The following is a letter to the editor from Kathy Lynch. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. To submit your own letter, e-mail [email protected]
An Urgent Look at the Transgender “Bathroom Bill”
I decided to take a closer look at the proposed transgender “Bathroom bill” that my friends were talking about and it does not look good. This article shares what I found.
The Massachusetts legislature is considering Bill H4253 which is titled “An Act relative to gender identity and nondiscrimination.” Some refer to it as the “Bathroom bill.” This law would modify our current law passed in 2011 by inserting after the word “sex,” the following words “gender identity.” This proposed amendment reads, “any public accommodation including without limitation any entity that offers the provision of goods, services, or access to the public that lawfully segregates or separates access to such public accommodation or other entity based on a person’s sex shall grant all persons admission to and the full enjoyment of such public accommodation or other entity consistent with the person’s gender identity.”
Sex refers to the anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system while gender refers to either social roles based on the sex of the person or personal identification of one’s own gender based on an internal awareness (gender identity). Essentially, this bill will be amended to reflect those who believe themselves to be, or choose to be, a particular gender. In other words, the person has a mental choice of gender versus actual biology. This bill is being thrust upon citizens in the name of “tolerance” against the majority who accept their biological sex and gender.
This bill is very concerning in terms of its impact on safety, privacy, and enforcement issues.
Safety: Given that women and children tend to be more vulnerable to men because of their size and physiology, this bill would put women and children at risk. Consider the potential ramifications of persons with male anatomy and ill intentions entering venues like public bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, dressing rooms, women-only fitness facilities, and other intimate places. Consider this situation in light of the statistics from the United States Department of Justice: about 20 million (18.0%) in the United States have been raped during their lifetime. Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States have been the victims of sexual assault. With those statistics and the fact that pornography, sex and violence in the media add to the problem, we certainly don’t want to make these cases more prevalent.
Privacy: Up until now, men and women have been able to have their own private spaces based upon their sex. Seeing a man in a private, female-only space such as a locker room or “women-only” gym infringes on a women’s sense of privacy. The same is true for men who prefer a “men-only” space.
Enforcement: It would be difficult for law enforcement, school administrators or any other person charged with protecting the safety or privacy of persons using gender-designated bathrooms, to determine if a person claiming to be transgender is legitimate. There is no evidence-based proof of transgender claims so how is one to distinguish between a voyeur or predator and someone who is gender-confused wanting to use the women’s dressing room?
This Bill passed the House Ways and Means by a 19-4 margin on May 26, 2016. It now moves to the full House of Representatives. The current law is fine as is. Please contact your legislator [email protected] and oppose HB 4253. Time is of the essence as the vote will be this Wednesday, June 1, 2016.