PA in Maryland is not Pennsylvania

A bill passed by the Maryland House and sent to the Maryland Senate was released to the full Senate yesterday by the Senate Rules Committee.  This bill is known as HB235.

Maryland’s HB235 is a discrimination bill dealing with gender identity.  It defines gender identity as “a gender-related identity or appearance of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.”  It would protect transgender individuals from discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, and lending.

The italics in the bill’s definition, indicating my astonishment, are mine.  I didn’t know that babies were simply “assigned” a gender at birth.  Does God stand around assigning XX or XY chromosome pairs without asking for volunteers?  For those who deny that God has a role, how is the confusion introduced by the forcing of chromosome pairs on humans without first considering their feelings?  We get taught concepts in biology from Darwin such as perpetuation of the species, survival of the fittest, and that we are no different than a sloth or an ant (and related to both).  Who are we to challenge these concepts by encouraging behaviors that can’t possibly perpetuate the species?

What’s even more astonishing to me is the concept that your gender is determined by the way you feel.   If you are a biological female that feels like a male, then you are a male.  If you are a male that doesn’t necessarily want to go the surgical/hormone route to have certain parts enhanced and certain parts removed, you can simply be gender non-conforming.  No matter how you feel, you still have a biological gender defined in your very makeup.  You may not like that, but you can’t deny it.

The transgender community is absolutely thrilled with HB235, right?  No.  Some of the most vehement opponents are transgenders because Maryland’s HB235 does not include provisions for PA.  For those of you who have lived several decades thinking of PA as an abbreviation for Pennsylvania, I would like to disabuse you of that notion now that I have been disabused on the internet.

Most of the bloggers that favor the concept of outlawing transgender discrimination are highly indignant about the lack of PA in the bill, even calling it worthless without the PA language.  So, it’s worthless to have a law that says that you can’t be denied housing or employment or financing because you dress funny if it doesn’t also allow you to “use public facilities” (to be very Victorian) based on what gender you feel you are.

A quite vocal set of activists are campaigning to have PA language added to the bill, or to have the bill withdrawn until a truly fair and comprehensive bill with the addition of PA language can be introduced.  They refuse to acknowledge that the PA language was stripped from the bill because not enough Representatives in the House would vote for the bill with that language included.  It appears that some of those accustomed to the XX, XY scheme of things thought it was discrimination to deny someone employment or housing based on a feeling, but not necessarily discriminatory to keep biological guys out of the ladies’ room.

One of the transgenders against the bill without PA made an impassioned plea in testimony to the legislature.  This individual said, “It must also be noted that the expression ‘public accommodation’ does not apply exclusively to public bathrooms, showers and changing facilities. Public accommodation also includes schools, libraries, hospitals, restaurants and retail establishments.”  (This individual’s full testimony is posted at: http://transgriot.blogspot.com/2011/03/hb-235-opposition-testimony.html.)

OK, let’s face it.  One of the main problem with providing PA does surround public bathrooms, showers, and changing facilities.  It’s quite one thing to see a bearded man in a dress walk into a library; no one is liable to ask him (“him” biologically speaking) to leave.

It is quite another thing to have that same bearded man enter a ladies’ room in a dress or whatever else tickles his fancy.  It has always been felt that the ladies room was a place where females (defined by biology, not desire) could go to do the most private of things without fear of being observed by males (also defined by biology, not desire), and vice versa.

I have never asked a gentleman this question:   If a sexy blonde female (in appearance) entered the public facility intended for males when you were attempting to relieve yourself at a urinal, might that cause in you a sudden hardening of certain blood vessels that would preclude you from being able to immediately relieve yourself?  I not only have never asked a gentleman that, I don’t want to ask it or have any reason to ask it.  I respect privacy.

Transgendered individuals want the right to use public facilities for their chosen, as opposed to biological, gender.  Why?  Choose the facilities which represent your biological gender.  In effect, by desiring PA, a transgender is saying, “I don’t want to share public facilities with someone who is a different gender than what I have chosen as my gender.  I want to go to facilities only for my own chosen gender.”   It is also saying, “But anyone who doesn’t want to share public facilities with me because I am a different biological gender should have no problem with sharing facilities with ME.  Gender is not biological; it is a choice.”  Everyone has to accept gender as a choice rather than a biological fact.

There are probably many transgenders who pass as a person of their chosen (as opposed to biological) gender and don’t need PA.  They may be suspect, but no one is going to throw them out of a restroom because you just can’t tell for certain.  So you don’t need the law for them.

However, when a person has chosen a gender that is obviously at odds with his or her biological gender, there is a problem.  One proponent of the law argued that since bathrooms have stalls, privacy is not an issue.  If privacy is really not an issue, then why does the XX-XY approach to gender determination for the purposes of choosing facilities need to be changed?  Stick with your biology, and you still have privacy.  Somehow, it doesn’t sound like equality to me to impose on everyone a definition of gender determination that is held by a small minority.

This whole Maryland situation is enough to make me choose to be a redhead.  Maybe I’ll  dye my hair red.  That would, however, only change me to appear to be a redhead.  I would still be a brunette.

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Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 2:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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