There has been lots of movement on the Bathroom Bill this week. First off, the New Boston Post was on top of this issue again with a great column by Andover State Rep. Jim Lyons, calling it a “battle of conflicting rights.”
We’ve also heard feedback from other friends on Beacon Hill that your phone calls and emails are having an impact. I was forwarded an email this morning from one of the bill’s sponsors telling her colleagues, “Many offices are receiving letters in opposition to the Transgender Public Accommodations bill (H.1577/S.735), mostly through the Massachusetts Family Institute website. [That would be our dedicated microsite, NoBathroomBill.com] Attached for your consideration is a draft letter of response to the MFI-generated emails.”
The following are a few statements in that “draft letter” that are disputable, at best:
- “The definition of gender identity included in [the 2011 Gender Identity Nondiscrimination] law was specific and clear…”
What does that “specific and clear” law actually say?
“’Gender identity’ shall mean a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.” M.G.L. Chpt. 4, Sec. 7
Well, let me be clear: when my wife gives birth next month, we expect to hear “It’s a girl!” as the doctor confirms what the ultrasound has shown us. This will not be my daughter’s “assigned sex at birth,” but rather the acknowledgement of a simple and obvious biological reality. Whatever “gender identity” is according to the law, it is unquestionably a vague and amorphous definition.
- “The  law excluded explicit protections in public accommodations or public spaces.”
This is true, because public accommodations include bathrooms, locker rooms, and other lawfully sex-segregated facilities. You can watch the former Chair of the Judiciary Committee saying in 2011, “This is not a bathroom bill.” That is why the legislature didn’t include public accommodations in 2011, and it’s why transgender activists are pushing for them now.
- “Public accommodations are any spaces that are open to the public including grocery stores, movie theaters, public transportation, hospitals and many other places.”
Notice how they don’t mention that bathrooms are included in public accommodations? They also fail to mention that public accommodations include homeless shelters, nursing homes, fitness centers, and even churches.
The letter goes on to list things that the bathroom bill supposedly will NOT do:
- “It would not change any criminal laws…”
Not sure how that line would hold up in court if you’re facing jail time for gender identity discrimination. What I can tell you, is that if the Bathroom Bill passes it will add “gender identity” to Chapter 272, Section 92a of the Massachusetts General Laws, which states the punishment for “discrimination” is “a fine of not more than one hundred dollars, or… imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both.”
- “…it would not place any mandates on the Department of Elementary or Secondary education [DESE] or impact the state’s K-12 education system…”
This may be true, but the DESE has already shown us what they want to do in our public schools when it comes to gender identity. If this bill passes they will be able to mandate this policy that currently is only “guidance.”
- “…it would not endanger women and children.”
This takes us back to the main thrust of Rep. Lyon’s article. The Bathroom Bill sets up a conflict of rights:the self-actualization of men who want to be seen as women vs. the privacy and security of our wives and daughters. What will we, as a Commonwealth, choose?
Lastly, this form letter shows that the proponents of the Bathroom Bill are having to back-peddle and play defense – because of YOU! Please, keep calling and emailing and tell your family, friends and church to do so as well. You’re only a click away from the fight.