The following is a letter to the editor from Massachusetts GOP State Committeeman Dennis Galvin. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. To submit your own content, e-mail [email protected]
The Massachusetts legislature is considering a Transgender Public Accommodations Bill (H1577), that would modify a current law passed in 2011, which would include bathrooms and locker-rooms under its protection. The new law would prohibit businesses and institutions (schools) from restricting individuals from utilizing bathrooms and locker-rooms, currently reserved on the basis of biological sex. To be clear, there is no issue about whether a person, who has had sex re-assignment surgery, should be able to access their gender specific facility. They should have it.
However under this new bill, a male person, with male anatomical features, could utilize a women’s bathroom or locker-room, if that person declared their gender identity as female
(H1577) opens the door to a host of serious concerns. The security concern presented by a male, feigning cross gender identification, to gain entrance to an intimate female facility, such as a bathroom, or a locker room, in order to commit a sexual assault, is perhaps the most critical. Provisions have been suggested, that would allow the Attorney General to establish parameters for addressing feigned declarations. These are very vague, and are at best a token gesture to allay growing hesitation about this legislation. The Senate has failed to adopt them.
The next consideration is children. In particular, young females, who would find themselves forced to share very intimate facilities with anatomical males. Concerns about the psychological impact of such an arrangement, particularly with women in their pubescent years, was arrogantly dismissed by Attorney General Maura Healy, when she sarcastically stated “ if they have a problem using the facilities, they can wait”. The matter was further compounded, when the Massachusetts Education Commissioner said that he would not support separate facilities for transgender persons in Massachusetts schools.
The citizens of Massachusetts are faced with an unreasonable and oppressive piece of legislation, which would force them to concede a long standing practical accomodation. All political issues involve competing interests. The interests of a small number of individuals, attempting to sort out their gender identity, confronts those of a larger number of persons, who have legitimate concerns about security and privacy. On this issue, the latter have the compelling case. H1577 should be defeated. The law governing discrimination against transgender persons should be left as it is. It is simply common sense.