Md. Group Launches Referendum Effort For Gender Identity Discrimination Bill
LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — The same website that organized the petition for referendum against Maryland’s same-sex marriage legalization in 2012 is now working to put a recently-passed gender identity discrimination legislation to a vote, as well.
The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 prohibits discrimination based on gender identity with regard to public accommodations, housing and employment.
Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign the bill, which would then take effect Oct. 1.
MDPetitions.com has labeled it the “Bathroom Bill.” The site’s description of the legislation says:
“The most egregious part of this bill will require businesses to open up their public facilities (bathrooms, saunas, shower rooms, locker rooms, etc.) so that men can use the ladies’ room and women can use the men’s room. They can use the wrong facilities simply based on them saying that at the time they ‘sincerely held as part of [their] core identity’ that they were the opposite sex.”
The site claims that the bill “endangers the privacy and safety rights of Marylanders, especially our women and girls.”
According to a Carroll County Times report, only one referendum to overturn a state law in 20 years had made it onto the ballot before Del. Neil Parrot, R-Hagerstown, created MDPetitions.com.
In 2012, the site helped get three pieces of legislation passed by the General Assembly on the 2012 ballot. They were measures to legalize same-sex marriage, to allow some undocumented immigrants to pay in-state or in-county tuition at Maryland colleges, and to redraw congressional district boundaries.
All were upheld by voters, however.
The Fairness for All Marylanders Act can only be placed on the 2014 General Election ballot by the submission of at least 55,736 petition signatures of registered voters in Maryland.