PRESS RELEASE: Legislators Must Protect Privacy and Security of Women and Children First

Massachusetts Family Institute | Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lena Wakim | lena@mafamily.org | 781.569.0400

Legislators Must Protect Privacy and Security of Women and Children First

Mass Family Institute:  Gender identity bill is a threat to privacy and legally redundant.

WOBURN (October 6, 2015) — This afternoon on Beacon Hill, Massachusetts Family Institute will join dozens of concerned parents, educators, pastors, and professionals calling on the MA Joint Judiciary Committee to uphold the privacy rights of all citizens.  House Bill 1577, known as the “Bathroom Bill,” would endanger the privacy and safety of women and children in public bathrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and other intimate places (such as common showers), opening them to whomever wants to be there at any given time.  The bill would also allow sexual predators to claim “confusion” about their gender in order to gain unquestioned access to private areas.  Since the law does not require a person to have a documented problem with gender confusion, there is no way to distinguish between those people that this bill is designed to help and those who will undoubtedly abuse its existence to fulfill any number of deviant desires.

The legislation also exposes businesses and law enforcement officials to civil and even criminal penalties for discriminating on the basis of gender identity.  In Boston, which has a city-wide ordinance similar to this proposed state law, police officers were sued and their department fined $20,000 after they responded to a complaint from a women’s shelter by removing a man from the women’s bathroom at that facility.

“No law should make whole segments of the population feel unsafe and exploit their privacy and security,” stated Andrew Beckwith, President of Massachusetts Family Institute.

It is also unclear why this bill is needed, since the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the state agency charged with addressing discrimination claims, is already able to handle cases brought by transgendered individuals in public accommodations under existing law.*

Female athletes are concerned that this law would force single-sex school sports teams to accept student athletes of any gender, creating chaotic locker room situations and dangerous on-field environments.  The language of the bill also specifically targets women’s-only fitness centers, shelters, and other single-sex facilities.

“This bill is not about preventing discrimination, but rather demanding public affirmation and normalization of ‘gender fluidity’ at the expense of privacy,” said Beckwith.  “The legislature must understand that we are dealing with two conflicting rights here; the right of a grown man to fully ‘express himself’ as female versus the right to privacy of my young daughter and millions like her.”

Massachusetts Family Institute is a non-profit research, education, and public policy organization dedicated to strengthening the institution of the family and affirming the Judeo-Christian values upon which the family is based.

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*[See http://www.mass.gov/mcad/docs/annual-reports/2014-annual-report.pdf  at page 18, https://www.mafamily.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/MCAD-Public-Accommodations-claim-for-Transgender_Redacted1.pdf and http://www.mass.gov/mcad/docs/annual-reports/2013-annual-report.pdf at page 18.]

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