a bad one, now that we have it, i will have to say it is better than nothing. Another step.

And now that this has reached this level of contention, it IS precedent setting here in the U.S., and people on both sides of this issue know it.

The fact remains, the voting public in my home county was fed a half a truth at best, and a badly distorted half at that.

It was done with malice aforethought, and a good deal of very admirable political savvy and strategy.

This does not make it excusable by any moral or ethical standards that i am aware of, anywhere in this life.

These people have effectively made it considerably worse for me personally, just being out in the open as far as i am. And i AM out As far as it gets.

They have pushed fear, and inflated fearful misundertsanding directly to the forefront of people's minds here. As a result, the daily load of obvious social dangers, ridicule, overall discrimination, denigration, and humiliations has increased rather dramatically in my VERY personal experience.

This, even with the fact that i am reasonably attractive, well spoken, self assured, ebullient, super self-confident, outgoing, warm, friendly, and obviously very naturally comfortable in my own skin - etc etc etc...

Spread lies of fear and menace like that to tens of thousands of voters - hardworking concerned families that want to protect themselves, and i honestly can't blame them for signing.

Now, look at the results. Good law, bad law - wouldnt have mattered ... these people would have done the same things no matter how it was written or worded.

This is their pattern here over a period of years and on many more issues than just this one. They just need to be stopped. Period.

I'll be happy to provide my pics if i think for half a skip that it will help.

Most Respectfully,


Anonymous said...

To Nick,

By the way, i was not intending to be rude or insulting, either.

My passion is just that, especially given the difference between supporting or following an issue, or actually BEING the issue. Since i am definitely the latter in this case, i hope you will understand.

I wanted to make it very clear - i appreciate your thoughfulness, and the way you have structured your langauge in your posts. I do however have one very serious concern.

You Said -

"The way I see it, this law is to broad and that this law should never been passed without hearings".

Can you please tell me exactly who gave you this information ?

I am not saying that to be combative with you in the least.

But since it is 100% untrue, it would be helpful in identifying the source for such a continuation of that serious a fallacious accustion towards the council, and indeed, the people liek myself that actually attended the hearings that were held.

In fact, just so you know, one of the opposition heads, Dr. Ruth Jacobs, stood right next to me and gave her own tesimony in opposition immediately following mine.

As well, even though it has also been claimed that the bill was never amended before passage (i met a petitioner that said he would literally stake his life on it, and angrily waved an UN-amended copy of the same bill in my face)... It had,in fact been amended Six different times before it was passed.

Made me wonder who gave him this misinformation to share with the voting public at large.

Makes me wonder RIGHT NOW who gave you the misinformation that you have now also unwittingly spread onto this forum.

Most Sincerely and Respectfully,

Maryanne Arnow